Food News

Elephant dung coffee leaves bitter taste in the mouth

Sometimes in the world of foodie news, rather than causing excitement or tantalising the tastebuds, the news just makes you sigh in disbelief.

That was the case this week with the news that the Anantara resort in Chiang Saen in a remote area of Thailand near Myanmar and Laos has started to sell coffee (prepared pretentiously in front of guests, of course) made from beans that have passed through an elephant. Think that’s weird? Well, bear in mind that before elephants were chosen as the lucky animal to perform this task, lions and giraffes (yes, really) were also considered!

This is the next step up on the ridiculous scale from coffee made from beans that have passed through civet cats. In this case, the beans are collected from the cat’s droppings, presumably not too long after the cat has been force-fed the beans, a cruel process that for some reason doesn’t leave as bitter a taste in the mouth as you might expect (the coffee is only becoming more and more popular around the world).

The company making the coffee is called Black Ivory Coffee, founded and run by Blake Dinkin. Unsurprisingly, it sounds like he’s found a way to get privileged guests staying at the Anantara resort to pay a premium for the elephant dung coffee. Also unsurprisingly, locations touted for Black Ivory Coffee to expand into include Paris and Copenhagen, some of the most expensive and “fashionable” cities on earth.

Maybe this would all make sense if the final product actually tasted nice, but coffee experts who have tried it actually think it’s pretty average, which is unsurprising given that you can’t exactly control the fermentation process as it takes place in an elephant’s stomach!

I think I’ll be leaving the Black Ivory Coffee to people with nothing better to spend their cash on – I’m fine with a humble espresso from the coffee machine!

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