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Civet Coffee

Kopi luwak, or Civet coffee, is one of the world's most expensive and low-production coffee about 450 kg per year. It is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and other related civets, passed through its digestive tract. The civet eats the coffee berries for their fleshy pulp. In its stomach, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet's intestines the beans are then defecated, keeping their shape. After gathering, washing, sun drying, roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world. Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java Bali and Sulawesi and the Philippines (called motit coffee). Weasel coffee is the English translation. In Vietnam (called ca' phe Chon) a chemically produced version.

Civet Coffee is described as having a rich chocolate like flavour with no aftertaste. This is thought to be due to the breakdown of the bean's proteins in the Covets intestine. These proteins being responsible for the bitterness of coffee generally.

An alternate theory is that the beans are of superior quality before they are even ingested. At any given point during a harvest only some coffee berries are perfectly ripe. Some people claim that the civet has evolved to only forage for these ideal berries. As a result only the best coffee beans are excreted, resulting in the best civet coffee available.

 

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