Coffee is getting competitive. With a growing coffee trend for the unique and offbeat, restaurants are looking for the newest flavors and boldest methods of brewing to keep guests coming. The rarest beans currently bring in $1,100 per kilogram, so what sets them apart from any others? Dung.
A Coffee Trend for the Unusual
Black Ivory Coffee from Maldives is the most expensive coffee around. At $50 a cup, this rarity beats out Kopi Luwak and Coati-dung Coffee as the world’s most expensive and rare coffee, though they’re all derived in a similar fashion.
I’ll let Jack Nicholson discuss the process:
Animals eat the coffee beans, but can’t digest them, so they poop them out. In the case of Black Ivory Coffee, Thai elephants do the “brewing”, as it were. For Kopi Luwak, the Asian Palm Civet in Indonesia does the depositing. Coati-dung Coffee comes from Peru where coati (tropical relations to the raccoon) process the beans.
The Science Behind It
Elephants are fed coffee cherries (the pit of which is the coffee bean) along with bananas and sugar cane. Thanks to the enzymatic process of digestion, proteins within the coffee cherries are broken down, creating a less bitter, more pleasurable taste. The bananas and sugar cane give the coffee a fruity flavor.
Who’s Behind Black Ivory Coffee?
After ten years of research and a $300,000 investment, Canadian entrepreneur, Blake Dinkin, created Black Ivory Coffee. The company is located in Chiang Saen, Thailand where mahouts (elephant riders) and their wives feed and collect the coffee cherries.
Where to Find Black Ivory Coffee
Black Ivory Coffee is only sold to select five star hotels (and one store dedicated to the conservation of Asian Elephants) at the moment. For a taste of this rare brew, visit the following hotels:
- Napasi by Orient Express
- Conrad Koh Samui
- The Pavilions Resort
- Paresa Resorts
- The Peninsula Bangkok
- Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Retreat
- Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
- The Siam Hotel
- Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
- Anantara Golden Triangle
- Anantara Dhigu Resort and Spa
- Anantara Kihavah Villa
In the United States
- Elephant Story
Treatment of Animals in this Coffee Trend
There have been reports suggesting that the civets involved in making Kopi Luwak were caged and abused, leading to the prevalence of “cruelty-free” coffee.
As for Black Ivory Coffee, the elephants are said to be free-range and treated ethically. A portion of these coffee sales goes to paying for free veterinary services for the elephants.
Other Products Made From Dung
Poopoopaper.com offers paper derived from plant fibers harvested from animal dung. This creates an alternative to chopping down trees for our paper needs. Imagine serving coffee brewed from beans found in animal dung, and using paper processed from animal dung for your menus.
How far would you go for sustainability?
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