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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Talk About a Strange Brew

I saw a thing in the Kansas City Scar today that reminded me of the Onion. It was a story about 'civet coffee,' aka Kopi Luwak (which I believe translates roughly to 'I'm throwing up in my mouth just thinking about it') being found to be halal (Muslim for kosher) by the Indonesian Ulemas Council, which translates as the bull goose looneys of Indonesian Islam.

I'm not a big coffee drinker, maybe three cups a year when the mood strikes me and it's cold outside. Kopi Luwak is coffee, sort of, but the beans have been through the digestive tract of civet cats. The civet cat is apparently a mongoose with a major coffee jones.

Kopi Luwak supposedly has a smooth flavor with no bitterness in the aftertaste. It seems you can't really taste the bitterness of coffee flavored with Riki Tiki Tavi's shit.

Thing is, I guess there's a membrane on the seed that somehow acts as a barrier, though not a barrier all these enzymes and whatnot that ferment the coffee can't get past. Which gets to what I can't get past: who the hell ever though to dig coffee beans out of a pile of civet cat shit and brew a cup?

The inventor of this beverage must have lost a colossal bet.

To top it all off there supposedly is demand for it such that when you can find it (it's—thank God—quite scarce), it goes for as much as $200 per pound. Making it as expensive as it is disgusting.

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