I've had my fair share of weird drinks during my travels. I've tried Kava in Fiji, beer mixed with coke in Germany and Kierewiet (made from Marijuana) in Holland. But coffee made from the poo of an animal?
It sounds disgusting, but believe it or not, this is how the world's most expensive coffee is produced. It comes from Indonesia, where it's called "Kopi Luwak," which translates to Civet Coffee.
The name refers to the Asian Palm Civet, the animal that is involved in the production process. This nocturnal, weasel-like mammal has big appetite for raw, red coffee cherries. Although it can digest the outer, fleshy layer of the fruit, it excretes the solid, indigestible inner bean. These beans are then collected by locals and sold.
You can expect to pay several hundred of dollars per pound for these expensive beans. Why would you pay that much? Well, apparently, our four-legged coffee loving friend is very picky: it only eats the best quality coffee cherries. In addition, it gives the beans a very special treatment: enzymes in its intestines remove the bitter aftertaste of the coffee.
Sounds great in theory, but does it really taste that good? That's what I wanted to find out when I was in Indonesia. I found a coffee plantation where I could taste the exquisite brew.
After a tour around the plantation and a little bit too detailed explanation of the production process, the moment arrived: I was about to taste the strangest cup of coffee I had every tasted.
So, how did it taste? Well, it was a fine cup of coffee, but to be honest, it didn't taste that much different than normal coffee. Maybe my taste buds aren't sensitive enough to appreciate the subtle difference.
What is the strangest drink you've ever tried?