A few evenings ago we drank mongoose poop coffee. Yes, you heard me correctly.
After spending most of the day in super hot, super touristy, super busy Kuta, we hopped in a bluebird taxi (taxi of choice for the discerning Balinese tourist) and headed south to Uluwatu, surfing Mecca to aspiring Kelly Slaters worldwide.
It turns out our (very nice) guesthouse was in the middle of nowhere, about 5km from the main action, surrounded by trees, monkeys, chickens and wild dogs. We headed off for a walk to civilisation to see if we could find something to do for the evening.
We stumbled upon a place advertising Luwak Coffee, which turned out to be one of a number of mock plantations throughout Bali which talk you through the process of making their ‘famous’ cuppa.
So as far as my understanding goes, there are these lovely mongoose-type creatures (civets), who only choose to eat the best coffee beans. They then do something funky in their tummies (something to do with enzymes) and end up pooping out the beans whole (having shed the unwanted outer layer in the process and making them super tasty… or something), which are then picked out, dried out, crushed up, and popped into your cuppa with some hot water (I may have missed out one or two steps).
The result is an extremely bitter cup of coffee, which, being polite British tourists, subtly poured about a tablespoon of sugar into on the sly, gritted our teeth and drank as quickly as possible.
On a more tasty note, our delightful and softly-spoken Hindu guide gave us a free taster tray of 11 different teas and coffees that they produce, aside from the Luwak speciality. As it turns out, I LOVE mangosteen tea. Anyone know if I can purchase this magical stuff back in England?
Upon further reading since our evening out drinking mongoose poop coffee, it would appear that this might purely be a tourist attraction, and not at all something that your average Balinese local would drink.
But it still makes for a good story…