What kind of coffee?

If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
Abraham Lincoln

There was a small article on page A3 of the St. Louis Post Dispatch on Wednesday, July 21, that caught my eye: Civet coffee Ok’d for Muslims. The article said that Indonesia’s top Islamic body gave the okay for Muslims to drink civet coffee: the most expensive coffee in the world.

Now I do not pay much attention to the idiosyncrasies of the Muslim diet, but I wondered why Muslims would need the okay to drink coffee. Also, the word “civet” confused me. The only civet I was aware of was an animal . . . a civet cat . . .a spotted skunk to be exact. What could a skunk have to do with coffee?

A quick Google search turned up the answer at (Click link). The civet cat (yep, a member of the skunk family) likes the ripe fruit from coffee plants and eats them. The soft outer shell is digested but the inner seed (the coffee bean) is not. They are passed out of the skunks system after supposedly being modified and improved by stomach enzymes. Apparently some lucky stiff follows along behind them, picks the coffee beans out of the skunk poop (now there is a job I would love to have), and brings them in to be roasted (hopefully after being washed). Only then can they be sold at $320 per pound.

According to the web site, civet coffee is also called bucket-list coffee, from a movie about a list of things one would like to try before dying. I love coffee, and as odd as it may seem, I would like to try just one cup of civet Joe, but then again, I was raised on a farm and am not as squeamish as most of my city friends.

How about you? Would you pass — on a cup of coffee brewed from coffee beans that had already been passed through a civet cat? Ya want that in perk or drip?

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Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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