Civet Poop Coffee… and More!
Today, I visited the Kopi Luwak Coffee Plantation, where they make make all sorts of teas and coffees… and they are famous for one very special type. You might not believe it, but this animal’s poop is used to make coffee.
These animals are called Asian Palm Civets, and they are in the cat family. We saw them in a cage, and they were pretty sleepy because they are nocturnal animals. At night, they go out eating, and they love to climb trees and chow on the coffee beans off the plant. Then people collect the pooped out beans and process them into coffee! Why would you want those ones? Apparently, the civets only choose the best, most ripened beans, and then some enzymes in their stomachs also help the beans become less bitter and less caffeinated. It’s not gross because the beans are cleaned, roasted, and boiled before becoming a nice top quality coffee.
At the farm, we decided to try the civet poop coffee. To me, it tasted like any other coffee, but I’m glad I tried it! I also loved that the farm let us sample all their varieties of coffee and tea. Some were very unusual, like coconot coffee or mangosteen tea, from a fruit native to Asia. It was a taster’s dream!
They even let us try the chocolate made there, by special request.
It was really neat to see foods that I have eaten often in a plant form that I’ve never seen. For instance, while we were walking by the coffee and cocoa plants, our guide took a leaf off a tree and crushed it up for us to smell. It was cinnamon, and it smelled so fresh! Unfortunately, cinnamon the spice is made from the bark of the tree, so they have to cut down the whole tree to harvest it.
It turned out that the owners of the coffee plantation also keep a pet fruit bat named BomBom. I couldn’t decide if she was adorable, or creepy, but getting to meet her was a highlight of the visit. Too bad this bat couldn’t earn her keep like the civets!