read this :x
:xOriginally posted by (RoadRunner News)
JAKARTA, Indonesia(AP) SARS fears have stopped the Chinese from eating civet cats. But that hasn't turned off others from sipping the strangest of brews, one they insist is made from coffee beans eaten, partly digested and then excreted by the weasel-like animals.
The story goes like this: Civets live in the foliage of plantations across Southeast Asia. These fussy foragers pick the best and ripest coffee berries. Enzymes in their digestive system break down the flesh of the fruit before the animals expel the bean.
Workers collect beans from the plantation floor, wash away the dung and roast them to produce a unique drink that devotees might say is good to the last dropping.
Skeptics, though, dismiss it all as a weird and unverifiable marketing gimmick. Still in Indonesia's capital Jakarta, the owner of three fashionable cafes, Agus Susanto, sells what he claims is a mix of regular beans and those that have passed through civets. The blend and the cafes are both called "Kopi Luwak" in English: "Civet Coffee."
"Our coffee has a strong taste and an even stronger aroma," Susanto said by telephone from his factory in central Java.
In Vietnam, now the world's second-largest regular coffee grower, a blend supposedly containing some civet beans is produced by the Trung Nguyen company under the "Weasel Coffee" brand.
In the Philippines, the Old Manila Coffee House used to sell a civet brew, but supplies have dwindled over the years, said Ellen Tuason, its finance officer.
"Some of our guests said it was an aphrodisiac. It has a strong coffee smell, but different. There is a distinct odor and flavor," she said.
The beans are also marketed internationally. Several US-Internet based coffee traders claim to offer them for up to $150 a pound, ($325 a kilogram) making among the world's most expensive beverages.