Skooter reports 12/089/12
In the verdant hills of northern Thailand, a herd of 20 elephants is expelling some of the world's most expensive coffee.
Broadcasted as earthy in flavor and smooth on the palate, the out of the ordinary new brew is made from beans gobbled up by Thai elephants and gathered a day later from their dung. A gut effect inside the elephant creates what its founder calls the coffee's unique taste.
Here’s what happen inside the elephant’s gut: when an elephant munches coffee, its stomach acid breaks down the protein found in coffee, which is a key factor in bitterness, said Blake Dinkin, who has spent $300,000 developing the coffee. You end up with a cup that's very smooth minus the bitterness of regular coffee.
The result is comparable in civet coffee, or kopi luwak, another extremely expensive variety extracted from the waste of the weasel-like civet. But the elephants' huge stomach provides a bonus.
Stomach turning or oddly appealing, this is not just one of the world's most remarkable specialty coffees. At $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound), it's also among the world's priciest.
For the time being, only the wealthy or well-traveled have entrée to the cuppa, which is called Black Ivory Coffee. It was introduced last month at a few pl;ush hotels in far corners of the world, first in northern Thailand, then the Maldives and now Abu Dhabi, with the price tag of about $50 a serving.