Walter Cronkite, Kopi Luwak, and Other Stuff
I was going to write an essay about Walter Cronkite today. It was going to be an open letter to the dearly departed bastion of real, authentic news. “Dear Walter, You would not believe what’s going on in the world these days – you’re probably turning over in your grave…” But then I thought, what’s going on in the world these days isn’t funny, and no matter which side you’re on, you’ll be ridiculed by the other as no one can get along anymore.
I decided to watch a movie instead of getting into the crazy world of journalism or lack thereof in a world that got really weird really fast. Happy New Year 2020!
A couple of weeks ago I found “The Bucket List” on one of my streaming apps – it was free. That’s always a big selling point with me these days when my income has dropped to the point where people on unemployment make more than I do – and I have all this wit! Wit is not worth doodly squat anymore. I used to think witty = $. But I got a big surprise.
Anyway… as I am so often wont to say… this was a long, but entertaining way to tell you that I watched “The Bucket List” a couple of weeks ago. “The Bucket List” stars two of my favorites: Jack and Morgan. If you don’t know Jack and Morgan, look up “The Bucket List” (Jack & Morgan), “A Few Good Men” (Jack), “The Shawshank Redemption” (Morgan). If you don’t know what those are, look up “Movies”.
In the movie “The Bucket List”, Jack plays Edward Cole, who is a sarcastic, narcissistic, egocentric, rich guy who loves Kopi luwak. Kopi luwak is a type of coffee. Jack (Edward) is constantly brewing it and talking about it throughout the course of the movie.
I’ve lived for many decades but there are at least two things I never knew.
1. I never knew that wax paper, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap boxes have tabs on each end to hold the roll in place. For decades, I’ve been ignorant of this nifty feature. I learned this from a link to a TikTok video. I didn’t know what TikTok was. At first, I thought it was a breath mint, then I realized it was like YouTube but younger.
2. I never knew that Kopi luwak existed or what it was. I do now and if you don’t know what it is I shall endeavor to enlighten you… sort of.
Kopi luwak is a type of coffee that is made from beans that have been eaten by a weasely looking animal called a civet. A civit is a kind of nocturnal cat – that looks like a weasel. It’s a weasel that skulks around coffee trees eats coffee “cherries”. The cherries are fermented as they pass through the weasel’s intestines, and then they are defecated with other fecal matter. Then they are collected by Kopi luwak collectors who root through endless piles of weasel-cat doo-doo and collect these fermented coffee “cherries” from which Kopi luwak coffee is brewed.
Someone, at some time, must have been really desperate for a cup coffee and not having any Maxwell House or Folgers handy, plucked some fermented coffee beans out of piles of weasel dung. He or she must have then roasted the freshly rooted beans over a campfire (probably to kill any offensive organisms still clinging to the beans). After sterilizing –err I mean roasting– the beans, he or she ground them up and brewed a pot of coffee.
It was then capitalism reared its wealthy head and Kopi luwak was born. The discoverer of weasel-dung coffee realized he/she could make a fortune selling it. I mean who wouldn’t want to pay top dollar for an exotic coffee made from beans that were fermented in the innards of and came out the back end of a big weasel-cat?
As I don’t have much money and Kopi luwak sells for $120 for 3 ounces (85 grams). I didn’t think I’d ever get “lucky” enough to ever have the chance to taste it. Then one day, I was talking to one of my sons about “The Bucket List” and Kopi luwak, and bless his heart he just happened to have some Kopi luwak – which didn’t surprise me as he also has a French press and a wine room.
It wasn’t but a few days later, I had a baggie of Kopi luwak beans. When I looked at them, they look like Chock-Full-O-Nuts coffee beans. I figured my son got ripped off by some coffee broker in a forsaken corner of the world. But my son assured me that these beans were properly excreted by a weaselly-looking cat, collected by official Kopi luwak collectors and were, in fact, the same as the $120 Kopi luwak beans in a can on Amazon.
I was excited to try this exotic coffee, even knowing the history of its “natural processing”. So, I ground up the Kopi luwak beans and brewed myself a pot of Kopi luwak
You know how it is when you’re about to taste something you’ve never tasted before and people have been telling you forever just how good it is and what you’re missing. And then you try whatever it is and you’re pleasantly surprised that it really is as good as you’ve heard. Well, Kopi luwak isn’t like that. In my opinion, Kopi luwak coffee tastes like somebody washed a dead mule in it.
Kopi luwak is not popular because it tastes good, it’s popular because it’s expensive and you can’t afford it and neither can I. That’s why people go to Starbucks and pay $5.50 for small black coffee and $10 for a Pastapochino. Or pay $300 for a Kobe beef hamburger. If you got it, flaunt it.
The rich are fickle. If you’re rich you probably don’t drink Kopi luwak anymore anyway – you probably drink Black Ivory coffee… it costs $100 for 1.23 ounces (35 grams). And instead of being “processed” by weasel-cat, Black Ivory coffee is processed by elephants, which I believe, unlike civits and weasels, are a protected species.
I guess I probably should have written my letter to Walter Cronkite.
And that’s the way it is, Thursday, June 11, 2020.