Make no beans about it. Coffee connoisseurs are considering a rather unconventional choice, thanks to the droppings of a particularly picky South American bird.
Coffee produced by the Jacu Bird of Brazil is fetching high prices on the world market, although it’s made from the excrement of the fowl. Yes, some folks may cry foul over that, but it’s true.
In 2009, Henrique Sloper was growing miffed to see Jacu Birds pecking at the best coffee cherries on his estate. Soon, however, Sloper discovered the birds’ droppings, containing the digested coffee beans, could be harvested and brewed to produce a potent coffee concoction.
Jabu Bird droppings are supposedly odorless. The coffee they produce is described as sweet and full-bodies, although perhaps somewhat more acidic than regular brews.
“It’s a unique nutty flavor,” Sloper said, “with nuances of sweet aniseed.”
After tinkering with his recipe, Sloper began marketing Jabu Bird Coffee internationally, fetching prices to ruffle nearly anyone’s feathers. A pound of the dried, predigested coffee beans costs approximately $25.
That’s not exactly chicken feed.
Jabu Bird Coffee is not the first pre-processed brew made from creature excrement. Kopi Luwak coffee, for example, is produced from the droppings of the Asian Palm Civet, a raccoon-like animal. This coffee, perhaps first originating in Sumatra, has been around for about a decade.
“Excuse me, waiter, but this coffee tastes like ____.”
Will pre-digested coffee beans become a popular delicacy? Can coffee makers take feces to fine dining, guano to gourmet, and compost to coffee bars?
Maybe it’s a secret – or a secretion.
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