Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Only in LA

This is going to sound like a spoof but it’s not. It’s REAL. And it’s soooo very LA. There’s a coffee house in Santa Monica called Funnel Mill that sells a certain cup of coffee for $80 a cup.  And you can only get it by appointment.

“Oh, come on!” you’re saying. “Even in a town that boasts a coroner’s gift shop, no one would pay $80 for one cup of coffee.”

Well, they do. By appointment only.

And it gets better. What makes this coffee so special? Again, I swear to you this is true:

The coffee is called Kopi Luwak. It’s made in Sumatra with the help of an animal, the Luwak, which looks like a cross between a raccoon and a pig. The Luwak eats coffee cherries off a tree—bean and all. The beans are fermented as they pass through the Luwak’s digestive tract. Then he shits them out and they get harvested, cleaned, roasted, ground, and made available for any Kardashian or Laker.

Who was the first person I wonder, who saw a steaming load of Luwak shit and thought, “Hey, I bet if we processed this we could make great coffee?” His friends must've thought he was crazy for sure. “Who would buy such a ridiculous thing?” And then one enterprising farmer caught an episode of REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS and said, “Eureka! We’re all going to be rich! We can charge $80 for what is essentially a FEAR FACTOR stunt!”

If this designer coffee catches on, pig farmers all over the world will be feeding their flock grapes hoping they’ll shit out a hearty Chablis. Or cola beans – COKE CAKA.

And the slogan possibilities are endless. “Good till the last plop.” I’m sure the TWO AND A HALF MEN staff could come up with fifty more in like twelve seconds.

I will not be paying $80 for one cup of coffee no matter how good it is. I don’t care if this is Los Angeles and status and exclusivity are everything. I personally find it incredibly self-indulgent and downright irresponsible to spend more on coffee than Botox. Someone has to show a little common sense. 

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gives new meaning to "wasting money on crap".

Ted said...

Hey ken, I just started watching " orange is the new black". It is a really great show. I am addicted to it .HAve you seen it yet? If so please give us your review.If you were offered a spot on a popular shows writing staff would you take it or are you a broadcaster/ author now?

Garnet said...

The animal that excretes the java is actually called a civet. But I'm sure the coffeehouse folks thought, "That's not an $80 name."

Mitchell Hundred said...

Normally I'd say that spending more on coffee than Botox is a good idea, since this would generally mean that you're not spending much on Botox. I guess LA is weird like that.

Mac said...

Excellent work. I'm going to feed beer to a horse, collect its piss, call it "Biere Cheval" and charge $80 a glass. It can't taste any worse than some of these "own brand" supermarket lagers.

YEKIMI said...

what a shitty story!

benson said...

Add some carbonation to that $80 cup of coffee and it might cure something.
"Plop, plop, fizz fizz, oh, what a relief it is".

Dan Ball said...

That's a damn fine cup of coffee?

Aaron Sheckley said...

Forget it, Jake...it's fucking Hollywood...

Anonymous said...

I was on a really terrible movie a while back with Chelsea Handler. She had Paramount overnight a couple of bags of Civet coffee in from Australia to Cleveland. Just because she heard it was good and wanted some. Cost of transport and coffee: $350 Number of cups made: 4

Anonymous said...

Coke-Caka? Why not Caka-Cola?

Markus said...

And like most grossly decadent novelties for the rich and super-rich, it's an entanglement of animal cruelty and scam, as the always well-informed Wikipedia teaches us:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civet


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_Luwak

The Sanity Inspector said...

This libation has been around for a few years, actually. I read somewhere that the beans were progressively mixed with ordinary beans, the further away from the source they got.

JWhite said...

This was highlighted in the movie The Bucket List - very rich man (Jack Nicholson) loves his Kopi Luwak and the not so rich guy (Morgan Freeman) gets a tear-streaming laugh out of finally telling him what it's made of.

Mike said...

Bank Manager: Your entire business plan is just a joke from an old Cheech & Chong film?
Coffee Shop: Hey, it's better than Amazon's. Their only profit plan is just a tax avoidance scheme.

Emmett Flatus said...

So, Ken, how does it taste?

Tudor Queen said...

Great piece, Ken! There are certain things that I would not buy. even if by some miracle I became a millionaire, because they are priced beyond silliness, into out and out craziness, and this coffee definitely belongs on the list. As you said, it's exploiting a few people's desire for 'status and exclusivity'.

CamrioKid said...

I've actually had a cup of this civet coffee - and it is actually the best cup of joe I have ever had. It was brewed in a french press.

CamrioKid said...

http://www.abesmarket.com/natural-products/food-and-drink/drinks/coffee/kapepur-civet-coffee-4oz-bag.html

Jen said...

Just buy Doi Chaang at Costco and for the same price you can make multiple cups of it (and support the Thai coffee farmers as Doi Chaang is 50% grower owned and Beyond Fair Trade).

Complotfilm said...

I know it's weird. But this coffee has a chocolately taste. Hey, I am from Germany. A: The coffee is a little bit cheaper here B: Germans are into weird shit (this time literally), so why not?

Mike said...

This sounds like they got the idea from an episode of Futurama where it turns out the hottest selling drink Slurm is actually from a giant worm.

Johnny Walker said...

That's insane, and sad to learn, cruel, too.

RareWaves said...

I love your rants, Ken. They always make me laugh and brighten my day.

RCP said...

As the animals are increasingly now 'farmed' and force-fed the beans under tortuous conditions, you could say this coffee offers an elite treat for only the most superior of assholes.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

In discovering luak (note spelling) coffee, LA is 20 years behind Boston. The Annals of Improbable Research gave it an award in the early 1990s. It got a lot of press at the time. It's not surprising LA would be the place where people would actually buy it, though.

Folks, I think we should take up a collection to make Ken try it.

wg

chuckcd said...

This was a get rich quick storyline
in "Weeds" I think.

D. McEwan said...

30 years ago I read the Marquis DeSade's The 120 Days of Sodom, a book as unforgettable as it is impossible to imagine ever rereading. There is one hell of a lot of shit-eating in it. One bit in it that made me laugh out loud (Though not as heartily as I just laughed at "Good to the last plop") was one of the libertines in a tizzy one morning because his personal slave was constipated and had not produced a morning lump of shit for his master's breakfast, and the libertine was running about raving "A turd! A turd! Where will I get my breakfast turd?" It sounds to me like Kopi Luwak would be the breakfast drink of choice in The 120 Days of Sodom.

(In my new book, Tallyho, Tallulah!, Tallulah brings a dish to a beach party pot luck. The book is set in a fictional California beach town called "Alta Caca." She brings a dish she names for the town, called "Lobster ala Caca." I never say what the "uniquely flavorful" sauce she uses on it is, merely that she found the "recipe" in what she calls "A cook book titled The 120 Days of Sodom" and leave the more widely-read readers to work it out for themselves.)

D. McEwan said...

I suppose I should add that I NEVER drink coffee ever. I loathe the taste, and can not bear the stench. I am unable to breathe in a Starbuck's. When I'm out with friends and they want to stop at Starbuck's, I have to wait for them outside. My entire life, the appeal of coffee has eluded and puzzled me. To me it tastes like shit anyway. In fact, I find it plausable that having animal shit in it might actually improve the taste, though not $80 worth. It certainly could not make it taste any worse. My dad was the same way. We would watch my mother guzzle the stuff by the gallon day after day, and neither one of us could fathom how she could bear to have the foul swill in her mouth, let alone be as extremely addicted to it as she clearly was. I still do not get the appeal of coffee. Don't tell me it's the caffine. I get plenty of caffine in my Pepsi, which also has the added appeal of tasting good and not stinking to High Heaven.

I put these thoughts and reactions to coffee in the column I used to have in The Huffington Post once, and it certainly inspired a lively comments thread. I was gratified to learn that Daddy and I were not alone in our loathing of coffee. Turned out there are a lot of coffee-loathers out there just afraid to speak up.

DBenson said...

Coca-Colon?

Maxwell Outhouse?

Well, where do you go after oxygen bars, designer water and collectible anything?

Hamid said...

In a town that wanted to put an advertisement for Last Action Hero on a space shuttle, nothing surprises me.

Jeffrey Mark said...

The shit has hit the fan! Yet another "only in La-La land" a real bowl movement of an idea who's time has come...(and quickly gone...down the toilet.)

Cap'n Bob said...

I'm with Doug McEwan on this. Coffee is unmitigated swill and I don't drink it. Also, I try to avoid caffiene in any form, although I know that's almost impossible. I've been aware of civit shit coffee for many years and it seems an entirely appropriate way to process it, though not by force-feeding the little buggers.

Glan Deas said...

I understand it's strange. But this coffee has a chocolatey taste. Hey, I am from Australia. Kopiluwak is my favorite coffee.

Regards,
Kopi Luwak

Storm said...

@Dan Ball: Black as midnight on a moonless night. I still can't get the taste of fish-filtered coffee out of my mouth.

Cheers, thanks a lot,

Storm

Ellen said...

In the old days, if you wanted a cup of coffee that tasted like shit, all you had to do was visit a diner late at night.

Jeffro said...

Ellen, that depends. If you're really hung over, an all-night diner's shitty coffee could taste like nectar from the gods.

RCP said...

D. McEwan said...

"... I loathe the taste, and can not bear the stench."

Cap'n Bob said...

"Coffee is unmitigated swill and I don't drink it."

I may not agree with your opinions, but will defend to the death your right to express them (as utterly insane as they are).

D. McEwan said...

@Glan Deas, you know what else has a chocolatty taste? Hot Chocolate. It has the added boon of not polluting delicious chocolate taste with that foul coffee coffee taste. And I've yet to find an $80 cup of hot chocolate.

Steve Mc said...

This coffee thing is not that unusual. I first heard of a thing called wolf coffee from Japan about 20 ears ago. I'm sure the name and the context tells you how its made. And a few years ago I saw a UK TV chef called Rick Stein drink some monkey coffee in IIRC Singapore.