26 Feb 2011

Monkey Poo Coffee! Philippine Alamid Kopi Luwak (£14.99/50g, Sea Island Coffee)

I was sent a sample of this famous (notorious?!) coffee recently. It's the stuff that gets eaten by monkey or raccoon-type creatures called civets - a relative of the mongoose - who like the sweet taste of the berries. It then ferments in their stomach juices where it's partially digested, they poo it out, and then it's gathered up from their poo on the jungle floor, washed (the packaging stresses thoroughly, thank god) and dried, before being roasted as normal.

Jack Nicholson drinks this stuff in the film The Bucket List, in which he and his friend (Morgan Freeman) are both terminally ill and they go on a road trip armed with a list of experiences to try before they die.

It's not cheap at all, but it's a nice coffee, and good for novelty value. I tried the pre-ground stuff and prepared it simply in a cafetiere. A subtle, slightly smoky aroma and a fairly earthy flavour (which I suppose you might expect!), it reminded me of some Ethiopian (non-monkey poo) coffee I had recently at Opposite in Leeds' Victoria Quarter. That was quite light-bodied, almost like a cross between tea and coffee, and probably best drunk without milk to get the subtle aromas.

Philippine Alamid Kopi Luwak

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