Civet Created Coffee

While changing the newspaper in my bird’s cage, I was drawn to the compelling eyes in this photo. After reading the caption, I was surprised to read people actually drink a coffee originated from this animal’s digestive system. In this case, a civet – a small mammal found in Southeast Asia and Southern China. Toxoplasmosis came to mind immediately but apparently there are no safety health issues when drinking this excrement inspired drink.

The coffee is sold as “Kopi Luwak.” The luwaks or civets it was discovered like to naturally eat the coffee cherries. The seeds remain basically undigested thus exiting the animal. Their body juices breakdown the fruit and permeate the seed as it goes through their system, resulting in a type of fermentation process…and apparently a bean made into a coffee with a carmel like taste.
It all sounds ok until I did more reading. Civets in many cases are force fed and kept in cramped, dirty, unnatural conditions, resembling factory farms, given the rise in demand for this unique blend. Why people decide to turn to cruelty for money I will never understand when they can still make money while being compassionate. Doi Chaang Coffee is one such business. It is a fair trade company that sells a cruelty free civet coffee which supports the local people.

I had no idea that after cutting out this picture I would know the story behind those eyes. I am glad I do.


6 thoughts on “Civet Created Coffee

  1. There are other odd things about civet cats . . . but I can’t remember. Perhaps a wise person with a good memory will stop by and add to the story about those eyes! I “invented” an eatery yesterday which would serve only “disgusting” food (bat wing soup, chocolate covered this and that, things made of rat meat . . . you get the idea) – purpose = so jaded people can brag about how cool what they ate was and be better than others because of their adventurous spirit. Anyway, this is definitely the coffee to serve in the culinary challenge cafe.

    1. I did a little more digging, Elephant. Perhaps these are the odd things you are thinking of?…they excrete an oily, smelly tar from their perianal glands when excited and they eat millipedes. Gathered that from Does this fit your civet memories? 🙂

      1. Oh my my! I am not sure, but that is enough! What an animal – tar, eats millipedes . . . there was something else – when it comes back or I find it I will get back to you. Nice that you looked more into these big bad stinky kitties. I realize if you want coffee you might pick through a cat’s —- , but basically way back when somebody had to find the beans in their stuff and then decide to make coffee out of them – then find out they tasted good. Who doesn’t like these stories – but really, who was that person (yes, I know someone may have been desperate for coffee – even if they picked the beans out of scat) – but really this happened to someone (Mr. or Ms. scat cat coffee beans)!
        Much to think about,

  2. I was wondering that too. How does someone come up with making a coffee like that? Did a bean accidentally fall into someone’s drink and voila!, “that tastes great!” Read about the Icelandic dish, Hakarl. There’s a dish where you question how someone deducted this was a good idea. Basically, a Greenland shark is killed, buried to flatten for 2-3 months then it is pressed out to dry for many months. The meat is then cut into small cubes. It looks like cheese but smells like ammonia and really it does not seem all that flavorful by all accounts. I did not try any while I was in Iceland though so I cannot say for sure. Take care, Elephant and thanks for being a regular to my blog!

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