What are Civet Cats?

Coffee beans that have passed through a civet cat’s digestive system are harvested for sale and preparation.

Civet cats are best known for the role they play in the production of civet coffee, also known as kopi luwak in Indonesia and caphe cut chon in the Philippines. The name is somewhat misleading, due to the fact that it refers to an animal that is not actually a cat, and is more closely related to a mongoose. Its appearance is more cat-like, however.

Civet cats can be found in southern China and Southeast Asia.

The civet cat is a fruit-eating mammal in the taxonomic family Viverridae. Civet cats are mostly nocturnal, weigh between 1.36 and 4.54 kg and can reach 71.12 cm in length. The Viverridae family is native to the southern portions of Africa, southern China and Southeast Asia. They can be found in rainforest areas as well as savannah, mountain and forest biomes. The rainforests of Asia are rapidly disappearing, and as a result, civet cats are becoming an endangered species.

The civet family of cats is native to the southern parts of Africa.

These animals tend to eat the coffee berries. When the fruit passes through the digestive system, the grains are not digested. During this process, the coffee beans absorb stomach enzymes, which are supposed to add robust flavors and cut the bitterness of the coffee flavor.

Civet cats coffee beans are sold worldwide in astronomical processes, 10 to 50 times more than the finest gourmet coffee beans. In cafes in Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere, individual cups of civet coffee sell for prices from $30 in New York to £50 pounds sterling (GBP) or more in London. Some coffee growers have started keeping the civet on their plantations and specifically harvesting the coffee beans found in the civet dung for sale in the lucrative civet coffee market. Others have tried to enter this market by offering coffee beans chemically treated to contain flavors similar to those sought after by consumers of civet coffee.

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When eaten, civet cats are often prepared with ginger.

In southern China, civet cats are often eaten. They are usually roasted whole and the meat is prepared with popular Chinese ingredients such as soy sauce, garlic, sugar and ginger. A special Chinese soup called Dragon, Tiger, and Phoenix is ​​made with civet meat. By shaving the perineal glands of civet cats, musk can be obtained which is used as a stabilizer in many expensive perfumes. This substance is also sometimes used as an additive in sweets, with the aim of giving the product a buttery or caramel flavor.

When the Severe Acute Respiratory System (SARS) first appeared in humans in 2003, some theorized that the origin of the virus could be the civet. This has never been proven and many have rejected the theory. They have since become a less popular target for hunting as wild game.

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