Feline Faeces Make Costly Coffee

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 118 months ago
Feline Faeces Make Costly Coffee
Kopi Luwak coffee beans

With the impending financial crunch staring us down and cautioning a wiser approach to spending, it's good to know that the moneyed Londoner still has ample opportunity to disgorge his or her cash on the finer things. Case in point: a Sloane Square department store is selling cat-excreted coffee for £50 a cup.

Customers at Peter Jones can now sample Caffe Raro, a blend of Jamaican Blue Mountain and Kopi Luwak beans that is considered to be the world's most expensive coffee. At £324 per kilo, it's the Kopi Luwak beans that are responsible for the cost, and the unorthodox path they take from the ground to your cup explains why.

The story begins in the plantations of Indonesia, where the cat-like Asian Palm Civet, which has a rarefied palate, judiciously gobbles only the finest samples of Sumatran coffee berry. The berry takes a whirlwind tour through the picky moggy's digestive tract, which breaks down the fruit's flesh before dumping it out the other end. Workers then collect the remains, wash away the excess matter, and hand-roast them for twelve minutes in order to "maximise the potential of each coffee". Delish.

According to this taste test from a few years ago, the brew is "chocolatey, with undertones of molasses and tobacco", although another connoisseur dismisses it as "gamey" while one is convinced it's just like Earl Grey. Hmm.

Profits from all sales in April are going to Macmillan Cancer Support, but even so, we're not entirely convinced that shelling out 50 bones for something that came out of kitty's behind is a wise move.

Image of Kopi Luwak beans from miscpix's Flickrstream

Last Updated 10 April 2008

eas_e

Anyone know whether this is the same as the regurgitated coffee served at Pho on St. John Street? It's @£9 per cup there. I think it's the same type of animal that regurgitates the beans or maybe Pho is being delicate about the process and didn't want to say poo. Anyway, I admit that I gave it a go after seeing the sign for it so many times. It tasted just like coffee. My palate must not be as refined as a civet's.

Amanda Farah

I don't know if you could pay me £50 to drink cat excrement.

sonyactivision

getting a cat to shit in a box is one thing, but a cup?