A food scientist has cracked the secrets of the world's most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, whose beans pass through the intestinal tract of an Indonesian civet before being roasted and savoured. But the elusive blend looks unlikely to be copied any time soon.
The beans, which cost over US$1,000 a kilogram, are eaten and passed by the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), which is a musky, tree-climbing cat-like creature. The supply of Kopi Luwak has always been tiny, but political turmoil in Indonesia has strangled production even further: less than 230 kilograms of the coffee are now being made each year.
Massimo Marcone, a researcher at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, wondered whether it might be possible to reproduce the effect that the Indonesian civets have on the coffee. He searched the world for another place with both coffee plants and civets, and hit upon Ethiopia, where coffee itself was born.
via Its All About Coffee.