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'Cat Poop Coffee' Taste Test: Civet-Digested Beans vs. Starbucks vs. 7-Eleven (VIDEO)

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We drink a lot of crappy coffee these days.

But maybe none more crappy -- or expensive -- than what many call "cat poop coffee." It comes from a bean that's been swallowed and partially digested by a civet, a mammal native to parts of Asia and Africa that looks a bit like a cat but is more closely related to the mongoose.

The civet has a reputation for climbing trees to eat the best, hardest to reach coffee berries. At some magical, undocumented point in history, a truly disturbed person picked out the partially digested beans from the animal's poo, and found that it was fermented to perfection in the varmint's alimentary canal.

Now, farmers are harvesting these beans for big bucks. And, of course, we use the word "harvesting" to be polite.

But is it worth $55 or more for roughly two servings? Editors at The Huffington Post tested Doi Chaang Coffee Company's civet coffee, and pitted it against Starbucks and 7-Eleven to see which hot drink is the crappiest (video above).

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cat poop coffee

Raw civet beans.

Some may think it unusual to pay so much for a novelty. Still, it has become so popular that some companies are suspected of caging up Asian civets and force-feeding them a debilitating diet of coffee berries.

A reporter for The Guardian visited a farm in Indonesia, where malnourished and dying civets were compared to caged chickens.

The coffee we tried is gathered from wild, uncaged civets and processed on fair trade farms, according to Doi Chaang representatives. The Canadian company shares 50-percent ownership with farmers in Northern Thailand, where civets are reportedly free to roam.

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cat poop coffee

Farmers in Thailand forage for civet beans.

Our Verdict: It is delicious, and it doesn't taste like cat poop.

Civet coffeeIt gets its distinct, acidic flavor from enzymes in the animal's digestive tract. In a blind taste test, 70 percent of participating HuffPost editors said they liked civet coffee over Starbucks and 7-Eleven coffee.

That said, most of the testers wouldn't pay a premium for a cup.

Is it worth a try? Watch the video above and see for yourself.

Video produced by Oliver Noble

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