Coffee lover’s dream: a coffee-tea tasting!
☕️🍵☕️ Today’s lesson: In Indonesia there’s an exotic type of coffee called Luwak Coffee, named after the luwak (also known as the palm civet), an adorable small mammal that looks like a cat-raccoon hybrid. The civet feeds on coffee cherries, but can’t digest the actual bean, so it poops them out. The beans are collected and cleaned, then peeled to remove the seed inside, then roasted and ground. All of this is done by hand, making luwak coffee the most expensive coffee in the world, fetching €30 a cup in Europe or even up to $80 in the States! But like most commodities, this coffee comes with a dark environmental component: luwaks are caged in the thousands to produce this coffee, and a 2016 study published by Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit found that every luwak plantation in Bali failed to meet basic animal welfare requirements. My advice is to avoid the drink at all costs. Had I known what I was getting into when my guide asked if I liked coffee, I wouldn’t have accepted the offer to visit a Bali coffee plantation. The conditions for both luwak and cows were depressing and grim. The upside, the eight cups of my coffee-tea tasting came from normally roasted arabica beans. We can’t always make perfect choices, but we can learn and educate others when we see injustice.
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