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Silver Spoon Sunday: The Poop On The World's Most Expensive Coffee

It used to be that the most expensive coffee in the world was Kopi Luwak. The beans were eaten raw by the civet, a cat like creature of Asia, partially digested and pooped out. It is believed that the stomach enzymes that digest the flesh from the "cherries" leave its effect on the beans, giving them their unique flavor and aroma. Between that and the fact that only about half a ton make it to market each year, the price for a pound in over $1,000.

Coffee Beans (Public Domain Image)Coffee Beans (Public Domain Image)

But the new "hot" coffee in the lead is called Black Ivory. In this case the beans are naturally "processed and refined" through the digestive tracts of Thai elephants. At this point the coffee is only available at a handful of resorts in Thailand and the Maldives. 

Elephant Dung (Public Domain Image)Elephant Dung (Public Domain Image)

Research suggests that the digestive process breaks down the proteins in the coffee which make coffee bitter. With fewer of these proteins present it makes for a smoother drink. You would think that with the size of an elephant's digestive system compared to the civet that there should be a plentiful supply, but that is not the case. Only about 110 pounds exist currently and the price is over $2,000 a pound.

The taste of this special brew is reputed to be nutty or earthy, with chocolate and floral notes, and hints of berries and spice.  

The search for exotic poop-related beverages is not over. Rumor has it that a man in China is planning to grow a high-end green tea fertilized with panda dung. The tea is expected to sell for $200 a cup.

Sources: Huffington Post, Mail Online, Wikipedia

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