Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Indonesia's top Islamic body declares cat dung coffee "clean"

Hey, even devout followers of the "Religion of Peace" need a little refreshment every now and then.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Indonesia's top Islamic body declared Tuesday that Muslims can drink civet coffee—the world's most expensive coffee, which is extracted from the dung of civet cats. 
A preacher recently suggested the beverage might not be "halal"—or religiously approved—because its unusual provenance makes it unclean. But after a long discussion Tuesday, the influential Indonesian Ulema Council said that the coffee, known locally as Kopi Luwak, could be consumed as long as the beans were washed.

Kopi Luwak, which takes it name from the Indonesian word for civets, is made from hard beans that have been eaten by the nocturnal critters and then fermented in their stomachs before being pooped out and roasted. Civet cats are mongoose-like animals.

It's highly prized for its smooth flavor and bitterless aftertaste, sometimes fetching well over $200 a pound ($440 per kilogram) online.

"Kopi Luwak can be declared 'halal' after passing through a washing process," said Maruf Amien, acting head of the council. "Producing, selling and drinking it is allowed."
I'm sure the clerics engaged in a lot of deep spiritual discernment in coming to their decision but, all that considered, I think I'll stick with Land of a Thousand Hills.