May 15th, 2013

Astrid and Walter

Crappuccino: Dropping Coffee

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK

         Years ago, when I first got started in the emergency services, an old medic told me, “Son, if you plan to stay in this business, you’d better learn to love coffee.”

I never did (although I certainly did grow to love caffeine). The following story may be one of the reasons why. I first heard it years ago, but it took me this long to get enough guts to write about it:

         Would you like a nice cup of Kopi Luwak?

         What coffee drinker wouldn’t? It’s a rare gourmet coffee, very expensive, that comes from the exotic land of Indonesia. You may not have heard of it because it was mostly popular in Japan, where people just went bananas for it.

         Back in the late 2000’s, it became one of the most expensive and most sought-after coffees in the world. Just 500 pounds of it is harvested annually, and it has only limited availability in Japan and the US – the western US, I’m guessing.

         It’s, um, harvested by monkeys.

         Specifically, it’s harvested by the palm civet, a tree dwelling animal that’s described as more of a cat than a monkey. Its scientific name is paradoxurus hermaphrodites.

         I’ll let you digest that for a moment.           

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