Category Archives: Coffee Brands

The World’s Most Exclusive Coffee Comes from Elephants

Courtesy of Elephants of Thailand

The world’s most exclusive coffee can be found at a Bangkok-based hotel chain in Asia and the Middle East, and it may be shocking to learn where this coffee comes from. The Anantara Hotel produces coffee from beans that have been pre-digested by Thailand elephants. The aptly named Black Ivory Coffee costs around $50 per cup, and one kilo of beans costs up to $1,100.

Coffee farmers in Thailand harvest Thai Arabica beans and then feed them to local elephants that were rescued from roaming the country’s streets. After the beans are digested and excreted, elephant trainers handpick the beans and sun-dry them. One kilo of the Black Ivory Coffee requires 10,000 pre-digested coffee beans.

Supposedly, a chemical reaction from the elephants’ digestive system creates a unique flavor. Blake Dinkin, the man behind the creation of Black Ivory Coffee, told the Associated Press, “When an elephant eats coffee, its stomach acid breaks down the protein found in coffee, which is a key factor in bitterness. You end up with a cup that’s very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee.”

It is also believed that the bananas, sugar cane, and other vegetables in an elephant’s diet affect the fruity flavor of the beans as they are all digested together.

Thus far, elephants have not been found to be adversely affected from the extra consumption of caffeine. Additionally, 8 percent of the coffee’s total sales is donated to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which is a refuge for rescued and abused elephants.

As strange as the origin of Black Ivory Coffee sounds, it’s not the only pre-digested coffee. Kopi Luwak coffee beans come from beans digested by the Asian palm civet.

McDonald’s Getting in on the Ground Coffee Game?

McDonalds McCafe MochaIt’s been no secret that McDonald’s has been slowly rolling out their own line of coffee and coffee drinks over the years. They’ve always been proud of their coffee (notwithstanding the infamous hot coffee lawsuit from several years ago), and over the last five years, they have been promoting their own line of iced coffees and frappes through their McCafe. According to the Wall Street Journal, the McCafe has higher profit margins than most of McDonald’s food and has enticed people to stop by the fast food chain more often during the day.

As such, McDonald’s is currently testing their future coffee waters by selling their own ground coffee in select restaurants in Canada. Currently, McDonald’s has said that they have no plans to sell the coffee elsewhere, but if the bagged coffee does indeed sell well in Canada, then why wouldn’t they trickle the test across restaurants in the US?

Dunkin Donuts has seen great success with their ground coffee sales ever since they rolled out, so it’s not exactly a surprise that McDonald’s wouldn’t be interested in capturing some of that same success. That said, it will be shocking to see a fast food chain who has earned its claim to fame with hamburgers sell bags of ground coffee in its restaurants.

In addition, McDonald’s has also said that they are considering producing single-cup coffee packets and K-cups for Keurig single-brewing machines, also not unlike what Dunkin Donuts currently sells.

So just imagine…in a year or so, we might be able to walk into a McDonald’s and buy a Quarter Pounder and a pound of ground coffee. We also might be able to buy McDonald’s brand coffee in our local grocery stores alongside Starbucks, Folgers, and Dunkin Donuts.

Do you like McDonald’s coffee enough to want to brew it at home?