Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Cat Crap Coffee the Latest Luxury Product - Approved for Muslims, Too
Coffee from cat droppings clean enough for Muslims
Jul 20 2010
(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2004 file photo, a civet cat climbs a coffee tree to eat ripe cherries at a farm in Indang, Cavite province in Philippines. Indonesia's top Islamic body had said it could forbid followers from drinking the world's most expensive coffee, extracted from the dung of a civet cat, over concerns it is unclean as early as Tuesday, July 20, 2010. Instead, it declared it "clean."
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia's top Islamic body declared Tuesday that Muslims can drink civet coffee _ the world's most expensive coffee, which is extracted from the dung of civet cats.
A preacher recently suggested the beverage might not be "halal" _ or religiously approved _ because its unusual provenance makes it unclean. But after a long discussion Tuesday, the influential Indonesian Ulema Council said that the coffee, known locally as Kopi Luwak, could be consumed as long as the beans were washed.
Kopi Luwak, which takes it name from the Indonesian word for civets, is made from hard beans that have been eaten by the nocturnal critters and then fermented in their stomachs before being pooped out and roasted. Civet cats are mongoose-like animals.
It's highly prized for its smooth flavor and bitterless aftertaste, sometimes fetching well over $200 a pound ($440 per kilogram) online.
"Kopi Luwak can be declared 'halal' after passing through a washing process," said Maruf Amien, acting head of the council. "Producing, selling and drinking it is allowed."
In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, Kopi Luwak is produced in the main Java island, Sumatra and Sulawesi. It is also found under different names elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Only 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) are said to be produced annually worldwide.
The Ulema Council has often issued fatwas, or edicts, including several controversial rulings against smoking and yoga. Its edicts are not legally binding, but many devout Muslims abide by them.