I love coffee. Haven’t had a cup since October 2006, but that doesn’t change the fact that I love coffee. Probably something to do with my South Indian roots, and being served fresh “decoction” coffee first thing in the morning for 16 of my 23 years in Calcutta. Wonderful stuff, I can still smell it. So when people tell me “wake up and smell the coffee”, I usually do. I can bring that aroma to mind at will.
[It took me a while to realise that my recidivist craving for nicotine was so deeply intertwined with that for caffeine; once I figured that out, and abstained from coffee and tea, the nicotine stayed given up. Cold turkey given up after a 31 year habit.]
So where was I? Yes, coffee. Here’s how it was made at home, courtesy of Latha Narasimhan at the Yum Blog.
Nowadays I spend my time learning about different teas, training myself to distinguish my gunpowders from my silver needles. A part of me, nevertheless, keeps an eye on what’s happening in the world of coffee. Which brings me to the point of this post.
This little character. The luwak, a type of civet. Coffee beans that have been digested and egested by these creatures are treasured for their taste, treasured to the tune of $600 USD per pound. The most expensive coffee beans in the world.
That’s all right then. You get some coffee beans. Give them to your local friendly neighbourhood civet, wait for them to be digested and defecated. Then you collect the faeces, separate out the beans, make coffee with them. All’s well that ends well.
That wasn’t the part that got me. What got me was something far simpler. Questions like “How did they know? What made them try to make a drink out of the detritus in animal droppings? What else did they try? What are they going to convince us about next?”
Answers on a postcard. Preferably undigested.