Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee is the most expensive coffee. A new must have luxury item of the rich and those who want to be seen to be rich. Asian Palm Civets eat coffee berries as part of their diet. The seeds (coffee beans) are excreted after passing through their digestive systems and collected out of their poo.
Allegedly the coffee tastes better because the Civet’s stomach acids break down the peptide chains in the bean. Traditionally small amounts were produced by farmers collecting wild civet poo, but due to demand this has given way to intensive farming methods where the animals are kept in battery cages in horrific conditions and force fed coffee cherries.
This factory farming has raised ethical concerns about the treatment of the animals due to isolation, poor diet, small cages and a high mortality rate. A 2013 BBC investigation found conditions of animal cruelty. According to an officer from the TRAFFIC conservation programme, the trade in civets to make kopi luwak constitutes a significant threat to wild civet populations.
If I owned a coffee shop I would make sure I only sold coffee that had not first come out of an Asian Palm Civet’s bum.
On an entirely different note I would also make sure the coffee was sustainably sourced and purchased from collectives of small independent coffee farmers, so they can make a living.
Given the fact I would be such an all-round hero, I would call my coffee shop Koffie Annan.