While currency is what keeps the world turning, just about everything powered by human beings has been impacted by coffee. Coffee is more than a drink, but instead a basic part of cultures all around the world, with many of us relying upon it, even if caffeine isn’t always the greatest thing for us. And while most of us are complaining about the prices at our local Starbucks, Starbucks is far from the most expensive coffee in the world.
That designation belongs to Indonesia’s civet coffee, which can sell for upwards of $100 per cup. In a world of ever-evolving coffee concoctions, something about the more rural concept of a coffee whose beans are partially digested by an Asian palm civet, collected from their waste and cleaned off before roasted, ground and brewed still takes the cake, says Quartz. The process to make that coffee, though, may not be worth the price of admission.
While wild civets snack on coffee beans as part of their balanced diet, those in captivity are overfed unripe beans. The typically nocturnal animals can also suffer from being caged in claustrophobic sunlit spaces. When agitated, they fight amongst themselves, gnaw on their own legs, and have been found passing blood in their stool. Many grow sick and die due to stress.
The coffee, once only collected from healthy, wild civets, now has become an industry that involves farms and essentially slave labor. The horrid conditions are what produces this delicacy, making it quite a bit less appetizing for coffee fanatics looking for cruelty-free blends. According to the report, while there are attempts to investigate the conditions that the coffee is produced under, it’s difficult due to how spread out production is among Asian countries and how little regulation there is. The report states it has been difficult to really pinpoint what coffee is cruelty-free and which is produced at farms with these awful conditions.
There will always be expensive coffees, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere for the truly divine, mellow buzz that comes from a good cup of coffee.