Kopi Luwak is the worlds most expensive coffee, averaging at about $200 per pound. Why you might ask? Because civets, cat like creatures, eats coffee berries and poop them out. The freshly expelled beans from the center of the berry are then collected and become the famous Kopi Luwak coffee bean.
Because of its high price tag, there are bound to be imitators. How is one to prove or disprove that their coffee was previously digested by a civet? We now have the answer to that question! Imposters beware!!!
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry’s summer issue explores the unique fingerprint that civets leave on coffee beans. Researchers at Osaka University in Japan analyzed 21 different types of coffee beans and found distinct fingerprints of citric and malic acid on Kopi Luwak beans that distinguished them from other beans. They were even able to tell if a roast had been mixed with 50% Kopi Luwak.
You read the title right. Food Network has decided to teach us how to turn coffee grounds into coffee granitas. I’m interested!
What is a coffee granita you ask? Its a frozen drink made from used coffee grounds. Jonathan Kallini, pastry chef at Atlanta’s Floataway Cafe, appeared on Food Network and gave the secret to making this drink. In order to make this concoction Kallini says to steep the coffee grounds again adding sugar and salt then freeze them.
Well, this is certainly a creative way to get more out of your beans!
Starbucks has made the decision to raise the price on some of its drinks after its announcement that it would absorb the rising cost of coffee. The decision is due to the price of green Arabica coffee. They said Wednesday that due to the near 13 year high on the green beans along with the rise in the cost of dairy, sugar and cocoa, they must raise the price on larger sizes and hard to make drinks.
“Over the last six months, a highly speculative green coffee market and dramatically increased commodity costs have completely altered the economic and financial picture of many players in the coffee industry,” said Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz, in a statement.
The prices have been rising from the roasters for months and Starbucks has resisted changing its prices up until now, but “the extreme nature of the cost increase has made it untenable for us to continue to do so.”
In the Philippines coffee is becoming a big business. Coffee trees grow abundantly on these islands. But the Philippines have a little more help in making coffee “extra special” than other counties do. How is that?
Some Philippine beans get a little extra processing which makes them the most expensive coffee beans in the world. This processing is handled by an unlikely employee who gets paid in coffee cherries. His taxes, if you will, are then pooped out in the form of processed coffee beans which are quickly collected and packaged for your enjoyment. So just who is this little worker?
The civet is a catlike creature, although not actually a cat. He is nocturnal and furry. He loves coffee cherries and in return for his delicious feast the enzymes and acids in his stomach ferment the beans and when they are excreted from the animal’s intestinal track they produce a lovely chocolaty and smooth brew with no bitter aftertaste. These lovely beans sell for hundreds of dollars a pound. As you can imagine, civet farms are popping up all along this impoverished region. Indonesia also has this coffee, better known to the world a copi luwak.
The fact that these coffee farms are on the rise may help; the consumer by bringing down cost. However, with such high margins one as to wonder if they are getting the genuine deal or a knock off of the origional.
“Because of its increasing popularity, there is more civet coffee than ever, but I don’t trust the quality,” said Rudy Widjaja, 68, whose 131-year-old family-owned coffee store in Jakarta, Warung Tinggi, is considered Indonesia’s oldest.
Goad Sibayan, a purchaser of these coffee beans, has found some issues with the much sought after coffee. He went to Cordillera to a arm known as Pat-ogs and inspected their beans. Upon inspection he said he would pay just under top-grade price. He had found some impurities — inferior beans that the civet had spat out; beans chewed on, not by civets, but bats — that were indiscernible to all but Mr. Sibayan’s expert eye or, rather, tongue.
To read more about Mr. Sibayan’s trip to the Philippines, please visit http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/world/asia/18civetcoffee.html?pagewanted=2
J.M. Smucker Co, who owns Folgers, as announced that it will close its plant in Kansas City as of mid-2012. The phase out of the plant will begin early next year, when Folgers will begin laying off approximately 50 of the plant’s 180 workers.
For those who are a fan of coffee, its always interesting to look into the roasting process. From the green bean right to your cup, its all very interesting. I have now found a new hobby, roasting my own beans at home.
There are a number of coffee roasters available for home use. Some are affordable and some are on the very expensive side. I tried out the more affordable FreshRoast + eight home coffee roaster which runs a little over $100. I found it to be a good product and I got 5 pounds of green beans for free to boot!
This particular roaster is perfect for a small household of one or two people. It looks very nice sitting on my kitchen counter as well. Always a plus! It only takes 7 minutes to roast 3.5lbs of green coffee beans. It has timer and a chaff collector. It is fairly quiet and does not smoke up the house. The smell of the roasting beans is amazing.
Columbia, the world’s third largest producer of coffee, is predicting that there output of their beans could drop to 10,000,000 bags less this year than last year, according to Jorge Lazano who is the president of the National Association of Columbia Coffee Exporters. The numbers for May are not good, compared to the same time last year. The crop may fall 13% from the amount harvested this time last year. The Association is sticking to it previous prediction for this years crop being between 10.5 million to 11.5 million bags this year, each bag weighing 132 lbs. They expect to still meet the needs of all contracted shipments, even with the lower output. The prediction that Columbia will harvest less beans this year than in the past has made coffee gain 22% this year. Coffee may exceed $1.70 per pound, which is a ten year high. This is due to excessive rainfall which has damaged the crops, according to the growers federation.