The lengths to which a coffee fiend will go for a special cup of joe seem to have no bounds. Civet coffee is as trendy as ever, that new Starbucks steel card sold out in less than five seconds, and now, from northern Thailand, comes Black Ivory Coffee picked fresh from elephant dung.
According to the Associated Press, raw coffee cherries are eaten by the elephants and then excreted. It’s during the digestion that the elephant’s stomach acid breaks down the protein in coffee that lends it bitterness. As a result, elephant-processed coffee is smooth in taste.
At a price tag of $500 per pound, it joins civet coffee as one of the more expensive coffees in the world. The price reflects the cost of production, including $1,000 toward each elephant for its care and maintenance. It takes 72 pounds of raw coffee cherries undergoing 15-30 hours of digestion to yield pounds of coffee.