If you’re a fan of civet coffee (also known as “kopi luwak”), know that your cup might contain a splash of cruelty to animals. Civet coffee is made from the beans of coffee berries that have been passed through the digestive tract of a civet cat. The cats eat the berries for their pulp, and then they defecate the beans (or seeds). The cat’s stomach enzymes are said to make the coffee less bitter and give it a distinct flavor.
I’m not sure who in his right mind would find civet coffee appealing, but apparently there is a large enough demand that now some coffee-crazed people are caging civet cats and farming them for their coffee bean–laden crap. Civet cats in farms like this one are confined to barren wire cages that don’t compare to the lives they would have had if they had been left in the wild.
Fortunately, it is easy to avoid supporting this cruelty. Simply don’t drink it—and remind friends who may think that civet coffee is a byproduct of wild cats that the farmed civets who produce the stuff are denied everything that is natural and important to them. All for a bean.
Posted by Rochelle Regodon