Indonesia’s highest Islamic body
abandoned a proposal to ban Muslims from drinking the world’s most expensive
coffee, which is extracted from the faeces of a small mammal called the civet.
After a long discussion the
influential Indonesian Ulema Council said the coffee could be consumed and not
be as long as the beans were washed.
Locally known as Kopi Luwak, the
beans come from the ripest fruits eaten by the civet, which are digested before
being excreted and roasted.
highly prized for its smooth flavour and bitterless aftertaste, sometimes
fetching well over $200 a pound online.
“Kopi Luwak can be declared ‘halal’-or religiously approved- after passing
through a washing process,” said Maruf Amien, acting head of the council.
“Producing, selling and drinking it is allowed.”
In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim
nation, Kopi Luwak is produced in the main Java Island, Sumatra and Sulawesi.
It is also found under different names elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Only 1,000
pounds are said to be produced annually worldwide.
The Ulema Council has often
issued fatwas, or edicts, including several controversial rulings against
smoking and yoga. Its edicts are not legally binding, but many devout Muslims
abide by them.