I remember watching a movie that described a coffee made from beans which were eaten by weasels and squirrels, pooped out and then roasted and shipped across the world to be sold to rich idiots for outrageous prices. I’m assuming your reaction right now is similar to what mine was at the time. I couldn’t believe that this was real and if so, why in the world would you want to drink it and even more, pay up to $40/lb for something so ridiculous?!
Apparently weasel coffee is quite popular in Vietnam. Stands sell all sorts of coffee beans in nearly every market in Saigon with weasel coffee being prominently displayed and hawked by every stall owner as you pass by. In the Vietnamese town of Dalat we took a tour that included visiting coffee farms and one special one in particular; one that is a producer of weasel coffee.
We were led into a room with four cages with some very strange looking creatures. Mr. Hip our tour guide informed us that these were the weasels that produced the famous weasel coffee. In actuality they are actual a type of civit cat, but I guess they figured that weasel coffee sounds a bit more exotic than cat coffee and more mainstream than civit coffee.
In the two months of the year in which the coffee beans are ripe the civit cats are fed the fresh beans – with the casing still on – and the farmers wait anxiously for them to expel the unshelled bean for roasting. Gee, I wish my cats would poop out money into the litter box!
After staring at the fresh weasel-beans and going through all of the questions in my head once again, I was given my own cup of the special brew. Mr. Hip informed us that it is best drunk black to fully enjoy the flavor. Although I wasn’t sure I really wanted to enjoy the flavor of something that came from a weasel’s backside.
I decided I had to do it. I sniffed it and it smelled pretty good. I looked at the color. Ok, still looks like that magical coffee stuff that I so worship. Finally I put the cup to my lips and…..delicious!
It was like scrumptious sugary coffee and chocolate without adding anything. I have no idea what goes on in those little weasel bellies, but it’s not nearly as bad as I had expected. If I didn’t know where it came from I can honestly say I would be pleased to drink this stuff every morning. I just don’t every want to meet the person who came up with this strange idea for special gourmet coffee.