Some coffee drinkers pooh-pooh the exotic and expensive coffee that comes from the Asian palm civet's poop, but it has become a tempting target for fraud. And there has been no standard test to determine whether products labeled as civet coffee, sold for $150-$227 a pound, are the real thing.
Now, scientists say they have developed a way to authenticate civet coffee, according to a study published online July 27 in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
The making of authentic civet coffee begins in fields in countries such as Indonesia, where the small mammals pick ripe coffee cherries. They digest the soft fruit surrounding the beans and excrete the beans, which are then cleaned, wet-fermented, sun-dried and roasted. The coffee is sold in stores in Southeast Asia and is available online.