Monday, March 26, 2007

Civet coffee

Last Friday night, I was able to taste the most expensive coffee in the world. I didn't know how rare and unusual it was until I began research online. The brand, Cafe Alamid, is also known as Kopi Luwak, a $75 per pound brew made of specially processed robusta coffee beans. Special because the coffee cherries are eaten by the palm civet, a cat-like monkey that lives in Indonesia and parts of Vietnam; it feeds on the ripest cherries, and through its digestive process, extrudes the beans which have been "fermented" by the civets digestive enzymes.

Imagine what a job the poor fellow or folks who have to go around searching for civet dung in the jungles of Indonesia to source the coffee!! All this work produces no more than a few hundred pounds of coffee beans a year. They are sold primarily to Japan, and a select few places around the world.

When Socky opened up the bag, it was indeed a strong caffeine smell. No funky odors assailed my nose, all I smelled was roasted beans. After a whirl in the grinder and filtered through the coffee machine, we had ourselves an aromatic cup of coffee, layers of flavor, with a caramel undertone. We joked a bit, but most of us who drank our brew that night appreciated its nuance. After finding out more about the coffee, I truly am blessed to know I've had another culinary adventure without fully being aware of it.

4 comments:

Katrina said...

It WAS good, wasn't it? My still-congested nose didn't allow me to appreciate the aroma as much as you all did, but what I did smell and taste was delicious. I fully expected to be disappointed after all the hype, but the moment I drank it, I knew I loved it...then I felt my tongue get burned and had to wait a while before taking the next sip. ;-)

christine said...

I loved it too. And am thankful to Socky for the opportunity to try it as I'd read so much about it already.

Katrina, did you see the pic of you I took of you inhaling your coffee? ;)

Katrina said...

Yes, I did! At first, I thought, "What am I doing?!" Then I realized. :-) Got that habit from Felipe. He always buries his nose in his coffee cup and savors the aroma for a while before drinking it. Turns out that's a good thing -- do you know that coffee aroma/steam has antioxidants? :-D

Mila Tan said...

Yes, smelling a cup of freshly brewed coffee has great therapeutic properties. The whole aromatherapy of it makes a big difference.

As I've read up more about the difference in the civet cat coffee, the one grown/processed here by our local civets are less expensive than the one in Indonesia. Hmmmm. Wonder why.

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