It used to be that kopi luwak, coffee processed through the bowels of civets, was the top end of high priced and rare coffee. But now, at $50 a cup, Black Ivory coffee is the new hotness. And instead of going through the bowls of a cat, it goes through the bowels of a Thai elephant. Mmm.
“When an elephant eats coffee, its stomach acid breaks down the protein found in coffee, which is a key factor in bitterness,” says Blake Dinkin, who developed the coffee. “You end up with a cup that’s very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee.” 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, thanks to the length of time it takes the beans to be digested and the other ingredients that infuse the beans during that time. For now, the $50-per-serving drink is only available at luxury hotels in Thailand, the Maldives, and Abu Dhabi.
You know what else takes just the right of bitterness out of coffee? Making it in a French press or a siphon coffee pot. Damn that’s good.
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