The Bean,The Weasel, and the Best Coffee in the World

In some primeval PC (Pre-Caffeinated) epoch, apparently, a lone hunter stalked a weasel. In those days, weasels were easy prey for the adroit hunter because they were lazy, indolent, slow to sense the predator. The hunter was most surprised one day to come upon a weasel whose eyes were wide alert, who skipped about like  a child on too much sugar. The hunter watched the weasel until his own eyes grew weary, and he settled down to sleep until the weasel returned to his usual lassitude. But the weasel continued bouncing until the hunter gave up and returned to his hut. Along the way he passed a bush he’d seen all his life but had paid no attention to. The bush sported red and green berries along limb after limb, hundreds of attractive berries that, for the first time, the hunter sampled.

Coffee Beans, Green and Ripened Red

Coffee Beans, Green and Ripened Red

The ripe berries were deliciously sweet. They gave way to the tongue and teeth and, much to the hunter’s delight, they filled him with energy and a keen awareness of his surroundings. He began looking for more such trees, more such berries. He planted some, and then some more. Soon, the mountain side was filled with beautiful green trees, all teeming with the red and green berries.

The Plantation Spreads to the Mountains

The Plantation Spreads to the Mountains

Irrigating the Plantation

Irrigating the Plantation

Coffee Trees Everywhere

Coffee Trees Everywhere

The hunter became a farmer, and the weasel became his friend. The weasel knew the best berries, the ripest, the reddest, the most flavorful, the most energizing. And the new farmer noticed that, after the weasel had dined on the tastiest berries, he left reminders of his meal: the outer sweet shell had been dissolved and an inner husk containing two beans remained. Experimenting with these weasel-digested beans, the farmer discovered that the resulting beverage was far stronger, more invigorating, and more delicious.

He also noticed that unconverted hunters were still killing and eating weasels. So he captured a pair, bred them, and kept them nourished on a diet of coffee beans.

Choosing the Ripest Berry

Choosing the Ripest Berry

Ah, A Hint of Mocha

Ah, A Hint of Mocha

Arabica Again?

Arabica Again?

Doing the Work for All Humankind

Doing the Work for All Humankind

The process of feeding, waiting, collecting, drying, separating, roasting, brewing, drinking filled the farmer’s days and those of his prized gustatory colleagues.

Mocha Poop Beans

Mocha Poop Beans

Drying the Robusta and Arabica Poop Berries

Drying the Robusta and Arabica Poop Berries

Weasel Poop Coffee, as it’s known in the central highlands of Dalat, Vietnam, is the richest, darkest, most devastating coffee in the world. It is so expensive that no coffee shop, even here in town, offers it by the cup (which would cost upwards of $20). But it has done well for the weasel plantation owners whose wonderful new houses dot the landscape and help to proclaim Vietnam as the second largest coffee producer in the world.

Coffee Plantation Owner Builds a New House

Coffee Plantation Owner Builds a New House

Another New House Coffee has Built

Another New House Coffee has Built

Who knew?

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