Sure this coffee tastes like elephant dung, but you can drink it

Wednesday, 2 April, 2014

What is the fixation among coffee drinkers for consuming brews whose beans have passed through the digestive tract of one animal or another?

Kopi Luwak, an Indonesian coffee whose flavour is enhanced after being eaten, and later defecated, by a cat like creature called a civet, was popular in Sydney a couple of years ago. If cat coffee isn’t your thing though, perhaps you’d care to sample “black ivory”, a bean that is… fermented by way of an elephant’s intestines:

Just 200 kilograms of elephant dung coffee are produced every year, as it takes 33 kilograms of coffee berries to yield just 1 kilogram of the coveted stuff. The final product supposedly has aromas of dark, nutty chocolate and tastes of cherry and tobacco.

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Elephants too mourn deaths in the family

Wednesday, 2 November, 2011

A brief, though touching, excerpt from a book “Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other Animals”, written by Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal in 1996, describing the reaction of a herd of elephants to the death of a family member:

Afterward, the others sprinkled earth over the carcass, then went off into the surrounding bushes to break off branches, which they placed over Tina’s body. By nightfall the corpse was almost completely covered. When the herd moved off next morning, Teresia was the last one to leave. Facing the others with her back to her dead daughter, she reached behind herself and felt the carcass with her foot several times before she very reluctantly moved off.

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