An invitation by Ms. Sheng Dumalay through Bonedoc for a coffee farm visit perked up my day not because I am a coffee addict but I’ve wanted to meet Soccsksargen bloggers who’s been flooding Bone dock’s FB and plurk accounts. Moreover, I wanted to see up close the beauty of Mt. Matutum over the pineapple plantation in Polomolok, South Cotabato.
The 30-45mins drive to Mt. Matutum was a thrilling roller coaster ride. I enjoyed the bumps and humps alongside the thousand acres of pineapple grounds. The troops of sword-shaped, waxy and stiff pineapple leaves stood array and gazed on the gigantic magnificence of Mt. Matutum. The view is awesomely spectacular!
We reached a community of B’laan tribe who welcomed us with their genuine hospitality and guided us as we made our way to the mountain. From then on, my interest on the coffee, the community and how the civet coffee affected the lives of the B’laan tribe sparked. It was an easy 45 minutes trek into the forest. Luscious vegetation, gigantic century old trees, interesting plants such as poison ivy and wild strawberries, flowers and bird chirping paved our way. A fun walk indeed.
Sir Fred, who made this experience possible, toured us on the forest floors of Mt. Matutum where coffee berries are abundant. When young, the fruit looked like green olives then turns into red cherries as they ripen. The palm civet cat (locally known as alamid), is a nocturnal furry animal which uses its nose to select the ripest and sweetest berries. The animal stuffs themselves with fruit berries pulp as the beans cannot be digested. These beans are then excreted by the civet cat and drop it as a poop on the ground which is harvested by hand in the morning. The unique and distinct taste of civet coffee is brought about by the gastrointestinal mechanism wherein the stomach acids and enzymes affects the chemical composition of the bean as it passes through the alimentary canal of the nocturnal cat. The harvested poop are then washed sun dried, roasted and sold for 900 pesos a kilo. Superlatively expensive for 150 pesos a cup. It is one of the world’s most expensive and rarest brew.
I am not a coffee aficionado but my previous work allowed me to grind, brew, drew and froth coffee, espresso, cappuccino, café latte, café Americano , café au Lait from the most expensive and sophisticated espresso machines in the high end markets of Manila. I recalled my beverage management background as sipped my cup of freshly brewed Kape Balos. It travelled smoothly across my mouth and gave a well-rounded, sweet, chocolate flavor. Not strong, barky, and rusty….the taste is simply in perfect harmony with my palate. The kind of coffee I would drink several cups a day to give me the power kick to perk up my day without the headache.
No wonder civet coffee is one of the most coveted brews among coffee connoisseurs around the world. The poop weigh is definitely worth gold.
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