Remember when we thought putting butter in our coffee was the craziest thing we’d ever heard? Well, prepare yourselves, because this coffee trend far surpasses that in absurdness.
It’s called cat poop coffee, and it’s popular in Vietnam and across Southeast Asia.
Cat poop coffee isn’t necessarily a new trend. In 2012, NPR taste-tested the questionable brew, traditionally known as kopi luwak (or ca phe chon). And in 2016, National Geographic published a story on the “disturbing secret” behind it. But because it’s so rare and in high demand, cat poop coffee continues to gain momentum, making us wonder, “What exactly does it taste like?”
To start, no cats are involved in the making of cat poop coffee. Instead, it’s an Indonesian catlike, weasel-looking animal — the civet. First, the civet eats and digests the coffee beans, and the seeds separate in its stomach, where they become fermented. The seeds are then — you guessed it — pooped out. The beans that passed through the civet are then collected, cleaned and roasted.
And these beans aren’t exactly mass-produced, kopi luwak is considered the world’s most expensive coffee: $100-per-cup expensive. And for 1 pound of these beans? Expect to fork over anywhere from $100 to $600 for a bag. Holy shit.
As far as what it tastes like, kopi luwak is described as a smooth, earthy and less bitter version of the coffee we’re used to. It’s also recommended you drink it black and avoid adding cream, milk and sugar, as it will “ruin the taste.” According to a writer at Brit + Co, who conducted her own taste test, the brewed coffee “didn’t have any distinguishing characteristics.”
By the sound of it, it doesn’t seem worth the high price tag. But, hey, if you’re a real coffee risk-taker, this might be your next bold move.