Kafe Balos (Mindanao Civet Coffee)

| Thursday, September 18, 2008

(Design: Kyawster / Text:Fred F.)
Featured in TV Patrol SOCSKSARGEN

The Philippines has recently discovered it produces one of the world's most expensive and coveted kinds of coffee. It comes from an unusual source - the droppings of a nocturnal, cat-like animal called the palm civet. Civets, related to the mongoose, are usually seen as pests in the Philippines and hunted for their meat but their droppings are worth their weight in gold. Known locally as alamid or balos (B’laan dialect), civets are carnivorous but they also have a taste for the sweet, red coffee cherries that contain the beans. The beans pass through the civet whole after fermenting in the stomach and that's what gives the coffee its unique taste and aroma. Civet coffee is more oily, there's more aroma and it has such good taste that you can get value for money even if the cost is high.

Civets have a broadly cat-like general appearance, though the muzzle is extended and often pointed, rather like an otter or a mongoose. They range in length from about 17 to 28 in (400 to 700 mm) (excluding their long tails) and in weight from about 3 to 10 lb (1 to 5 kg). Viverrids are native to Africa (bar the area immediately south of the Mediterranean), Madagascar, the Iberian Peninsula, southern China, and Southeast Asia. Favored habitats include woodland, savanna, and mountain biomes and, above all, tropical rainforest. In consequence, many are faced with severe loss of habitat; several species are considered vulnerable and the Otter Civet is classified as endangered.

Very little is known about civets' mating habits. They breed year round, producing litters of 1-6 fully-furred babies after a gestation period of 60-81 days. Some species may have 2 litters per year. Civets are omnivorous, supplementing a meat diet (both hunted and scavenged) with fruit, eggs, and possibly roots.

The civet produces a musk (also called civet) highly valued as a fragrance and stabilizing agent for perfume. Both male and female civets produce the strong-smelling secretion, which is produced by the civet's perineal glands. It is harvested by either killing the animal and removing the glands, or by scraping the secretions from the glands of a live animal. The latter is the preferred method today.

Kopi Luwak, also known as caphe cut chon (fox-dung coffee) in Vietnam and kape alamid in the Philippines, is coffee that is prepared using coffee cherries that have been eaten and partially digested by the Asian Palm Civet, then harvested from its feces.
Filipino coffee traders called on villagers in Mountain Province to stop capturing and eating civet cats (Paradoxurus philippinensis) because a decline in the cat population would cause a decline in the supply of one of the world's most expensive coffee varieties.

Civet cats eat ripe coffee berries, and local coffee traders gather the beans from their droppings to produce the most expensive coffee varieties in the world. The civet cat, locally known as motit or alamid, is a nocturnal animal that roams the forests of northern Philippines and dwells on rocks where fruit-bearing trees grow nearby. Civet cat eats the ripest and sweetest varieties of coffee beans. Their digestive tracts filter the beans that pass through the intestines. The beans that are not digested are used as an ingredient in the making of what Filipinos call "Coffee Alamid."

Local producers say they wash the beans thoroughly and heat them to 250 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bacteria. SARS fears have stopped the Chinese from eating civet cats. But that hasn't turned off others from sipping the strangest of brews — one they insist is made from coffee beans eaten, partly digested and then excreted by the weasel-like animals.

5 comments:

iceah said...

wow,really c: am a mindanaoan c: an i'd like to feature this and link it to your post c: thanx for the info c:

iceah said...

thanx for the visit c: i will be posting this at my other blog and linking it now to you c: here at :

http://wow-legs.blogspot.com/

iceah said...

thanx dude for answering for me at wow-legs c:

Saori said...

heya there can i leave a link here? id like to know you.

http://myfreetvtube.blogspot.com/

Kafe Balos said...

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