Drinking Bali, Part III: Cat-poo-cino

catpoo

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It has reached a point where I am getting bored of writing about Bali and want to return my blog to Hong Kong.  If I feel this way, then I’m sure some – if not all – HK readers do too.  I am also getting seriously back logged.  I need some kind of writing laxative to cure myself of all this constipated content – to just let all my reviews rush out, in one single flush of genius; pooooof and it’s poosted!  What a relief that would be.  Alass.

Bali Pulina

Banjar Pujung Kelod, Tegallalang, Bali, Indonesia – Ubud day trip.

My last section for Bali will be on Kopi Luwak, better known as ‘cat poo coffee’ or ‘civet coffee’ to most of those outside Indonesia.  In Tagalog, it’s kape alamid, and in Vietnamese, caphe cut chon.

The cats doing all these famous poops are not actually cats; they are civets with Bali belly.  It’s rather strange how a large majority of us have heard about this mammal’s poop and how it’s processed into some of the best coffee in the world, but aren’t sure what the hell a civet actually is.  It’s a bit of an ecological insult, don’t you think?  Eating an animal’s shit and not knowing what they look like.  It’s like sleeping with someone and forgetting their name.  Yeah, yeah, exactly like that…

After that paragraph, I really am sorry I cannot provide you with a picture of a civet.  They are nocturnal mammals and we visited the plantation in the day, so I only had a brief glimpse of one running around in a log… Wiki it if you’re still curious.  They’re kind of cute, but rather lithe as Wikipedia observes, so they look a little sneaky.  Nothing sneaky about their poops though.

20130824_162316See all that mess there?!  That’s the aftermath of a civet eating coffee berries – undigested beans.  Fun fact: civet coffee is decaffeinated as a result.

20130824_162720The coffee bean poo pellets get collected, washed, and dried in the sun before they’re roasted, ready to be ground.  Everything at the plantation we went to was very old-school, including the fire stove and massive wooden pestle and mortar used to ground the beans into coffee.  No wonder kopi luwak is considered one of the most expensive coffees in the world; it takes fucking ages to make a single batch with that thing.

20130824_163852And honestly, what’s the point?

At Bali Pulina, you are guided around the plantation and various stages of processing before you reach the cafe, where you can sample some kopi luwak for RP50,000 (HKD34) and nine varieties of tea and coffee for free, along with some sweet potato crisps.  We weren’t impressed with our cat poo coffee, but we absolutely loved a few of the freebies and had a lot of fun taste-testing the samples while we overlooked the beautiful rice terraces of Ubud.

We bought our favourites at the souvenir shop – a packet of lemon tea, ginseng coffee and cocoa powder for around RP110,000 – and have been rationing them back home for important occasions.

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4 comments
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