Uncommon Grounds by Mark Pendergrast, 1999, Excerpt
Like many fine beans, those that made this cup were processed by the “wet method,” but in this case, removal of the pulp, mucilage, and parchment was all natural, performed as the cherry progresses through the gut of a civet cat. Near its sexual organs, this mammal possesses a gland that secretes a musky oil long prized in the perfume industry.
The cat's meow in coffee
10 Mar 2009
Luwak coffee, which comes from Indonesia, arrived here around a year ago and sells for something like $600 per kilo. The luwak, an animal native to Indonesia resembling a cute cat, eats the ripe fruit of coffee trees (each piece contains two coffee beans side by side). When the luwak excretes the still intact beans, they are removed and roasted and ground into powder like any other coffee. Hard-core aficionados say the flavor is intense and defend the roasting process, nothing that "the beans in any case are roasted and what can happen to them in the luwak's stomach?" Shenhav describes the taste and quality of luwak coffee as "creating sparks" and justifying the high price.
Pricey elephant poop coffee
Mahout's wives pick out coffee beans from elephant dung at an elephant camp at the Anantara Golden Triangle resort on Dec. 10, 2012, in Golden Triangle, northern Thailand. Black Ivory Coffee, started by Canadian coffee expert Blake Dinkin, is made from Thai arabica hand picked beans. The coffee is created from a process whereby coffee beans are naturally refined by a Thai elephant. It takes about 15-30 hours for the elephant to digest the beans, and later they are plucked from their dung and washed and roasted. Approximately 10,000 beans are picked to produce 1kg of roasted coffee. At $1,100 per kilogram or $500 per pound, the cost per serving of the elephant coffee equals about $50, making the exotic new brew the world's priciest. It takes 33 kilograms of raw coffee cherries to produce 1 kilo of Black Ivory Coffee.