This Coffee Tastes Like Cat Shit

I’m not one for bucket lists, but here’s one I can cross off the list: Cat-shit coffee.

 At 38,000 for 100g, it's a smoking deal. (Vietnamese Dong, not USD.)

At 38,000 for 100g, it's a smoking deal. (Vietnamese Dong, not USD.)

Not to get all philosophical or anything (which clearly means I’m about to get all philosophical), my encounter with weasel coffee is a metaphor for my changing relationship with the world around me. Mostly because I’m broke.

As with craft beer, I like coffee. Unlike with craft beer, I’m not a coffee nerd. Where my palate for beer subtitles and nuances is wide (growing wider on this trip), I occupy a pretty narrow band on the coffee-appreciation scale. I take it black (go ahead and say it). The blacker (go ahead and say it again) and more roasted, the better. Try and sell me on a light roast so I can taste the fruity esters and I’ll order a tea instead. And I’m not interested in the least in expanding my coffee horizons. I like coffee. In the morning. No milk. No sugar. From Circle K? As long as it’s dark roast, sure.

 Aeropress full of cat-shit coffee.

Aeropress full of cat-shit coffee.

Yet I, like many of my friends, own an Aeropress, arguably the best way to make a cup of coffee. But go back to what I just wrote. Do I really need to be carting around a plastic doohickey plunger thing to simply make a cup of black and mostly burnt coffee? I’m starting to wonder.

Before I left The States, I was going in with a bunch of other guys to buy a quantity of Civet coffee. Based on the ungodly price and the distinct possibility that the coffee would taste like actual cat shit, we figured we’d spread the financial risk across several of us. But like most silly ideas we came up with that that time, we failed to convinced enough friends to make the deal happen.

So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled across cat-shit coffee in Vietnam, and for a fraction of the price we were going to pay*!

 This ginger-coconut tortilla looking thing was quite tasty. The coffee? Meh.

This ginger-coconut tortilla looking thing was quite tasty. The coffee? Meh.

To say it was oversold is an understatement. It tasted like… well, coffee. Even with the magical Aeropress, the device scientifically proven** to make shitty coffee taste incredible… it tasted like coffee. Luckily it didn’t taste of cat shit*** , just coffee.

So now, with the magic of the Aeropress busted, I’m wondering what that says about my other choices. I wrote a few months ago about my changed attitude about craft beer now that I’m in the tropics. I’m questioning the “value” of my technical sandals, my name-brand suitcase designed for traveling the world (aren’t they all?), and whether I need to drop another $3K on a laptop next year, or if I’m still carrying around too many socks.

But don’t worry, I’m not going to give it all up and live the monastic life anytime soon. I’m not sure where they source their coffee.


* - Cynical readers will offer up that, for such a low price, it probably wasn’t authentic catshit coffee. Pragmatically realist readers will counter that the lavishly priced stuff you order online also probably isn’t authentic catshit coffee, so tomato, tomato.

** - I can’t back that up.

* - I’ve no idea what catshit tastes like. Just sayin’