The West

What makes the world's most expensive cup of coffee? Well the secret ingredient is elephant dung.

While coffee lovers may already be familiar with kopi luwak, a costly coffee that has been eaten then excreted by a civet cat, now there's a new kind on the block and it has spent time in the stomach of Asian elephants.

Black Ivory coffee retails for more than $1000 per kilo and is one of the most expensive and exclusive drinks in the world.

However if you'd like your morning cup to have worked its way through an elephant's digestive tract, you don't have to go too far.

It is now available at the Anantara Golden Triangle resort in Thailand, as well as Anantara's four retreats in the Maldives.

Only only high-grade Thai Arabica seed cherries are selected at an altitude of 1500 metres. It takes 33 kilograms to produce one kilo of Black Ivory. Once digested the elephant handlers pick the coffee cherries out of the elephant dung by hand and lay them out to dry in the sun.

The Elephants are cared for at the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), which helps out-of-work street elephants as well as their handlers and families. The coffee beans are not harmful to the elephants and no elephant is forced to eat them. Part proceeds also go back to the foundation to help more of the creatures.

The West Australian

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