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Too Portland For Portland: Local Man Offers to Eat, Excrete Gourmet Coffee Beans for His Neighbors

Please don't let "Human Kopi Luwak" become a thing.


Welcome to this very special holiday edition of Toilet Tuesday:


Still racing around for that last-minute gift for the coffee lover in your life? This Craigslist poster in Portland, Oregon, has got you covered. At only $30 a pound, he's offering to make a human version of Kopi Luwak coffee beans – you know, the gourmet ones that are eaten and pooped out by Asian civets before being brewed into delicious joe.

Via coffee-news clearinghouse Sprudge, here is the stomach-twisting advertisement for stool beans (the original is no longer available). Just so you know, connoisseurs have described the animal version as tasting "VERY good" with a "hint of a nutty flavor":

You can stop dry-heaving now: Those are processed civet beans in that photo, not the product of a human GI tract.

So this is a hoax, right? Portland shoppers can't just put in an order and 24 hours later expect to pick up a suspiciously discounted sack of the world's most expensive coffee behind some dude's "shed"? Maybe, or maybe not. I e-mailed the poster asking if his bold enterprise was for real, and this is the reply that "Randy" (of course it's a Randy) sent back:

It's not so much an enterprise as it was a few pounds of cherry I grew. Although it sold quicker than I ever imagined it would. So I'm working with a friend who lives in Costa Rica in shipping fresh cherry (it's harder than it sounds) so I can fulfill orders for people who I put on a wait list.  I'm just a casual home roaster and coffee geek so I don't really anticipate growing this beyond a hobby but if you want to talk on the phone I'd be happy to chat for a few minutes.

Randy never did return my request for a phone number, and I haven't heard from him since. So in all likelihood he's just pulling the Internet's collective chain. Now that the idea's out there, though, perhaps a Portland entrepreneur should squat on this. Given recent distressing rumors about overcrowding and force-feeding at Indonesian civet farms, making the stuff yourself could be a nice cruelty-free alternative.

Top image, which obviously is not of the Craigslist poster, courtesy of auremar on Shutterstock.

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.