Kopi Luwak: the most expensive coffee in the world as cruel as foie gras
Kopi Luwak: the most expensive coffee in the world as cruel as foie gras

Of Kopi Luwak, the Indonesian coffee most expensive in the world, you have already heard of it. If only for the various accusations he got.

Do you want a couple? Overly trendy yet nauseating. Today a third is added, not exactly uplifting: as cruel as foie gras.

€ 10 per cup (even $ 30 in trendy New York bars), € 113 per hectogram, Kopi Luwak is not known only for mere price issues.

Its peculiarity, very peculiar, concerns the provenance of the precious blend.

It is obtained from the berries of a plant (red coffee) ingested and partially excreted through the excrement from civet palms, a relative of the mongoose.

The grains are fermented: in practice, the passage in the digestive system of the animal enhances the flavor, enriching it with notes of chocolate (er, now how do I get out of this discussion?)

But if once upon a time it was the diligent Indonesian farmers who selected the semi-digested grains, now, with the exponential growth of demand, the palm civets are paying the consequences of a business sewn into their skin.

It is the Wildlife Alliance, an association that fights poaching in Cambodian forests, to sound the alarm for the exploitation of palm civets.

With the consumption of kopi luwak skyrocketing, especially in Japan and the United States, civets that fall into the hands of poachers are locked up in small wooden cages where, with a procedure similar to gavage, the technique of force-feeding geese to obtain foie gras, are forced to ingest coffee berries in abnormal quantities.

A kind of caffeine torture which, as documented in this video by the animal rights association Peta, makes civets who live in a state of constant excitement hyperactive. Animals are injured by frantically gnawing on their limbs, the fur grows with showy spots, some die.

After seeing the video, many in the US ask not to buy Kopi Luwak anymore, as reported by the Grub Street website, from the TV host Jay Leno to the food critic of the Washington Post.

The studies of some researchers committed to recreating the fermentation that occurs in the intestinal tract of civets in the laboratory, starting from the milk, could represent a solution.

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