The Fox-Dung Coffee


Amongst the best coffees of
Indochina, one has to mention the infamous "Fox-Dung" coffee of Vietnam. Yes, you read it right. In Vietnamese, it is called "Cafe Cut Chon", and literally translated, it means Fox-Dung coffee. This coffee is so good, so precious, that it is practically impossible to find, nowadays. One of the stories about "Fox-Dung" coffee goes like this:

"At the time of the French colonies, the workers at the coffee plantations were severely punished for taking coffee, and anybody caught having coffee beans would be harshly dealt with, to the point where the workers did not dare possess or even drink any coffee. However, as any coffee drinker knows, coffee is strongly habit forming, and once a coffee drinker, a person would have a hard time to go without. So one day, the workers told their masters: "We work for you, harvesting all this coffee, and we are not even allowed to drink any. A little coffee would make us wake up early and work better for you." A French planter, thinking about it, saw some logic to their request. So he walked between rows and rows of coffee trees, and just could not decide which part of the coffee beans he would be willing to give to the workers. The one on top? No, because they are the first to ripen and would be the early sellers of the season. The one at the bottom? No, because the shade ripe beans are the very best tasting. Looking down on the ground, he saw tracks of fox excrements, and in the excrements, were un-digested coffee beans. He showed those to the workers, and told them: "I would not mind that you take these."

Well, if you are a real coffee drinker and are desperate for coffee´┐Ż. Anyway, the workers picked up the un-digested coffee beans from the excrements of the foxes, washed them well and roasted them to a dark, crisp consistence. Those beans yielded a heavenly good coffee, with unusual aroma and body, with a "je ne sais quoi" (French for "I don't know  what") which made it so good that people swear that you would get drunk on more than one cup.

And despite its unsavory origin, Fox-Dung coffee became a legend, and one of the most sought after coffee by real "connoisseurs". Unfortunately, foxes are almost extinct by now, their habitat pushed back by human expansion, and they no longer roam the coffee plantations to eat coffee cherries, and leave behind Fox-Dung coffee.

Note: Foxes are very smart animals, they chose the best coffee cherries to eat, and they only pick the ripe ones to eat. The coffee cherries go through the digestive system of the fox and lose the shell and the pulp, but the beans, still protected by the parchment layer, remain undigested. During the time the coffee beans reside in the body of the fox, a subtle transformation happens to the chemical composition of the beans, which could be though of as a natural fermentation process under warm temperature.

QY researchers are now reproducing Fox-Dung coffee by selecting the best, tree ripe coffee beans, and submitting them to a period of fermentation under controlled temperatures, and then drying the beans as soon as they have completed their chemical change. We would like to invite you to taste QY Fox-Dung coffee (available only in very limited quantities and upon special request later this year) and give us your opinion.