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Civet Coffee - What's That?

Updated: May 7, 2022

If you’re a coffee lover, you'll probably have heard of civet coffee, also known as kopi luwak. This coffee is the most expensive in the world, made from coffee berries that have been eaten by civet cats and then pooped out. The poop berries are then roasted and ground to make coffee that you can drink. For this reason some people will call it "cat poop coffee". Civet coffee is often sold as being "wild-sourced", but getting enough berries to supply the demand from the poo of wild civet cats would be impossible. Huge areas of ground would need to be checked for civet waste, the waste would then have to be collected and processed to extract the berries. It is far easier to keep these animals in cages, feed them berries and catch the poop berries when they come out.

civet cat
Civet cats aren't actually cats at all

Civet Cats

Civet cats look like a large weasel, with a fuller body and rounder face. They have big brown eyes and rounded ears similar to a rodent. They are around 1m long, not small creatures and they can weigh up to 5kg. Civet cats are nocturnal animals that like to live a solitary life. They live in forests and are omnivorous, eating mainly fruits, including mangos and rambutan, but also small mammals and insects, not jut coffee berries.

The Coffee

People that like to drink civet cat coffee say that it is sweeter than arabica or robusta coffee, the two types of bean that are normally used. However, within the coffee industry, kopi luwak is widely regarded as a gimmick or novelty item. People buy it for the story rather than the taste and in taste tests it always scores low with testers saying that it taste "thin" or "stale".

Farming For Poop Berries

Civet cats are often captured from the wild for farming when they are about 6 months old. They are feed mainly coffee berries, an unhealthy diet for a civet cat, they need more variety than this. The cages that the animals are kept in are too small and the civets often suffer mental damage from this, pacing their tiny living space and chewing their own tails. In a PETA investigation investigators saw one civet cat who appeared to be blind but was still being used for kopi luwak production. They are not cared for, they are simply kept alive, these are nocturnal animals that are kept in outdoor cages, in direct sunlight. No quiet or shade is provided and animals were seen panting constantly in the unrelenting heat. The misery that they suffer for a cup of coffee is unbelievable. What makes it worse is that PETA first uncovered how these animals were treated in 2013 and since then nothing has changed.

Farming civet cats has also been linked to an outbreak of SARS, as animals are kept in small, bare, cages, covered in faeces. These cages are then lined up and even stacked, disease spreads quickly from one animal to the next and then passes to humans. Investigators from PETA visited civet cat farms in Bali and found cruel, disgusting and unbearable conditions at all of them, they also found civet cats being sold at live-animal markets. But, as well as SARS, covid-19 has been infecting civet cats, this can become another global pandemic with more variations and mutations occurring with the animals being shipped all over the world.

If you ever see civet coffee being sold tell the people selling it about the truth behind the production of this coffee, the pooping part isn't even the worst of it. Share the facts on social media and tell your friends. That these, or any, animals are treated like this for a fashion, for a trend, has got to stop.

You can find more information on the PETA website


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