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One of the world’s rarest coffee, naturally refined by elephants. The most distinctive cup you could ever try

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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.

The Black Ivory Coffee 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.

Harvesting 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 province of 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 Surin where each elephant care-giving family mixes the cherries with the elephant’s favorite 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 care-givers.

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.

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.

Social responsibility

Because of their commitment to elephant conservation and welfare, Black Ivory Coffee supports 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 our 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 Surin province one can earn approximately 200 THB for 7 hours work harvesting rice.

Press review

“…oddly alluring, this is not just one of the world’s most unusual specialty coffees. At $500 per pound, it’s also among the world’s priciest. For now, only the wealthy or well-traveled have access to the cuppa, which is called Black Ivory Coffee.”
Read the full article here

“But he’s serious about his coffee. “[He] wouldn’t spend 10 years and put [his] life savings on this if [he] didn’t think it’s for real, or [he] thought it was just going to be an overnight gag.”
Read the full article here

“This is no average cup o’ joe, but don’t knock it until you try it.”
Read the full article here


*1 THB = €0.028