As premium coffee demand increases worldwide, many coffee farmers in the Philippines are cashing in on the craze for “civet coffee,” also known as kopi luwak.
The coffee beans are hand-picked by farmers from the excrement of palm civets, tree-dwelling small mammals resembling mongooses that are found throughout parts of Indonesia. The animals eat the outer fruit of ripe coffee fruit, but the seed remains undigested.
Several scientific sources and even more coffee aficionados believe the enzymes and acids in the civet’s digestive system remove the normally bitter aftertaste, leaving it with a fruity aroma when roasted.
“Never in our dreams did we suspect that we could make money out of them,” Rustico Montenegro, a Philippine coffee farmer recently told AFP.
Money, indeed. A pound of civet coffee stateside can run anywhere from $60 to $400 a bag.
The full story: AFP