Eugene Smith takes LifeOnFood.com to the 57th Annual Fancy Food Show at the Washington, Convention Center in D.C. In this clip he tastes Coffee made from beans that have been extracted from Civet cats….a “delicacy”, it sells for $30 a cup.
Kopi is the Indonesian word for coffee. Luwak is a local name of the Asian palm civet in Sumatra. Palm civets are primarily frugivorous, feeding on berries and pulpy fruits such as from fig trees and palms. Civets also eat small vertebrates, insects, ripe fruits and seeds.
Early production began when beans were gathered in the wild from where a civet would defecate as a means to mark its territory. On farms, civets are either caged or allowed to roam within defined boundaries.
Coffee cherries are eaten by a civet for their fruit pulp. After spending about a day and a half in the civet’s digestive tract the beans are then defecated in clumps, having kept their shape and still covered with some of the fleshy berry’s inner layers. They are gathered, thoroughly washed, sun-dried and given only a light roast so as to keep the many intertwined flavors and lack of bitterness yielded inside the civet.