Step aside cat crap coffee and take a hike panda poo tea, because the world's most precious cup of joe is now coming out of an elephant's ass. Over in Thailand, a Canadian entrepreneur named Blake Dinkin thinks he's found the number
two one best method for producing coffee, and it involves letting Arabica beans ferment inside an elephant's intestinal system. NPR bravely investigates the brew, which goes for $70 a serving. Their conclusion: not crap!
The so-called Black Ivory Coffee makes its way through the beast's digestive system for several days before passing more or less whole out the other end. According to Dinkin, elephants are well-suited to this task because they're herbivores, which means their GI tracts act like living fermentation tanks. According to Dinkin, the process brings out the natural sugar and takes away the bitterness. And the resulting brew? "The aroma is floral and chocolate; the taste is chocolate malt with a bit of cherry; there's no bitterness; and it's very soft, like tea." Mmm, soft. "So it's kind of like a cross between coffee and tea."
The elephants get off easy, really; the director of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, John Roberts, says it's safe enough for the animals so long as they don't go through any caffeine withdrawal symptoms which, as we all know, can be severe. Really it's the souls tasked with squeezing tons of giant elephant turds to find the precious beans who we feel for. They probably aren't seeing much from that high price tag, either.
You'll probably have to travel to Asia or the Middle East to taste the stuff, where it's being sold in five-star hotels and the like. However, there's one small store in Comfort, Texas called The Elephant Story that's also selling the brew; profits there go directly elephant conservation, a most un-shitty cause indeed.