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Thursday, 7 November 2013

The World’s Most Expensive Coffee – An example of how low things can go in our “civilized” world:

Who can fault those comments posted in response to the referenced article? The author meant well in sharing the Civet coffee fraud-busting science although the premise was reversely stated that: “Kopi Luwak, which is Indonesian for civet coffee, can cost up to £51 a cup and is often substituted for cheaper beans. 

I suspect the author meant to say that cheaper beans are substituted for the more expensive Kopi Luwak coffee. That aside, and even without attention to the somewhat juvenile term used to describe the source association of the coffee bean, this article reveals a great deal about how low things can go. First of all, an authentication test is needed because opportunists have resorted to the fraudulent practice of selling fake coffee as “Kopi Luwak”. That’s one side of the folly.

Now to the other side of the folly: In a world where too many people are unable to afford real food, people are actually willing to pay that much (£51 per cup) for coffee? People are actually paying that much money for a flavor that is not sufficiently discernible so as to immediately detect the fake? Unless there are direct, significant and immediate health benefits associated with this coffee, anyone paying that much money for it or any other beverage, for that matter, has money but no . . .   fill in the blanks. I can definitely say that I’ll never regret not tasting the Kopi Luwak if it must be sold at that price range. Even if a generous philanthropist who is too rich to care wants to buy a cup for me, I’d rather have a regular priced coffee. With the already assorted varieties and flavors of coffee to choose from at a much lower price, I’ll never feel deprived. In fact I feel privileged and sometimes ashamed that I can afford to buy regular price coffee when so many people elsewhere go for days without food.

Finally to the fraudsters: If you are able to mimic the Kopi Luwak flavor so that it takes a scientific test to detect the difference, you have done well. However, you have the worst failing grade in trying to defraud people into thinking that they are buying Kopi Luwak. As long as the imitation process has not made your product unsafe, why not position and sell it as an authentic imitation? You You may borrow a page about complete honesty from these entrepreneur artists: Fake Banksy Prints Sell Out at Central Park Sale, -

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent,  22 Aug 2013
Posted By Felix Amiri
Felix Amiri is the current Food Industry Chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection

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