The gourmet brew is being served up in Europe–for as much as $700 for 2 lbs.

July 02, 2009 10:59 AM

Okay, let’s get this straight. You take some coffee beans, feed them to a wild, weasel-like mammal, and wait for the beans to get digested and, um, drop? Then you take those beans and turn them into the world’s most desired and expensive coffee?

That, indeed, is how something called Kopi Luwak – or civet coffee – is made. First, ripe beans are ingested by a civet, a creature indigenous to Africa and Asia that looks like a cat on steroids. Then, workers go through the civet’s droppings and separate the chalky beans (at least we now know the world’s worst job). The beans are dried, sterilized and processed into civet coffee, which, apparently, has a magically intense aroma and flavor.

In Europe, roughly 2 lbs. of Kopi Luwak sells for as much as $700 – if, that is, you can find it. A typical civet produces only about an ounce of the stuff a day, so it’s unlikely you’ll be ordering a decaf dung espresso at Starbucks anytime soon.

Still, if you’re a coffee drinker and you have an adventurous streak, you might just savor the idea of having a java brew with such a, ahem, close connection to the wild.

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