Friday, 6 January 2012

Cat Shit Coffee

Once again proving that somehow, improbably, extraordinarily, I fluked out massively when I found my wife, she bought me shit for christmas.

It’s worth pointing out at this point that my wife doesn’t drink coffee at all, yet she managed to do the research and nail the perfect gift (fit for a prince, almost). The last year has been pretty testing at times, what with the birth of our first child, a month long intercontinental trip with said child, and buying and moving into a new house almost immediately after. We’ve had more arguments in the last 12 months than in the other 8 years of our relationship combined. Yet she consistently comes up with stuff like this. I hope I deserve her, though I’m not sure I always do.

But enough real emotion and slush. I know there are a couple of caféophiles in what passes for my readership, so on with the details you really want. On with the poo tasting.

I've already made clear my generally low opinion of coffee in Japan, but I have a good feeling about this. Because this is Kopi Luwak, made from coffee beans that have been eaten and crapped out by the Asian Palm Civet. Clearly this is a difficult process to industrialize, so annual worldwide production is only a few hundred kilos. As a result, this is the most expensive coffee in the world, beating even the rarified heights of weasel vomit coffee.

So the first question is: how to make it? I’ve been using the press more often than not recently, though that’s more because the induction hob in our house is a little weird with the moka pot. It works, but somehow it doesn’t seem as easy to judge when it’s done as it did on gas. Let’s have a look at the beans and make our minds up then, shall we?

Hmm, that’s a bit of a darker roast than I was expecting. The reason this stuff is so prized is that the stomach acids and enzymes of the cats are supposed to react with the beans to subtly improve their flavour. Apparently they’re usually given a fairly light roasting to preserve those subtleties. I generally prefer a darker roast though, so it’s not necessarily a deal breaker.

There are also no obvious residual traces of fecal matter, which has to count as a good thing.

I decide to go with the press. I’ve got enough to experiment with later, and this seems like a better way of comparing it with what I normally drink. I force myself to do it properly this time. Wait after boiling, stir, wait after stirring etc. I’ve got a 猫舌 (neko jita) though, so I’d be waiting anyway. I’m just normally too impatient to stand around in the kitchen, and so get it all done at once.

Trouble is, in addition to a cat's tongue, I’ve also got a blocked nose and a sore throat, so I can’t taste a fucking thing. I should really have factored that in to the decision making process. It just tastes like a decent cup of coffee. There’s something unusual about the aftertaste I can’t identify, but that could be just me desperately reaching for something to justify this whole experience.

I guess the beans need to go in the freezer until I shift this cold. But please stay tuned for my next exciting hot beverage experiment: Lemon and Honey vs Chicken Noodle Soup.


  1. "I hope I deserve her, though I’m not sure I always do." I always feel that if you deserve your woman, you haven't done all that well.

    Enjoy the coffee!

  2. You're just a little ray of sunshine lately, aren't you? ;)

    Coffee's great, btw. She still refuses to make it for me though...

  3. I thought this was a joke.

    Enjoy!! Once your able to enjoy the....awesomeness of that stuff.

    I'm not worthy.
    I'm gonna have to accept that and move on ;)

  4. There's probably nothing like a steaming mug of fragrant french pressed fecal cappuccino to bring a blast of sunshine into the morning. Or not.

    Will stay tuned for the update once the cold clears.

  5. No joke. Shit just got real. As it were.

    The cold's cleared up a bit since I wrote this, so I can give you all an update.

    It's pretty good stuff. Not fifty quid a cup good, but definitely worth trying. It really is smoother and less bitter.

    I don't think the New York Times' food critic has anything to fear just yet...