Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Eater's Digest | Can You Drink this Cup?

Can You Drink this Cup?
By Tomoko

Have you ever heard of Kopi Luwak? It's the latest buzz amongst the most discriminating of coffee connoisseurs. I've yet to try it but the manner in which this “special” blend is prepared is what is fascinating. A Civet, described as a small, lithe-bodied, mostly nocturnal mammal native to tropical Asia and Africa eats coffee cherries and the seeds which is what is used as the actual coffee bean. The matter is half digested and excreted. Farmers then pick up the excrement, find the beans, clean them then roast them to what is transformed into one of the most expensive coffees in the world. According to Kopi Luwak lovers, the digestion process is what gives it a very sweet and mild taste.

Port Rico a coffee shop in the West Village neighborhood of NYC stocks the coffee for $250 - $340 per pound. For those on a budget, smaller quantities such as 1/8 lbs. are available as well.

If this did not pique your sense of adventure when it comes to matters caffeine, there is another exotic coffee blend, "Black Ivory" masterfully produced by the Thai Elephant. The cost is approximately $1000 for 2.2lbs. Allegedly, the enzymes in the elephant’s digestive system helps break down the protein of the coffee which is what is believed to be responsible for bitterness. The elephants must consume 33 kilos (66 lbs) of coffee berries to produce 1 kilo (2.2lbs) of product. From as best as I can gather, "Black Ivory" isn't available in the United States yet, but is offered at select luxury hotels in Thailand, Maldives and Abu Dhabi.

For those who cannot afford the hefty price tag of a trip to the Maldives, perhaps a stroll through the Bronx Zoo to collect elephant dung when no one is looking is a practical solution.