Cat coffee – the untapped potential of Kopi Luwak coffee from India

By Aparna Pallavi – downtoearth.org

It takes guts to make the most expensive coffee […] Passing through the gut of the cat, which eats coffee berries for their juicy pulp, does not change the beans in any visible way.  […] The global yield of Kopi Luwak is about 200 kg a year, and its price in the international market is a whopping US $600 a kg. After all, one has to go around looking for the lumps under bushes. Ganesh produces three to four kg a year on his nine-hectare plantation in the Biligiri Ranganatha Temple Wildlife Sanctuary in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka.

Coffee - Photo: Aparna Pallavi on downtoearth.org

Photos: Aparna Pallavi on downtoearth.org

The civet that value-adds Ganesh’s coffee beans also visits farms of 2,500 Soliga tribal families who cultivate coffee in the sanctuary. Stories of how he sells beans from civet scat at Rs. 250 a kg— more than twice the price the Soligas receive—have been around for years but no one has tried to process them separately.

Is it not possible to train the tribals how to produce the expensive beans? Ganesh thinks not, for several reasons. […] C Madegowda, researcher at ATREE, a non-profit in Bengaluru, agrees that cheating cannot be ruled out. Madegowda, a Soliga, estimates that collectively, all Soliga tribals could procure about 100 kg of cat coffee. “But they find it too much of a hassle,” he added. […]

Source: Cat coffee – Issue Date: 2011-1-15
Address : http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/cat-coffee
Date Visited: Sat Sep 17 2011 19:22:37 GMT+0200 (CEST)

 

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