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Black Ivory Coffee

Black Ivory Coffee at The Elephant Story

 

THE WORLD'S RAREST COFFEE

NATURALLY REFINED BY ELEPHANTS

With a 2019 allocation of 150 kg (330 LBS), Black Ivory Coffee is the world's rarest coffee and is sold primarily to select five star hotels, The Elephant Story is the only location in the western hemisphere serving Black Ivory Coffee.
 
 
 
   

The In-Store Service Experience: 

$75.00 to $85.00

AN INCREDIBLY DISTINCTIVE CUP

With notes of chocolate, malt, spice, a hint of grass and without the burnt or bitter taste of regular coffee, Black Ivory Coffee will be the most distinctive cup you will ever have tried, even if you are not a coffee expert!

The In-Store Service Experience is $75.00 for 400ml (approximately 14 oz.) which will serve 4 demitasse cups of Black Ivory Coffee. $85.00 for Rum or Cognac Barrel Aged Black Ivory Coffee.

Please call ahead before making the trip to The Elephant Story for your Black Ivory Coffee purchase or In-Store Experience. We want to ensure that we have coffee in stock.  Please Call: (830) 995-3133

Original Black Ivory Coffee

Single Package: $60.00

(In Store & Phone Orders Only)

One packet of coffee beans is $60.00 (will make 400ml of coffee) and is only sold in the store or by phone order (not available online).

Please Call: (830) 995-3133

Cognac XO Barrel Aged Black Ivory Coffee

Single Package: $70.00 

(In Store & Phone Orders Only)

In-Store Experience: $85.00

Enjoy XO Cognac? Appreciate the world's rarest and most expensive coffee? What happens when you combine the two? You get Cognac Barrel Aged Black Ivory Coffee!

  • A single envelope holds 35 grams/ 1.23 ounces of whole roasted Thai Arabica beans that have been naturally refined by elephants.
  • The 2019 Vintage for Cognac Barrel Aged is only 2 kg / 4.4 lbs.
  • What does it taste like? Pre barrel, the Black Ivory Coffee beans have notes of chocolate, tamarind, spice, a hint of grass and without the burnt or bitter taste of regular coffee. The cognac has intense sweet pastry aromas alongside notes of cinnamon, dried fruit, old port and violet. Together equals perfection.

Rum Barrel Aged Black Ivory Coffee

Single Package: $70.00 

(In Store & Phone Orders Only)

In-Store Experience: $85.00

Enjoy rum? Appreciate the world's rarest and most expensive coffee? What happens when you combine the two? You get Rum Barrel Aged Black Ivory Coffee!

  • A single envelope holds 35 grams/ 1.23 ounces of whole roasted Thai Arabica beans that have been naturally refined by elephants.
  • The 2019 Vintage for Rum Barrel Aged is only 2 kg / 4.4 lbs.
  • What does it taste like? Pre barrel the Black Ivory Coffee beans have notes of chocolate, tamarind, spice, a hint of grass and without the burnt or bitter taste of regular coffee. The XO rum is described as raw honey, sweet, spicy, dark cherry chocolate, sultana, date and prune, brown sugar, toffee, cedar and tobacco.

 

The Story of Black Ivory Coffee

  

THE MISSION

The mission of Black Ivory Coffee is to take a negative situation, namely human-elephant conflict and turn it into a positive one by creating a luxury product that helps not hurts elephants. It must also taste great, be distinctive and create a lasting, positive and memorable experience for the guest.

Black Ivory Coffee aims to serve their Coffee in the finest five star hotels and Michelin restaurants in the world.  

THE PROCESS

Ten years in the making, Black Ivory Coffee is created through a process whereby coffee cherries are naturally refined by Thai elephants in the remote rural village of Ban Taklang, Surin, Thailand.
   
It begins with selecting the best 100% Thai Arabica cherries that have been picked from an altitude as high as 1500 meters. Next, the cherries are brought to Ban Taklang where each elephant caregiving family mixes the cherries with the elephant's favourite food. Examples include: rice, banana and tamarind. This combination helps to ensure that the elephant enjoys the snack and that there is additional nutritional benefit. Each elephant has its own recipe as their taste, just like humans, is subjective. Once ingested, the digestive process will begin and this can take between 12 to 72 hours depending on the amount of food already in the stomach of the elephant.
  
Once deposited by the elephants, the individual cherries are hand-picked by the elephant caregivers. (Please refer to the Social Responsibility section for benefits provided in this part of the value chain)
  
The picked cherries are then brought to the local school where final year high school students are paid to wash, rake and sun dry the coffee cherries. (Please refer to the Social Responsibility section for benefits provided in this part of the value chain)
  
Once dried to a certain percentage of moisture the cherries are then hulled and sorted by machine for density and by hand for physical defects and size. Only the largest sizes are chosen to ensure an even roast.
Next, the beans are roasted, packed in a one way valve bag to ensure freshness and shipped out. To ensure freshness, Black Ivory Coffee roasts to order and does not warehouse roasted coffee.
  
Approximately 33 kilograms of coffee cherries are required to produce just one kilogram of Black Ivory Coffee. The result is a very distinctive cup with notes of chocolate/cacao, spice, (tobacco and leather), a hint of grass and red cherry. Black Ivory Coffee lacks bitterness and is delicate, almost tea-like in its complexity. While taste is subjective we believe this will be the most distinctive cup you will ever taste.
  

  SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Because of Black Ivory Coffee's commitment to elephant conservation and welfare, they support the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation in order to educate the children of elephant care giving families on the plight of wild elephants in Thailand and on the issue of human elephant conflict. Children travel to a national park where for the first time in their life they see elephants in the wild. For most this also represents the first trip outside of their village.
  
Production of Black Ivory Coffee also provides valuable income generation for elephant care giving families as well as students of the local high school who are taught how to wash and dry the coffee. The money earned generally tends to support aging parents, health expenses, school fees, food, and clothing. Some of the students are also saving for university. ​Black Ivory Coffee pays 350 THB (Thai Baht) per kilogram for picked coffee. One can pick this quantity in roughly 15 minutes. To provide some perspective, an average coffee worker in Thailand earns 7 THB per kilogram in Thailand and in Ban Taklang one can earn approximately 200 THB for 7 hours work harvesting rice.
  
  

Why does this process improve the taste of the coffee?

​​Research by Dr. Marcone at the University of Guelph indicates that during digestion, the enzymes of the elephant break down coffee protein. Since protein is one of the main factors responsible for bitterness in coffee, less protein means almost no bitterness. As well, in contrast to carnivores, herbivores such as elephants use much more fermentation for digestion. Fermentation is desirable in coffee as it helps to impart the fruit from the coffee pulp into the bean.

  

  

Do elephants eat coffee beans naturally?

​Yes. In times of drought, Asian elephants are attracted to coffee plantations as many of them are irrigated and the elephants are drawn to the various fruits (coffee and others).

  

  

Are the elephants affected by the caffeine?

​​No. Black Ivory Coffee uses 100% Thai Arabica beans. Arabica beans contain approximately 1% caffeine. In contrast, Robusta beans contain double that amount.

  

Green coffee beans have quite an amazing design as the shell of the bean acts as a protective barrier to the coffee oils that are inside. Further, in order to extract the caffeine, heat is necessary. This is why coffee is roasted at roughly 200C and brewed at 93C. Adding further security for the elephant is the skin and pulp of the coffee bean. Blood work has been completed by independent veterinarians to confirm that there has been no harm to the elephants. An elephant veterinarian is also on-site at the production site full-time.

  

  

 

Press 

 

What's in a $50 Cup of Coffee?

By Russell Wilde
Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 01:10 PM EST

Elephant Dung Coffee: Smooth, Rich and Expensive

By  (@muhammadlila) for ABC Nightline

March 14, 2013