The World's Most Expensive Coffee is From Beans Cycled Through an Indonesian Monkey's Digestive System-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:
Kopi Luwak is a rare and gourmet coffee from Indonesia that is made from beans passed through the digestive system of monkeys.

The Truth:
Kopi Luwak does exist, is very expensive, and is made from coffee beans passed through the digestive system of an Indonesian animal, but it's more like a cat than a monkey.  According to a feature article by the Manila Coffee House, which sells the stuff, the people who harvest the digested beans don't really have to pick through cat litter to get it.  The animal processes the beans and excretes them whole, unscratched, and without dung.

The animal is a palm civet, a dark brown tree-dwelling cat-like creature found throughout Southeast Asia. The scientific name is paradoxurus hermaphroditus.

According to the Manila Coffee House, the palm civet just happens to like to ingest the ripest and reddest coffee beans, which also happen to be the ones best for brewing.  The cat eats the outer covering of the beans in the same way that is accomplished by de-pulping machines.  Something happens to the beans in the journey through the cat's intestines that gives it a flavor that is celebrated by coffee drinkers.  

At this point, most of the beans are purchased by Japanese buyers.

posted: 05/12/12

A real example of the story as it has been circulated:

BEST COFFEE MADE FROM MONKEY POO; CRAPPUCCINO DAILY STAR

Wed Nov 21 2001 10:22:30 ET Coffee drinkers are going bananas over a brew that's made of MONKEY DUNG.

Brits are flooding exclusive US stockists with orders for the brew, called Kopi Luwak, made from berries that have passed through the digestive system of Indonesian monkeys. Unlucky coffee plantation staff have to search through the dung to gather the bizarre "harvest" of coffee berries, which are said to emerge virtually intact.

Experts reckon the monkey business gives the drink a unique "earthy" taste, which has made it the most expensive and sought-after coffee in the world.

It is in such short supply - just 500 lb of it is harvested a year - that it is virtually impossible to get hold of in Britain and has only limited availability in the States and Japan.

Experts say the brew first came to light hundreds of years ago, when explorers sampled it on the Indonesian isles of Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi.

The monkey - known as the Palm Toddy Cat - lives on a diet of alcoholic tree sap and coffee berries.

US-based food and drink critic Chris Rubin said:

"Whether it's because the intestinal juices give some special flavor or because it eats only perfectly ripe berries, the Toddy Cat's droppings produce what many say is the world's finest coffee."

Some exclusive US outlets sell Kopi Luwak for around a FIVER a cup.

US Coffee supplier Mark Mountanos has snapped up 110 lb of the beans.

He said: "We've had interest from all over the world because it is very hard to get hold of."

US coffee shop owner Richard Karno ordered a pound from Mark's firm - but only after he convinced him it wasn't a joke.

He said: "It's the best coffee I've ever tasted. It smells musty, but it roasts up real nice.