In an earlier blogpost I wrote of the obscure pleasure of sharing my breakfast cereal (Grape Nuts – made in the USA by POST, certified kosher) with mice. In return for the cereal they had eaten the mice left me small crescent shaped items between my Grape Nuts, black in colour (mark that observation – it is significant), that had no strong flavour but retained undoubted nutrient residues.
Today I shared coffee with cats. The cats in question – civets – live in Bali, Sumatra and Sulawesi. They eat raw coffee beans, process them and return them to local farmers who sell them to gullible visitors.These people, being tourists, have more money than the locals. My brother was one of these and he purchased some beans. On his return he gifted them to me. He told me they were a form of catshit, they tasted good and I should grind and drink. It sounded like bullshit so I googled “Bali Coffee Luwak”. Wiki said my brother did not lie. Apparently the black Luwak rivals Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee for flavour. Years back took out a bank loan and bought a thimbleful of the Jamaican. It was indeed good.
I opened the matchbox sized pack of brother beans. They were a familiar black colour. I ground them fine, added hot water, waited, then drank the infusion. Splendid!
I am grateful to the frugal farmers of Bali. They set an admirable example of thrift. And they give rise to wonder: what goodness, what nutritional value, what flavour sensation do we waste when we press the larger button in the bathroom?
There is probably something to gain in sifting the kitty litter too.