Monday, June 21, 2010

Animal crap, or the most expensive coffee in the world

The most expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak, comes from Indonesia, where the coffee berries are eaten by a little racoon-like beast, Luwak, or Asian palm civet. The beast supposedly picks the best berries. Natural quality control.

My friends just came from Bali, where they got lost looking for some tourist attraction, and stopped to get directions in the middle of nowhere at a coffee farm. The Luwak lives in a narrow long cage where he runs back and forth very fast, obviously on caffeine high, feeding on coffee berries. The farmers' kids carefully pick the coffee beans from the beast's crap, wash and dry them thouroughly, and so produce the best coffee in the world.

The price that my friends paid, 69,000 Indonesian rupies for 100 grams, or $32 per pound, is nothing compared to $250/lb that you would pay for it in the States, but it's still the most expensive coffee I ever had. They got me a little bag of perfect meduim-roast beans, that I asked one of my dinner guests to grind in a manual grinder, then prepared it Turkish style.

It's perfect. Beautiful balance, sweet, fruity, no sharp corners whatsoever. The beast knows what he is doing.

But you know what? You don't taste the beast. It's just a good coffee.

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