Ritz-Carlton to Debut Elephant Poop Coffee at TIFF

You know what would make for a great break between all the action at TIFF? A nice, steaming cup of crap.

That’s what the culinary geniuses at Toronto’s Ritz-Carlton are banking on when the five-star hotel debuts Black Ivory Coffee during this year’s film fest.

Black Ivory Coffee is advertised as “the world’s rarest and most expensive coffee” – hence a perfect match for TIFF – and  “naturally refined by elephants.” Digging a little deeper into the fine print, this process of natural refinery is actually just Thai elephants eating some ingredients, taking a dump, having high schoolers sift through it, and then rich people buying the remains.

I’m already picturing the headlines: ‘George Clooney Says Elephant Shit Coffee Puts Toronto on Brink of World Class Status’.

Here’s the full product description:

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 Ban Taklang where each elephant caregiving 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 caregivers. (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.

So while more than 10 per cent of the world’s population don’t know where their next meal will come from, a lucky few know with disturbing precision: straight out of an elephant’s ass.

As for the taste: “with notes of chocolate, malt, spice, a hint of grass and without the burnt or bitter taste of regular coffee.” No shit.

The Ritz-Carlton will offer this most absurd of indulgences during tastings for two to three people, price at $50. For the thrifty set, you can fetch a kilo for $1,800.