Thursday, April 10, 2014

Black Ivory Coffee

Sometimes one comes across strange things, delicious things, bad tasting things and rare things.....among many other things. I came across a very rare thing called Black Ivory Coffee

What is so special on this coffee?

Firstly, only 200 kg are produced each year, that of course makes it extremely rare, especially when one thins that in Finland everybody consumes on average 11 kg coffee per year, so 20 Fins would drink up the entire production.
Secondly, and I think that is even more interesting, the coffee is not made in the traditional way, no, it is actually .........let me start from the very beginning

In northern Thailand there are coffee plantations, some very high quality Arabica cherries (coffee beans still in the skin). They get harvested and then, ha and this is the big difference, gets fed to street rescued elephants! So now you can imagine what happens: The elephants eat the coffee cherries, then digest them and .....yes they are coming out in the back again. Then the fermented cherries (only the nice and whole ones) get picked from the elephant poop. To produce 1 kg of coffee beans, one needs 33 kg of fresh coffee cherries. Why? Because when the elephants eat it, it gets mixed with fresh fruit and eaten as a snack, some of the cherries will get crushed between the teeth and are not usable anymore. Then sometimes the elephant do what they have to do in places that they can not find the poop or they are in the water....and everything is lost. So it is not easy.
Then they get cleaned and dried. The coffee gets then roasted at 200C to a medium roast, then packed and shipped immediately to conserve the freshness. So for anybody who has doubts about the cleanliness of the coffee? It has been tested and came out as one of the cleanest coffees available.

The preparation of the coffee is something special too. It work in a vacuum coffee machine, a replica of an 1840 model, and it works perfectly. The coffee beans get grind by hand at the table and then the coffee is prepared, so there is a lot of show and enough time for the waiter to tell a great story about the elephants and the coffee
Blake, the owner of Black Ivory Coffee demonstrating the grinding of the coffee
How does the coffee taste????? If you expect any special flavor....sorry to disappoint you, it tastes like coffee. OK, it is milder than coffee, maybe for many of us too mild, it even looks a little bit like a dark tea. I have to admit, I do prefer a nice espresso after dinner, but if it is explained properly on the flavors, one just takes a little sugar in the coffee, yes I have to admit it is actually very nice
How much does it cost? Let's jut say, it is not cheap, but if you want to try, we will offer it within the next couple of month as one of only 19 hotels world wide to be able to sell the coffee

There is another coffee that is made similar, but with Civets, but unfortunately because of the popularity there are now cases of animal cruelty, so one has to be careful with buying that coffee

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