The Rise of the Civets Economies

Of all the world's weird and wonderful delicacies, civet coffee is surely among the quirkiest.

At a cool $50 per cup, the prized aroma of this luxurious beverage comes not from the hand of an expert barista, but rather the stomach of a nocturnal mammal.

Civets are cat-like creatures that feed on coffee cherries in the hills and mountains of South East Asia. Although civets can digest the flesh of the cherries, they pass the coffee beans, which become fermented by enzymes in their stomachs before being excreted.

The civet's loss is the coffee aficionado's gain, however, because the enzymes give the beans, once thoroughly washed and roasted, a unique chocolaty flavour.

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