|Roasted coffee beans made from collecting the poop from the civet cat and picking out the beans. Called 'Kopi Luwak,' the beans can cost up to $400 a pound|
Headline: Plucked from civet feces, 'cat poo coffee' is NYC's most expensive at $30 per cup
(from NY Daily News) At $30 a cup, "Kopi Luwak" is made from beans collected from the droppings of a small, cat-like mammal called a civet.
The java - often called "cat poo coffee" - isn't everyone's cup of tea and was nearly banned in Indonesia this month for being unsanitary. (AAHour note: "Ya think?!")
Some New Yorkers, though, are saying bottom's up to the strange brew. At coffee shops like Porto Rico in the West Village, the orders come about once a week, said owner Peter Longo, 58.
"At first I did not want to take it on," Longo said. "I thought it was kind of dirty because of where it comes from."
The pricey coffee originated in Indonesia and the Philippines, where folks noticed the civets eating coffee berries, collected their droppings and picked out the beans.
Coffee consultant Michael Peter, 26, of Tamp Tamp Coffee Lab in New York, said the cats' stomach acids produce a smooth-tasting brew.
Westerners took note and began exporting the kitty-poo joe stateside in the last few years, Peter said. Because of its unique processing, a pound can cost from $340 to $400.
The Daily News bought a quarter pound of the predigested joe and offered some to city coffee drinkers alongside a sample of Ethiopia Michelle, a fruity flavored coffee that goes for about $3.50 a cup.
Peter, who had studied the coffee's origin but had never tasted it, blended 20 ounces and took a sip for the first time.
"It tastes earthy, musty. I try to be partial, but when I think where it comes from, I can smell the feces," Peter said. "It's not worth the price."
Ben Lieberman, 28, a coffee shop manager from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was turned off after the first sip.
"It has a dirty taste to it," Lieberman said. "It's heavy. It's like, 'Dude you just crapped in my coffee.'"
Mona Shomali and her husband, Ian Atkins, both 31 from Hell's Kitchen, proved they're true coffee aficionados by sampling a mug.
"I definitely like the kitty poo coffee better," Shomali said.
Her husband wasn't planning to shell out the cash for it, though.
"I'll drink it free," Atkins said. "With that price, I don't see adding cat-pooped coffee to my kitchen shelves."