Why Civet Coffee Has a Unique Flavorful Taste?

During my last visit to Ate Cora’s Restaurant, I saw a young alamid on cage. I visited him again after a several months. The young alamid is now an adult. And there is more, she added two young civets. Her civet collection is now three. Too bad, all of them are females. I wish she could get a male – for reproduction purposes.

young alamid civet cat

Here are some details of our conversation:

Me: Are you feeding coffee to your civets?

Ate Cora: Yes. However, the civets are very picky. They are only eating the very ripe coffees. Those with very soft skin and pulp.

Me: How long do the coffee stays in civets stomach?

Ate Cora: Approximately one day. Any coffee eaten now will be defecated by tomorrow. The hard coffee parchment is still intact.

It is believed that civet coffee has a unique flavor cause of the fermentation inside the alamid stomach. However, based on what Ate Cora said, the civet stomach has nothing to do with the flavor. The 24 hour period might not be enough for a significant fermentation process to occur.  Civet stomach are unable to digest the parchment – the coffee bean inside the parchment is untouched.

Then why civet coffee has a unique flavorful taste? Ate Cora also mentioned earlier that civets are very picky, eating only very ripe / overripe coffees. The fermentation process occurred before the coffee entered the civet mouth. Overripe fruits are partially fermented, just like overripe mango – notice the slight alcoholic taste.

Then the civet coffee is a collection of overripe and partially fermented coffee. A collection that can only be done by alamid sensitive senses. Majority of coffee in circulation are harvested by means of stripping. All coffee, unripe, medium ripe, ripe and overripe  are all gathered at once.


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One Comment

  • Civets should not be kept in cages, that’s illegal. Does Ate Cora have a permit from the DENR to keep these wild animals? Not likely. She is violating Philippines laws on wildlife protection.

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