As I write this, I am enjoying my 17th evening in Bali. It’s an incredible island that we have been enjoying a great deal for two weeks, and in due course I will report on the many exciting things we have seen and done before today. However if I may, I would like to skip all that and talk about the cup of cat shit coffee I drank today.

That’s not me doing some creative swearing to emphasise how bad it was. I actually had a coffee that was made with beans that had been passed by a feline-esque jungle dwelling mammal, and apparently it’s the most expensive coffee in the world. The story goes that the little civet (or luwak or weasely/catty/stoat-ish thing) is a very picky animal that has a particular fondness for only the finest coffee berries. It sniffs them out, eats the juicy flesh of the berry but can’t properly digest the bean inside. However some sort of enzyme in its stomach causes a reaction in the beans and removes any hint of bitterness to create a coffee that when brewed tastes smoother than highly polished silk. Because this is rather a long process which relies on wild animals doing their job properly and then local farmers being able to locate their poo and dig through it to find the necessary goodies, the street price of a kilo of this coffee is around $700; coincidentally the exact same amount You Are What You Eat’s Gillian McKeith charges for one of her stool sample sweetcorn fritters. Obviously I’m a fancy pants and I wouldn’t be taking such a ludicrously long holiday if I wasn’t rich beyond anybody’s wildest dreams, but even I have my limits. Fortunately we found ourselves in the cafe of a local cooperative run by a volunteer who is largely motivated by responsible and sustainable farming rather than making a fast buck from excrement, and a cup of his lovely brew cost less than three quid.

Bottom beans apart, the best thing about this cup of coffee was the brewing process. Having ordered a one person pot of coffee I was presented with a sort of Indonesian chemistry set. There was fire, metal, tubes and a big glass with some ground coffee in it. All very exciting but I hadn’t got the slightest idea what I was supposed to do with it.

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After a few minutes and a few words of explanation from the man in charge, things started to happen. The flame heats water in the can above it which, once boiling, overflows through the pipe and into the glass. Then after a few seconds in the ground coffee the water is sucked back up the pipe due to the vacuum created when it left the can. Perhaps. I didn’t really understand what he was saying and I switched off when the explanation became too dependent on science, preferring to put it all down to magic, and I just enjoyed the show instead.

After all the excitement of the brewing process (which you can repeat up to three times depending on your coffee-strength preference; I opted for two because I prefer to sip my coffee rather than eat it with a spoon) the actual drinking of the stuff was going to struggle to keep the momentum of the experience up. It was though a very lovely cup of coffee and was definitely worth the effort of making it. Especially when there are hipsters in New York drinking it for ten times the price I paid. Add to that the fact that they don’t get a plate of the worlds best ever banana fritters with home grown chocolate dipping sauce to go with it, and I’m looking kind of like a freaking genius right now.

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