The motto of the Animal Coffee website is “from cat to cup.” That’s because the Luwak, a marsupial that looks like a cat in the islands of Indonesia, climbs trees, eats the ripest coffee beans and shits them out in nice fermented clumps (pictured here). Local villagers go out and collect the droppings and sell them around the world for as much as $75 per pound. What started as, presumably, a way for lazy villagers to get coffee without harvesting the trees has since evolved into the world’s priciest specialty coffee. No joke, here’s an excerpt:
“To obtain beans while still in this state they must be collected almost immediately after they are deposited on the forest floor. Once they have been exposed to the elements for even a very short period, particularly in the rainy season, they break down into individual beans and we can no longer be sure that they are genuine kopi luwak.”
That’s right, cat shit coffee is serious business. If you want to charge someone $75 per pound for coffee you better make sure it’s coming out of a cat’s ass. Still, in stark contrast, I know the owner of Geek Acres (here’s their mascot mule), which produces the most labor intensive coffee in the world. I believe that one pound of Geek Acres may sell for more than $75 per pound.