I’m a coffee addict but if you ask me whether I’m going to drink this, I’m really not sure. There are many people, however, that will go a long distance in their quest for the best coffee ever. That includes feeding Arabica coffee berries to pachyderm (elephant) wherein the berries (which are carefully picked from an altitude as high as 1500 metres) will be subjected to slow digestion and running.
In this process, an enzyme secreted by the elephant’s body will break down protein in the berries.
The elephants then excrete the beans to be hand-picked, sun-dried and roasted, in order for people to enjoy. As protein is the main source of bitterness in the coffee, the process reduces/eliminates the bitterness in the coffee and coupled with various other ingredients in the elephant’s stomach, the result becomes more interesting.
Black Ivory Coffee
Black Ivory Coffee has been described as ‘very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee‘. The defecated coffee beans are currently being sold at $1,100 a kilo and has defeated the Indonesian civet feces coffee (Kopi Luwak), to become the world’s most expensive coffee beans!
Behind production of this world’s most expensive coffee, is a superior hotel in northern Thailand near the Golden Triangle with its own pachyderm (elephant) conservation centre, the Golden Triangle Elephant Foundation, home to about 30 elephants. 8% of the sales will help fund a specialist elephant veterinarian for the elephants of Thailand.
Production of Black Ivory Coffee also provides income to the Mahouts.
Serving Black Ivory Coffee
The hotel serves “black ivory blended” coffee, said to taste of coffee mixed with milk chocolate, nuts and fruit aroma. For now, only the wealthy or well-travelled have access to the cuppa, which is called Black Ivory Coffee.
It was launched in late 2012 at a few luxury hotels in remote corners of the world — first in northern Thailand, then the Maldives and now Abu Dhabi — with the price tag of about $50 a serving.
Source: Associated Press