If you are a connoisseur of rare coffees of the world, you will surely go gaga over the taste of the dung coffee produced in Peru. What’s different about this coffee is that it is procured from the excreta of a hog-nosed South American mammal called coati, a species similar to raccoon. Coati locally known as uchunari or mishasho lives in the wild across wide ranging habitats including hot and arid regions, Amazonian rainforests, and cold Andean mountains. Dung coffee producers corral and feed them red ripe and sweet Arabica coffee beans and collect their poop.
Coati consumes different fruits and vegetables along with coffee beans. This produces coffee with unique aroma and complex taste because the scent of other food items seeps into coffee beans. The excreted coffee bean stays intact and only the top layer of the bean is altered with enzymes and bile juices. The enzymatic action results in removal of bitter proteins from the bean. Once coati excrement is collected, it is thoroughly washed and dried hygienically. The bean is then milled to remove the second layer.
After milling, the coffee bean is roasted at 220 degree Celsius. Roasting removes any remaining mycobacterium making it safe for human consumption. The final stage of grinding results in high-quality organically produced coffee ready to be exported to markets like the US where coffee growers fetch higher price. This distinctive dung coffee production finds its origin in Indonesia where kopi luwak producers collect droppings of Asian palm civet and follow the same technique. Peruvian producers mimic their technique albeit with a different animal’s excrement.
Limited supply makes coati dung coffee the most expensive coffee in the world. One coati excretes 8 to 9 grams of excrement every day, enabling coffee producers in Peru to produce only 450 kg of coffee every year. Café Misha produced by Chanchamayo Highland Coffee in Peru sells at $1400 per kg. And you have to shell out anywhere between $20 and $65 for a cup of dung coffee. Despite its popularity and unique taste many purists believe the coffee loses its original flavor through this process and does not qualify to be among the top coffees in the world. Nevertheless, you must try this rare dung of a coffee when in Peru.