Niche Travel


If you happen to be staying in one of a handful of five-star hotels in Thailand or the UAE over the coming months, be careful about the coffee. Not that there’s anything seriously wrong.

If you see a blend called Black Ivory on the menu, the first thing that will hit you is the price, around €50 a pop. And that’s only the beginning. The reason this particular cuppa is expensive is because of an additional, all natural, process that the coffee beans have passed through – an elephant. That’s right.

Before it hits your cup this coffee did time in poo. As the company behind it puts it, borrowing shamelessly from the tomato industry but to lesser effect, the poo was “sun-dried” before the coffee beans were retrieved.

After that brief detour the traditional coffee manufacturing process resumes.

There is a reason for it, and not just to make headlines around the world. Apparently the enzymes in an elephant’s digestive system break down the protein in the coffee bean. And it is the protein in the bean that causes the bitterness in the coffee.

Hey guys, ever heard of sugar? In the meantime, if you are staying at a super de luxe resort in Thailand and the waiter asks whether you want one lump or two, might be worth double checking. Or ordering tea.

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