For elite coffee snobs, spending exorbitant amounts of money on rare roasts is a matter of course -- like judging baristas on their tamping technique and cracking themselves up with lame jokes about burr mill grinders. So what's the rarest, most expensive bag of beans a caffeine cultist could possibly procure? It's called Black Ivory Coffee, and it's made in Thailand from top quality elephant feces.
Harvesting coffee beans from animal feces isn't exactly new: "kopi luwak" beans are pulled from the droppings of civet cats, and are prized throughout southeast Asia for the unique flavor imparted on them by the enzymes in the civet's digestive system. Blake Dinkin, Black Ivory's founder, initially wanted to use civets to make his coffee as well, but upon learning that increased demand for kopi luwak had led to diminished bean quality, he eventually settled on elephants as an alternative poo source. The result: a non-bitter coffee that evidently tastes like caramel and chocolate.
How much will this no. 2 brew cost you? Well, unless you pick up a cup at one of these five star hotels, a Black Ivory sample pack will run you $66, and at 35g, it'll make about five espresso-sized cups. In other words, a pound of the stuff would set you back roughly $860 -- if they sold it by the pound, which they totally don't.
Still, each purchase helps to support Thailand's Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, so it's probably tax deductible. Maybe? Definitely tusk deductible, though.
Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and he has an altogether different association between poop and coffee. Follow him to the bathroom on Twitter @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to email@example.com