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Lab produced "Kopi Luwak" coffee...


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I was nosing around on the Trung Nguyen Coffee web site today and stumbled across this info on their new Legendee Blend

For those unfamiliar with it, "Kopi Luwak" coffee (sometimes spelled Luwat) is thought by some to be total hype and others consider it to be real. In various parts of Southeast Asia and Indonesia an animal, in some cases the civet cat and in others said to be a variety of fox, eats ripened coffee cherries that have fallen on the ground and excretes the inedible part - the coffee bean itself. The various enzymes that are part of the animal's digestive system are supposed to affect the bean in some way that produces a tantalizing and unusual flavor in the roasted and brewed beans.

There's unquestionably plenty of fake cat-poop coffee sold in various places because the high price of the beans (it is the world's most expensive coffee) leaves it open to such practices.

Trung Nguyen is the "Vietnamese Starbucks" with over 400 franchised locations serving their coffee. I've had their regular coffee in iced form with condensed milk here in the US and found it to be excellent.

The "Legendee" coffee, also referred to as Fox-Legend coffee, references that story and describes using

the mixed formula and the process of creating biological enzymes in order to create such a kind of coffee

Two questions:

1) By chance have any of you tried it?

2) If there is a chemist among us... what enzymes or substances would be used?

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I still think my idea of feeding the coffee cherries to my domestic house cat and then wait at the litter box with a scoop is worth a try.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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Very slightly off topic, but my best friend worked as a research scientist for Univeler, and one of her more, erm, off-the-wall tasks in her career was to formulate fake excrement for the purposes of toilet-bowl cleaner testing.

Apparently she had to consider such parameters are odour, viscosity, stickiness-to-porcelain, and something referred to as 'bitty-ness'.

delightful. :)

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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So you're either not a chemist or just not willing to take the time to discover a new enzyme or two? For shame.  I hope your cat likes coffee cherries.

As luck would have it, I do happen to have a MSc in analytical chemistry, earned back in the early 80's. My lab days are long behind me, however, and I have no idea how they would produce a fascimile of Kopi Luwak. One could hazard a guess, though of soaking them in a warm slurry inoculated with a culture of some sort of gut flora. That could be a way of replicating the GI tract of a civet cat.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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I would assume there is a trypsin and pepsin digest portion--to simulate the stomach. Those are easily available and cheap. Then, probably a bile salt soak, to simulate the intestinal trip.

However, those would probably need to be tweaked a bit.

That's just off the top of my head after half a bottle of port.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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