Elephant Dung Used To Make Coffee



Elephants in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand


In the misty lush hills of northern Thailand, where Thailand meets Laos and Burma, a herd of elephants is excreting some of the world's most expensive coffee



Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.


Trumpeted as earthy in flavor and smooth on the palate, the exotic new brew is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung. A gut reaction inside the elephant creates what its founder calls the coffee's unique taste.

The result is similar in civet coffee, or kopi luwak, another exorbitantly expensive variety extracted from the excrement of the weasel-like civet. But the elephants' massive stomach provides a bonus.

It takes 33 kilograms (72 pounds) of raw coffee cherries to produce 1 kilogram of (2 pounds) Black Ivory coffee. At $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound), it's also among the world's priciest.

For now, only the wealthy or well-traveled have access to the cuppa, which is called Black Ivory Coffee. It was launched last month 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.



An iced coffee on an offbeat island resort in Vietnam




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