A Prosperous New Year to All! What a great way to start the New Year and greet the morning with a sip of hot coffee . . .
Do you know that Davao produces the world’s most expensive coffee called Civet Coffee?
These coffee beans are harvested not from trees but from the droppings of the local Asian palm civet (Paradoxorus philippinensis) called the Philippine civet "cat" which after chewing and swallowing the ripest and sweetest coffee cherries produces what has been dubbed as the world's most expensive and coveted coffee variety.
|Philippine Civet Cat|
The Philippine civet "cat" is not actually a cat of the feline family, but of the family Viverridae of Africa and Asia, a nocturnal cat-like animal that belongs to the mongoose family and is specifically classified under Asian Palm Civets having anal scent glands that secrete a fluid with a musky odor which is even used in the manufacture of perfumes. It is a nearer relative of the African and Central Asian mongoose, and it closely resembles the weasel of the Americas. Its local names are "Alamid" or "Musang" in Tagalog and Southern Luzon, "Balos" in Davao del Sur and South Cotabato’s dialect, and "Motit" in Ilocano.
Why does Civet Coffee taste so good?
The Philippine civet "cat" uses its nose to choose the ripest and sweetest coffee cherries and relentlessly eats them during coffee season. The animal digests only the pulp of the beans which passes through the civet's digestive tract and naturally ferments the beans in its digestive system where enzymes break down some of the proteins, producing beans of low acidity and thereby resulting in a very smooth, much less acidic brew. The process is very natural and one may say, it is very "organic"!
The droppings are usually harvested by hand from the plantation floor, and the beans are then cleaned up, air dried for a couple of days, and roasted to produce the unique taste and aroma.
Unlike all other coffee, the Civet Coffee has no bitter taste. It produces a soft to pungent smell but its alluring odor is very distinct and unique. The intensity of its dark chocolate-like aroma is so smooth that it tasted like a fermented plum with hazelnuts. While it may perhaps lack scientific basis, the Civet Coffee is considered by some to be an aphrodisiac.
|Mount Apo Civet Coffee|
Civet Coffee sells for an average of USD $150 to $200 per 25 grams. In Davao, the beans are mainly sourced from the company of Davao businessman, Philip D. Dizon, of the PSD Group, one of the top agricultural product producers in Davao, who has a half hectare civet coffee farm at the foothill of the country’s highest mountain peak, Mount Apo, in Kapatagan, Davao del Sur.
For many years, the Civet cats had been considered farm pests and were hunted down and killed by farmers in view of the destruction they bring to their crops, unmindful that these civet cats are a good source of livelihood and the world’s most valuable coffee. It is from this scenario that Mr. Dizon started his civet coffee farm not only for business but also to help the farmers benefit from the civet coffee industry. He now buys Altura coffee beans from the farmers to feed his civet cats. The farm currently produces 60 to 90 parchments of civet coffee every week which are sold on a regular basis to buyers from Manila and other countries.
The Mount Apo Civet Coffee and Mt. Apo Altura Coffee beans which were recognized with distinction during the recent Food and Hotel Thailand Show in Bangkok, are also available at the Davao Crocodile Park which Mr. Dizon also owns, in souvenir shops at the Davao International Airport, Dizon Farms at Rizal Street, Hotel Galleria, Villa Margarita, and D’Leonor Hotel.
Mt. Apo Civet Cofee
Riverfront, Corporate City, Diversion Highway Ma-a, Davao City 8000 Philippines
Phone (082) 286-8883 or 286-1054