LIMA (Xinhua) – Peru’s central province of Chanchamayo makes the world’s most expensive organic coffee, with the help of a raccoon-like animal native to South America, according to producers.
After the long-nosed, bushy-tailed mishascho, or coati, that eats the beans and expels them as excrement, gives them a richer taste in the process, the coffee, named Misha, can sell for as much as US$1,400 a kilo.
Though the coati can’t digest the beans and expels them whole, their passage through the animal’s digestive system creates a mellower, fruitier bean, say experts.
“It’s a product that is processed in a natural way inside the animal’s digestive tract,” Jose Durand, manager of the Chanchamayo Highland Coffee company said.
“And because of the small amount produced, this coffee is very expensive,” he said, adding the entire production is biodynamic and the operation is very organic.
Each year, only about 450 kilos of Misha is processed.
The company keeps 106 domesticated coatis that were raised on site since they were small. The animals are released into the countryside and return to feed on coffee three times a day.
Peruvian coffee beans are exported to 54 international markets, with a little more than half of production going to Europe, another third to North America and the remainder to South American countries.