One lump or two?

Never one to be put off repeating a feeble joke, whenever I go out for a Chinese meal and drink some green tea, I like to claim that the two or three leaves at the bottom of the cup are actually mouse droppings—a Chinese delicacy. I once even managed to make the joke in Beijing in front of some American tourists, who, not at all appreciating my sense of humour, assumed I was being serious.

Anyway, I don't think I'll be making that particular joke any more—it's a bit too close to the mark:

BBC: 'Civet coffee' sells - despite Sars
Fears that Chinese civet cats may help to spread Sars have lead to thousands of the animals being slaughtered, but they do not seem to have affected demand for a rare coffee harvested with the animals' help in Indonesia. "Kopi Luwak" or "Civet Coffee" is made with beans that have been partially digested and then excreted by civets.

What gets me is that, at some point in the dim and distant past, some Indonesian has thought to themself (in Indonesian, no doubt), I wonder if this coffee would taste better if I ran it through a cat first. Then, to make matters worse, they actually went and tried it.

Sars via civet poo, eh? So that's how you cat-shit.


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