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Thursday, October 30, 2008
Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus - 'Doris Maurice' to his chums
Trung Nguyen Coffee:Inspired Creativity
Dragon Coffee Menu
...or indeed involved at all!
French colonists, realising that conditions were ideal for coffee cultivation, first planted coffee in the South Central Highlands region of Vietnam. The coffee also proved popular with a local resident: the common palm civet (Paradoxurus Hermaphoditus), a weasel-like animal, which quickly developed a taste for the sweet, fleshy outer layers of the coffee 'cherries' - the fruit of the coffee bush.
It was found that the fruit seeds, what we know as coffee 'beans', passed though the civet largely undigested and the resulting beans, when washed and sun-dried, had undergone a remarkable change to produce a uniquely smooth and delicious flavour. Perhaps this was because the civet would choose only the best and ripest beans to eat, but also because the beans had been modified by enzyme reactions on their journey.
Civet The legendary 'Café Chôn' (also known as Kopi Luwak in Indonesia) is rare, very expensive (approximately US$350 per kilo) and is sometimes of dubious authenticity. Indeed, many people who claim to have tried weasel coffee in Vietnam have probably actually been drinking Trung Nguyên's 'Legendee' coffee.
Legendee is produced by an enzyme treatment process developed exclusively by Trung Nguyên that mimics the changes produced in the coffee beans by the civet and produces a coffee every bit as distinctive and good as the genuine article but at about a tenth of the price (and, fortunately, without any involvement from the weasels!).
The special process used in making Legendee seems to release a whole spectrum of flavours that normally lie dormant. Rich and complex, Legendee is superb when served hot, sensational when served iced, and is certainly one of the finest coffees in the world.