When I was in Vietnam I heard about a magical coffee that was known as the best coffee in the world. According to my source it was the best taste, the purest bean and gave you the biggest buzz of all the coffees ever. The only catch, and the thing that gave it the most super powers, is the fact it’s made from a coffee bean pooed out by rare Vietnamese weasels.
These weasels are known as civets – and these civets are among the world’s greatest coffee connoisseurs. Their special noses mean they can sniff out the best and fleshiest beans for the eating. Once consumed their digestive enzymes work to ferment the beans, breaking down the proteins inside them.
The coffee this then produces is more generally known as Kopi Luwak – very popular in the Philippines and Indonesia.
As the broken down beans are pooped out entrepreneurial poo gatherers will harvest the faeces, first washing then drying them for weeks until the outer skin falls off. They’ll then dash the beans with sugar, salt and butter and roast them to create a delicious coffee that can sell for more than £50 a cup around the world.
Civet poo coffee is one of the most sought after coffees for coffee lover, around the world.
In Vietnam the civet poo coffee is then known as ca phe chon, or civet-cat coffee. My boyfriend and I decided to give it a go in a little cafe in Ho Chi Minh City where the staff were proud to tell us exactly the journey of that bean to my cup.
It was indeed smoky, rich and with a hint of chocolate – mmm delicious weasel poo coffee.
Is Civet Coffee cruel?
Essentially, yes. I tried this coffee back in 2009, and had no idea – in fact, the thought didn’t even cross my mind that it might be. It was hyped, so I tried it.
Now, in 2020 I’m a much more informed and responsible traveller, as I think we all are. I would not drink this civet poo coffee again.
“To make the inhumane coffee, civets are often captured in the wild and locked up in small, barren, filthy cages. They’re deprived of everything that’s essential to their well-being, including exercise and a spacious, natural environment.”– PETA
Some report say that the civets are bred and kept in captivity and overfed to keep creating more feaces. If you want to know more check out this article on Kopi Luwak on the National Geographic.
There are a lot more fun things you can do in Vietnam than drink civet poo coffee!
More on travelling in Vietnam
Click here to read all my advice on travelling to Vietnam. I’ve got over 30 posts, so you’ll be well prepared!
Interesting Facts About Vietnam to Know Before You Go
11 Great Festivals in Vietnam to Time Your Trip By
Top Tips for Travelling Vietnam Solo
Your Vietnam Packing List
Travel to Vietnam: How to Plan the Perfect Trip