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Special Coffee Processing Method: Feed Fermentation

In the previous articles, we've been talking about the 3 basic processing methods and as well the special ones: Slow Dry, Anaerobic Sundry-Heap and Double Wash.

Unique process methods were innovated for the diversity in flavours and aroma of coffee beans, the special coffee bean processes are forms of art; are scientific inventions; are the passion coffee farmers delivered; the gifts from the joint hands of mother nature and human, animals and microorganisms. In "Mythical Interesting Facts About Coffee II" mentioned animals that helped in the processing of coffee beans, which leads to this interesting topic, feed fermentation in coffee.

Feed fermentation is not unique in coffee processing nor only applying to coffee beans retrieved from animal faeces. By referring to Science Direct article, Feed Fermentation, "The use of techniques for feed fermentation depends on the nutritional requirements and digestive physiology of animals, the nutritive value of feedstuffs, fermentation characteristics of the microorganisms added to the starter culture, and actual situations on individual farms." Fermentation with nutritions and microorganisms from the animal's digestive system as the starter of fermentation are feed fermentation. Which, it's not necessary for coffee beans to go through the whole digestive system of an animal in order to be processed with feed fermentation.

There are two 'natural' ways that feed fermentation can be applied to the coffee beans. It can either by retrieving the beans from animal faeces after they passing through the whole animal digestive system, Wild Kopi Luwak, Kape Alamid (civet coffee in the Philippines) Black Ivory Coffee (elephant poop coffee) and Wild Jaco Coffee are in this category; the other way is by collecting the animal 'food waste', the saliva and the flesh of cherry left on the surface of the bean, together with sunshine ferments the bean, Monkey coffee and Wild Bat Coffee are created in this way.

Whenever over prevalent products are on market, there is always immoral parties trying to share the profit in shady practice. While Kopi Luwak went feral, the superabundant benefits draw the attention of some immoral traders and farmers. In order to maintain a stable supply and high production rate, civet cats were kept in tiny cages and force feed with coffee cherry only. Kopi Luwak therefor being accused as cruel to animals. The bad reputation alerts the industry, merchants and roasters were recommended to purchase only wild Kopi Luwak rather than those from the farms.

Other than buying only wild Kopi Luwak, simulated feed fermented coffee bean can be another moral choice. Coffee Ca Phe Chon (Legendee Weasel Coffee, the simulated civet coffee from Vietnam), were created by applying a mixture of enzyme emulating those in the civet's digestive system for the process of beans.

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