Quick Bites: Arsehole Coffee

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I like good coffee and I’m in a semi-permanent search to find a type that will taste as good as it smells. On the list of coffees to try was Kopi Luwak coffee – the one that’s been eaten by an Indonesian civet cat, pooped out the other end and then the beans are roasted like normal coffee. The pre-processing in the civet cat’s digestive tract are supposed to make it taste smooth and wonderful. It has a wonderful price too at £145 a pound.

That’s a huge amount for coffee beans and I would have just written it off as another Idiot Tax, like £5000 handbags and the like, if I hadn’t read this article in The Guardian. Essentially, the demand for this coffee has changed its production from a cottage industry into something heading towards intensive farming. The civet cats are kept in small cages and force-fed the coffee beans. They have a miserable life and some endangered species of civet cat are being captured and used to produce the coffee as well.

It’s this kind of thing that makes me rage at humanity’s ability to exploit and mistreat fellow living creatures for any or no reason whatsoever.

And the worst thing is according to those who know about these things, it’s not particularly great coffee either!!

So, kopi luwak is off my list of coffees to try. I urge you, dear readers, not to buy it either. Don’t buy it for home. Don’t buy it in coffee shops and restaurants. If you’re not a vegetarian but wouldn’t eat foie gras, don’t drink this coffee either. I don’t want cruelty-flavoured coffee and I’m guessing most people won’t want to either.

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4 responses »

  1. You know my feeling about foie gras, but for some reason this one bothers me – perhaps it’s that it’s not a necessary process. Kopi Luwak isn’t inherently cruel – it’s the unnecessary response to the increased demand which has turned out to be.

    • Well, you know my thoughts about foie gras! You’re right – this doesn’t have to be cruel – but it seems that given any opportunity to exploit and mistreat animals in the name of profit, humans will go for it!

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