Ten years in the making, Black Ivory Coffee is created through a process whereby coffee cherries are naturally refined by Thai elephants in the remote rural province of Surin, Thailand.
It begins with selecting the best 100% Thai Arabica cherries that have been picked from an altitude as high as 1500 meters. Next, the cherries are brought to Surin where each elephant care-giving family mixes the cherries with the elephant's favourite food. Examples include: rice, banana and tamarind. This combination helps to ensure that the elephant enjoys the snack and that there is additional nutritional benefit. Each elephant has its own recipe as their taste, just like humans, is subjective. Once ingested, the digestive process will begin and this can take between 12 to 72 hours depending on the amount of food already in the stomach of the elephant.
Once deposited by the elephants, the individual cherries are hand-picked by the elephant care-givers. (Please refer to the Social Responsibility section for benefits provided in this part of the value chain)
The picked cherries are then brought to the local school where final year high school students are paid to wash, rake and sun dry the coffee cherries. (Please refer to the Social Responsibility section for benefits provided in this part of the value chain)
Once dried to a certain percentage of moisture the cherries are then hulled and sorted by machine for density and by hand for physical defects and size. Only the largest sizes are chosen to ensure an even roast.
Next, the beans are roasted, packed in a one-way valve bag to ensure freshness and shipped out. To ensure freshness, Black Ivory Coffee roasts to order and does not warehouse roasted coffee.
Approximately 33 kilograms of coffee cherries are required to produce just one kilogram of Black Ivory Coffee. The result is a very distinctive cup with notes of chocolate/cacao, spice, (tobacco and leather), a hint of grass and red cherry. Black Ivory Coffee lacks bitterness and is delicate, almost tea-like in its complexity. While taste is subjective, we believe this will be the most distinctive cup you will ever taste.