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Black Ivory Coffee

Image of Gruel fed to elephants to produce "Black Ivory"

Gruel fed to elephants to produce “Black Ivory”

One day Canadian entrepreneur Blake Dinkin was sitting around, wondering what to do with his life savings.  A thought suddenly occurred to him.

If people will spend $600 a pound for coffee that has been put through a lowly civet, how much will they pay for coffee that’s gone through an ELEPHANT!

I know that all of us have had this thought at some point or another, but Blake actually acted on it.

Image of "Black Ivory" being collected

The “Source” of Black Ivory

And Black Ivory Coffee was born.

First, the good news:  Black Ivory Coffee isn’t (yet) plagued with concerns over counterfeiting and animal abuse.   Also, Blake maintains that since elephants are herbivores rather than omnivores (like their nemesis, the civet), the packyderm’s internal fermentation process is vastly superior.  He doesn’t explain why this is the case, though it is true that coffee beans take a good deal longer to go through an elephant than a civet.  And finally, 8% of Dinkin’s profits go back to the elephant sanctuary that provides him with the elephants.

Image of "Black Ivory" being collected

“Black Ivory” being collected

Now for the bad news:

  • While elephants probably don’t get a caffeine buzz, it is possible that they might go through caffeine withdrawal.  A cranky civet with a headache is one thing.  A bad-tempered elephant is something else entirely.
  • The jokes:  Crappacino.  Good to the last dropping.  Dung Beans.  Brew No. 2.
  • Turns out that elephants, unlike civets, chew the coffee cherries hard enough to break the beans.  It therefore takes 30 pounds of front-end cherries to recover a single pound of usable back-end beans.

And finally, if you’re dying to try a sip of elephant dung coffee, you’re s#*t out of luck.  Their entire harvest of 440 pounds is sold out.  You’re going to have to fly to Singapore, Hong Kong, or Thailand where you can still get it in a few five star hotels.  Or go to Texas, where you can do a tasting at the nonprofit “The Elephant Story”.

Video on “Elephant Dung Coffee” Courtesy of ABC