The Anantara Hotels in Thailand have put on the market a coffee blend prepared from elephant compost. Peculiar as the procedure may sound, the Black Ivory blend still produces a smooth cup of coffee despite the strong scent.
In a released statement to AFP, the Thailand-based hotel group said that "Research indicates that during digestion, the enzymes of the elephant break down coffee protein. Since protein is one of the main factors responsible for bitterness in coffee, less protein means almost no bitterness."
After the elephant's digestion of the coffee berries, the mahouts or elephant trainers will pick out the coffee beans from the excreted droppings and then have them sun-dried. The procedure is executed at the hotel's elephant rescue center where 30 elephants live next to their mahouts.
However, this particular coffee blend is quite expensive. Anantara Hotels is selling the exceptional brew at approximately $US50 for two coffee cups. According to the hotel group, the "naturally refined" coffee costs an astounding $US1100 per kilogram. Therefore, it is considered as one of the world's priciest coffee blends.
Meanwhile, the Black Ivory blend is not the first kind of coffee blend that hit the market recently. Coffee extraction from civet, a tree-dwelling mammal found in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, is also put up for sale with a price close to the Black Ivory coffee blend. An unnamed New York coffee shop reportedly sells civet coffee for $US748 per kilo.