Demand for Rare Coffee Leads to Unscrupulous Marketers of Fake Civet Coffee
Due to the lucrative market for high-priced Civet coffee it seems inevitable that some unscrupulous people would try to capitalize through dishonest means, passing off as Civet coffee are certain coffee beans which indeed had not been consumed and expelled by a Civet.
These unscrupulous farmers, marketers and charlatans may simply rub the coffee beans in the dung of the animal or take other steps to make the coffee beans appear to be real Civet coffee.
The existence of these coffee crooks highlights the need to be careful when purchasing Civet coffee and to only deal with respected providers who can be trusted to provide you with the true product.
Fake Civet Coffee vs. Simulated Civet Coffee
The term fake Civet coffee is used here only to refer to coffee beans that were never ingested by a Civet animal. The term is not meant to refer to Simulated Civet Coffee which is a product that tries to mimic the fine qualities of Civet coffee and let's the consumer know that the beans are not real Civet coffee.
Wild vs. Farmed Civet Coffee
The term fake Civet coffee as used here also is not meant to refer to Civet coffee beans that were indeed ingested by a Civet, yet the Civet was fed the pre-picked coffee cherry.
Many Civet coffee connoisseurs feel that the ability of the Civet to choose only the ripest, red coffee cherry directly from the coffee trees is one of the components that ensures a very special high quality in a true Civet coffee.
Further complicating matters is that some coffee farmers keep the Civets in cages and feed them the coffee cherry, perhaps mashed with banana.
Civet coffee farmers using the banana mash feeding method have significantly raised their daily output of Civet coffee beans due mainly to the fact that the Civets consume all of the beans in the mash without discerning ripe coffee cherry from unripe.
Civets Grazing in Courtyards
Other coffee farmers cage the Civets only at night and allow them to graze in courtyard during the day where the pre-picked coffee cherry have been placed. One may argue that these Civets have a choice of coffee cherry assuming a sufficient supply has been placed before them.
A Civet coffee farmer using this method and concerned with high quality could remove what is not eaten by the Civets and continue to replenish the supply with an ample choice so the Civets have enough high quality ripe coffee cherry to chose from.
Civets Fenced Within Plantation Boundaries
An Overview of the Civet Coffee Quality Question
All of these methods of producing Civet coffee have their benefits and drawbacks, though few argue that what may be considered the finest Civet coffee comes from gathering the droppings of truly wild Civets who have fed on unfenced coffee plantations.
These Civets are perhaps the most healthy animals, foraging in the open forest habitat, and their discerning choice of ripe coffee cherry is a natural form of quality control that humans have difficulty matching, even if they were to try.
Instead it is likely that coffee farmers picking coffee cherry to feed to Civets are not overly concerned with picking only the ripest coffee cherry since to do that would be very time consuming since coffee fruits do not all ripen at the same time, and picking only the perfectly ripe cherry would require many trips back to the same coffee plant.
While the pros and cons of different Civet coffee production methods may be debated, it is certainly true that the unique qualities of Civet coffee go beyond the Civets ability to pick ripe cherry.
The Mysterious Journey Through the Civet's Stomach
Many would argue that the main factor in Civet coffee's appeal is the journey the beans take through the Civet's stomach amidst the enzymatic reactions and other chemical processes that occur to the porous coffee beans within the animal's digestive tract.
Discovering Gourmet Coffees from Around the Globe
To brew the perfect cup of coffee see our section on Brewing Civet Coffee and also our tips for coffee brewing in general. We also provide detailed coffee flavor profiles of all the best coffees from around the world.
History buffs should check out the World's Best History of Coffee. Coffee connoisseurs will be delighted with the most comprehensive coffee and espresso term explanations found anywhere in the Coffee and Espresso Glossary.
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Where is Civet Coffee found?
Civet Coffee is produced by various countries including:
- Vietnam Civet Coffee
- Indonesian Civet Coffee
- Philippine Civet Coffee (including Bantai Civet Coffee and Arengga Civet Coffee)
More Kopi-Luwak / Civet Coffee Information
- Civet Coffee From Tree to Cup
- Civet Coffee - Buying the World's Most Expensive Coffee
- Civet Coffee FAQ
- The Asian Palm Civet
- Civet Coffee - What Happens to the Bean in the Civet's Stomach
- Jacu Bird Coffee
Other Premium Coffee Beans
At such a high cost per pound (and cost per cup) you'll want to get all the information you can to brew the perfect cup of coffee - see our section on Brewing Civet Coffee and also our tips for coffee brewing in general.