Say Hello to the Civet: The Maker of $600 Coffee
Yes, it's true -- this mammal, native to Africa and Asia, is responsible for pooping out the world's most expensive coffee, called Kopi Luwak. Civets are fed coffee cherries, and during digestion the animal's enzymes mix with the coffee beans before they, ahem, pass through, giving the beans a unique, bitter taste. See how it all happens...
Above : The Cherries Are Chosen
A farmer in East Java, Indonesia, picks coffee cherries to feed the civets.
Above : A Whole Team at Work: Hand-Picking the Cherries
Above : The Civet Approaches.. .
Above : ...Gets Ready to Dig In...
Above : ...And Is Joined by Friends for Dinner
Above : Gathering the Dung With Gloves...
In East Java, workers use gloves to clear the results of the feast.
Above : That Ain't Peanuts and Nougat.
Civet poop before it's turned into the coffee.
Above : Separating It and Washing It Off
Above : Another Step in Production
Above : A worker displays the distinct, cleaned-off beans.
Above : The Very Expensive End Result
Pictured: Coffee Alamid, one Philippine brand. Because a very limited supply is produced each year, civet coffee can cost up to $600 per pound.
Ya wanna cuppa?