You’d never suspect that cup of coffee that runs $70 is made from elephant feces. But that’s exactly what you will get with the world’s most expensive coffee.
Rarely do things that cost this much money literally come from poo. But such is the case with the world’s most expensive coffee, because it comes from elephant dung.
Black Ivory Coffee will run you about $70 per serving and is created in Thailand in the Golden Triangle. The coffee is made by feeding fruit mash with the beans to elephants, who digest and poop out the unroasted beans.
It takes three days for the elephants to digest the beans. After they have laid their droppings, workers don gloves and carefully harvest the beans from the poop. They then clean and roast the beans. To put into perspective the harsh price tag, 30 pounds of harvested beans will only produce about 1 pound of coffee.
The reason elephants are used is because they are an herbivore. When they digest the beans, they help to weaken the cellulose and make the beans sugary by imparting the fruit in the coffee pulp. Basically, the beans slowly ferment in the elephants’ bellies and reduce the bitterness of the coffee while making it sweeter.
Tasters compare the taste to sweet, soft or a combination of coffee and tea. Some say it’s fruity. Others say that it is chocolaty. Nobody says it tastes like an elephant’s bum.
If you think that’s strange, other coffee is made from poop, too.
One brand uses the Asian Toddy cat to ferment the beans, collecting them from the dung and cleaning and roasting them, selling the brewed cups for about $15.
Camocim Jacu Bird Coffee uses bird poo to bring out the flavor, and runs about $3,000 for a 130-pound bag.
Kopi luwak coffee is made from wild civet poop and retails for about $3,000 per kilogram.
Regardless the taste, whatever happened to enjoying a good old fashion cup of Kona coffee? No poop is required.