How Much Would You Pay For Elephant Poop Coffee?

If the answer is $1500 a kilogram, then it might be time to start booking your next vacation. On the island of Macau, China, you can get a cup of “black ivory” for 488 patacas, which is about $60 USD (plus tip!).

The labour-intensive process behind the coffee starts with orphaned elephants in Thailand. They are fed Thai Arabica coffee berries, which are them collected from their faeces after a period of “natural fermentation”.

Just 200 kilograms of elephant dung coffee are produced every year, as it takes 33 kilograms of coffee berries to yield just 1 kilogram of the coveted stuff.

The final product supposedly has aromas of dark, nutty chocolate and tastes of cherry and tobacco.

Staff at MGM Macau’s Grand Praca Cafe, where the coffee is served daily between 1pm and 8pm, said that since it was added to the menu, there were one to two orders every day.

I am sorry that I put that f-word on this website, and I am sorry to bring up orphaned elephants, but to be honest if I ever find myself in Macau, I would probably throw down for a cup of this stuff.

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16 Comments / Post A Comment

aetataureate (#1,310)

No. Listen. No.

thegirlieshow (#5,285)

Zero dollars. Negative 80 dollars.

cryptolect (#1,135)

“Orphaned elephants” sounds very specific. And very sad.

readyornot (#816)

@cryptolect I don’t know about Thailand, but outside of Nairobi in Kenya the David Sheldrick Wildlife Reserve takes care of young elephants whose mothers have been poached.

Blake (#6,271)

@readyornot I spoke to the Sheldrick Foundation roughly 10 years ago. Black Ivory Coffee does not work with orphaned elephants. Orphaned elephants can be in a precarious health situation and so they need to stick to a very strict diet to help them regain their health. They cannot permeate from their diet, no other fruits can be introduced to what has already been prescribed.

jillcool (#2,123)

My personal belief has always been that I’d try anything once. I may have found the thing that makes me a liar for saying that.

readyornot (#816)

Isn’t this kind of like the civet poop coffee from Vietnam? Tried it, just kind of sweeter than other roasted coffee.

Meaghano (#529)

@readyornot Yes! They mention that in the article. Ooh. Was it as expensive?

readyornot (#816)

@Meaghano I feel like it was about 2 or 3 times a normal price for a bag of coffee, so not as outrageous as the prices listed here.

RiffRandell (#4,774)

Let’s not involve Barbar with these shenanigans.

Meaghano (#529)

@RiffRandell Lol, had to.

PicNic (#3,760)

I’m sad it doesn’t really address if these berries have any negative effects on the elephants health. It doesn’t really sound like Thai Arabica coffee berries are a part of their natural diets.

that said, if it isn’t harming them and they are well taken care of otherwise, I’d probably give it a shot.

Also, I know this makes me a hypocrite because I eat chicken and all manner of things that probably aren’t totally well cared for when they’re alive. I’m sorry I’m a terrible person. Between this and the exploited elephants that are prodded into painting for tourists, or wildcats that are drugged so tourists can pet a tiger… maybe it’s a food vs. entertainment issue for me.

Blake (#6,271)

@PicNic Fair question. Elephants do eat coffee cherries in the wild so yes it is part of their natural diet albeit a small part. I developed Black Ivory Coffee when I read about elephants being poisoned by farmers in Asia and Africa when they tried to invade the coffee fields to get at the cherries, especially during times of drought. Coffee fields are usually irrigated and coffee cherries are actually fairly sweet when they are ripe.

Black Ivory Coffee is meant to take a negative situation (human elephant conflict) and turn it into a positive (provide income generation for the mahouts, income generation for the foundation and provide nutritional advantage by combining coffee cherries with high value fruit and minerals which can be expensive to obtain otherwise or hard to find naturally). Feel free to email me if you have any other questions at http://www.blackivorycoffee.com

garli (#4,150)

I would probably try this and then really regret it if I liked it a lot and wanted more.

Blake (#6,271)

@cryptolect Thanks for the article on my coffee. I enjoyed reading it. A quick correction should be made though. The elephants involved are not orphaned, they were rescued from the street because their owners had no viable form of income generation and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation provides a living stipend for owners, a home for both the elephant and mahout’s family, insurance as well as medical care for the elephants. It is only one of two five star government rated sanctuaries in Thailand. It is also a registered charity.

When I produce Black Ivory Coffee I pay 15 x the going wage so that they can earn the legal day’s wage (10 USD) in 45 minutes. That may not sound like much for many readers here but that is significant. The workers are women and the money earned helps to pay for things needed around the home, clothing, extra food etc.

Finally, I donate 8% of my SALES back to the foundation (helpingelephants.org) to help pay for the elephant veterinarian, and medicine to treat sick elephants.

For more info you can visit my website at wwww.blackivorycoffee.com

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