The most fancy pant Kopi koffie

April 14th, 2011 § 0 comments

So I finally made it to HAAS for a cup of civet poo coffee. Before I talk about the most expensive cup of coffee in the world, let me just say what a lovely shop it is. I could put the kitsch into kitchen vixen with those Tretchikoff cushions. So refreshing to walk into a shop devoid of fake French crap made in China. My friend Mariana and I chose the little courtyard at the back, nice and quiet, with lovely plush chairs to match the luxurious price (R80) of a cup of Kopi Luwak – or – coffee made from beans that have passed through Asian Palm Civets, whole, only to be cleaned, roasted and consumed as the world’s finest coffee.

Coolest HAAS on the block

I always need a good cuppa and something to eat after my early morning gig at Expresso, so ordered a croissant with ham and cheese, served with a homemade sweet chili sauce. HAAS has a small food menu and a large selection of coffees. About halfway through my croissant the coffee arrived. I knew from Sam’s blog not to expect the earth to move with the first sip. Still, the thrill of expectation wasn’t entirely absent…

I don’t know if the scientific world would agree but if you eat cold chili and then add heat (in the form of hot coffee) to the merry melange bopping on your taste buds… the chili kind of expands and blossoms. Becomes hotter? Yes?

With my first sip I thought: ‘Crikey, I’ve connected with a chili-junkie civet in need of an intervention, the delinquent of the group…’ But Mariana’s coffee wasn’t spicy at all and so the penny started to slow-mo its way down (must be the 4am wake-up call). I added lots of milk and sugar and had a decent though not exactly distinct cup of coffee.

The adorable coffee-loving Asian Palm Civet

Civet poo before the beans are extracted, washed, dried, roasted and filtered to a cup near you.

But the X factor apparently doesn’t lie in the taste. It is just supposed to be the cleanest most balanced coffee, thanks to the hard working enzymes in the civet’s digestive tract. Kindly refrain from interactive mental imagery at this point.

Owner Glynn Venter must be so over customers quizzing the absence of a Damascan flavour-flash on tasting the Kopi Luwak that he readily recommended The Famous Jailbreak blend from Ethiopia as the bomb. At R65 for a 500g bag no Civets were employed in the making of this coffee and it is far more affordable.

Ethiopian Jailbreak

Described as ‘flamboyantly sweet with a heady, slightly wine-toned and somewhat rustic sweetness’ on the label, I can vouch for its bouquet. Even through the packaging it smells wonderful. I’ve had two cups and it is a good coffee, although I strongly suspect my plunger is not doing it justice. The time has come to get a real coffee machine. Despite gorgeous George’s attempts to seduce the entire planet to drink Nespresso, I’m a bit weary of the company going bust and me being stuck with a machine and no pods, much like all the people with their polaroid cameras and no film in the eighties.

I would love to have freshly ground beans brewed immediately. And I don’t want to be locked into one brand. The HAAS Collective has much to offer, as do other bean pushers. Glynn mentioned they’ll soon be stocking Spanish machines for home use.

Thank you Mariana for a lovely coffee treat.

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