By now you know that the world's rarest and most expensive coffee is picked from the feces of palm civets, or toddy cats. Coffee berries are part of the Southeastern Asian animal's diet, and after the beans are excreted, they're collected, fermented, and roasted to make Kopi Luwak, which sells for $200 per pound. But little did you know scientists were hard at work studying the chemical makeup of these intestine-processed beans.
So expensive is the coffee, priced at up to $80 per cup, that authentic beans are mixed with cheap ones so sellers can stretch out the profit, and regular coffee is sold blatantly bearing its name. Rest assured, researchers have been working in the lab to resolve this gourmet dilemma.
Next time you drop $150 on a pound of cat poo coffee -- which will only last the average java junky about 12 days -- you'll be able to test if it's the real deal. A scientific method has now been developed to identify pure Kopi Luwak by its unique chemical properties, likely gleaned from the stomach enzymes of the animal.
The scientists said theirs "is the first report to address the selection and successful validation of discriminant markers for the authentication of Kopi Luwak." Finally.
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