image description December 4, 2013

Bizarre Bites: Kopi Luwak

Bizarre Bites: Kopi Luwak

I’m Drinking What?!

For those who seek a killer caffeine buzz, kopi luwak might be the Holy Grail. This Indonesian coffee is one of the rarest and most expensive beverages in the world. A pound of primo beans garners upwards of $500, and a single, thimble-sized cup of the brew can go for 10 bucks a pop. So what makes this coffee so special? This tasty beverage comes from coffee beans that have been passed through and pooped out of the common palm civet’s digestive tract. This cat-sized mammal, which sports the facial markings of a raccoon and is a relative of the mongoose, dines on ripe coffee berries falling from Indonesia’s treetops. The fruit is fully digested by the luwak, but the bean remains intact. Farmers then pluck the beans from the fecal matter. After a thorough scrubbing, they’re roasted, ground, and brewed.

Photo Credit: Travel Channel

Photo Credit: Travel Channel

Coffee Facts

  • Ethiopian shepherds noticed the effects of coffee when they realized their goats became jumpy after eating coffee berries.
  • In 1675, the king of England banned coffeehouses, because he thought people would conspire against him there.
  • Coffee grows on trees, which can reach a height of about 30-feet tall.
  • After oil, coffee is the most widely-traded commodity in the world.
  • “Cup of joe” comes from World War II because American soldiers (called GI Joes) were big coffee drinkers.

Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com

Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com

Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth?

You might have heard that coffee will stunt your growth. That threat is about as real as the chances of you crossing your eyes and having them stay that way permanently. Though a cup of joe won’t make you a shorty pants, drinking too much of it (especially if you drink soda or eat lots of caffeinated foods, like chocolate) might keep you up all night. It’s best to consume caffeine in moderation.

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