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Kopi luwak , or civet coffee, refers to the seeds of coffee berries once they have been eaten and egested by the Asian palm civet

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

Is it kosher because they are still viewed as coffee beans or is it viewed as the product of a nonkosher animal (akin to a secretion like milk) and, thus, nonkosher?

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    Bechoros 7a – Double AA May 1 '14 at 14:17
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    There is no doubt that civet is not a kosher animal and any direct derivatives of a nonkosher animal is also not kosher. Hoyotzei min hatamei tamei (bechoros 7). The issue here is whether the digestion of coffee is considered as yotzei or not. The gemara ibid deals with a question of donkey urine and considers that pirsha is mutar. But questions whether urine is pirsha. – Yoni May 1 '14 at 15:28
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    @GershonGold The civet ingredient that seems to be referring to is a pheremone extracted from the civet animal mentioned in the question. It's quite possible that coffee beans that have passed through the latter do not have the same status as the former, just as honey, which we take to be a product that has passed through a bee, does not have the same status as the bee itself or any part thereof. – Isaac Moses May 1 '14 at 16:44
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    din.org.il/2011/07/17/… – Gershon Gold May 1 '14 at 18:41
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    I don't care HOW good it tastes, if it comes out of another mammal's pupik I'm not consuming it... – Gary May 2 '14 at 3:08
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I sent this question a couple of years ago to the OU. They sent me back:

Thank you for contacting the OU.

This has differing opinions among poskim. Some view it as yotzai min ha'tamei because the non-kosher animal digests the bean and this improves it. Others view it as pirsha b'alma [waste matter whose Importance has become Nullified] and permit it.

Ask your local Rov for his guidance as to the Halocho l'ma'aseh

Please do not hesitate to contact us again should you have any further questions.

I did ask my local Rov (Rabbi Kalman Epstein) for his guidance, and he replied that it was permissible. He explained that it is similar to honey, as mentioned by Isaac Moses in the comments to the question.

I have tried the coffee (I bought an eighth of a pound from Porto Rico Importing) and it was so good that it must be assur. :)

As always ask your LOR, although I can see why that might be uncomfortable.

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    How did Rav Kalman differentiate this and donkey urine which is problematic (Bechoros, ibid) and that according R Eleizer ben Yaakov (and Raavad and Remah) only bee honey is mutar from a gezeiras hakasuv? I guess I can ask him next time I see him (not often enough, though!) – Yoni May 2 '14 at 15:59
  • @Yoni I didn't ask him... – Ish Ploni ViKohen May 4 '14 at 5:26
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רמב"ם הלכות איסורי מזבח פרק ו הלכה יג חיטים שלקטן מגללי הבקר וזרעם הרי אלו ספק אם עברה מיאוסן בזריעה או עדיין הן מאוסין, לפיכך לא יביא מהן מנחות ואם הביא כשר The RAMBAM is telling us that grain found in animal feces and planted should not be brought as a KORBAN since it is not clear if the repulsiveness is removed by planting. Thus the only issue with grain itself that went through the digestive system is MIUS-repulsiveness. Kashrus not an issue. Consequently Kopi Luwac would be fine. רמב"ם הלכות טומאת אוכלין פרק ב הלכה יז חטים שבגללי בקר ושעורים שבגללי הבהמה שליקטן אין מקבלין טומאה, ואם חישב עליהן לאכילה מתטמאות טומאת אוכלין Here as well no mention of a prohibition. However See Menachot 69 and Tosafot Deblala- in addition see the mishnah משנה מסכת בכורות פרק א דג טמא שבלע דג טהור מותר באכילה Bottom line - it is fine. (However never trust what you read on the internet. See the sources for yourself)

  • The Rambam is talking about cow poop. Cows are Kosher, so of course there's no Kashrut problem. What about cats? – Double AA Oct 17 '18 at 22:24
  • Rambam mentions שעורים שבגללי הבהמה barley in the waste of animals- no mention of kosher animals. Thus even the beans in the cat excrement fine. – YM69 Oct 18 '18 at 23:56

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