Jody’s crew found there’s a coffee from China that they hope to bring to the masses. They say it has health benefits and they’ve used it for hundreds of years. So what is this “delicacy”? Coffee being mixed with nests made with swiftlets’ saliva. They are also mixing this into cereal. The nests sell for about $2500/kg. The birds (swiftlets) that make these nests are from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
There are caretakers at parks that play bird songs to attract the swiftlets. Workers at the plants have to use tweezers to remove feather and other debris from the nests at their processing plants. They are sorted by size.
The nests take about 35 days to build and are composed mostly of a glutinous material found in saliva from the swiftlet. They can be dangerous to collect as they are usually found on vertical walls, seaside or inland. They can also be found hundreds of feet up on cave walls. Cave nests aren’t collected as frequently so the swiftlets may reuse them. They also collect more feathers. Many producers opt to have a place where they can control and maintain the nests. It can take a worker up to 8 hours to clean 10 nests.
Apart from putting the nests in just coffee or cereal, Asia hopes to expand the market for what they hope will catch on as a health-food product. They have many claims such as antioxidants, protein, nutrients, more energy, and better sleep.
More info here: http://www.yuxiangyan.com/history-background/