Fancy a double espresso with a dash of elephant dung? Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas has introduced Black Ivory Coffee to its four Maldives properties and the hot beverage is made using coffee beans harvested from elephant poo.
That's not all, as it's priced at $1,100 (£687) per kilo, making it the world's most expensive coffee.
It works by coffee beans being digested and 'naturally refined' by Thai elephants. Research indicates that during digestion, the enzymes of the elephant break down coffee protein. As protein is one of the main factors responsible for the bitterness in coffee, less protein means there is almost no bitterness to the coffee.
The process begins with the best Thai Arabica beans being picked from an altitude of 1,500 metres and once the beans have been digested and deposited by the elephants, they are handpicked by elephant trainers and their wives before being dried in the sun.
CEO of the Minor Hotel Group, which includes Anantara said: 'We are delighted to be amongst the first hotels in the world to offer this one-of-a-kind coffee experience that also has a positive impact in the lives of Thai elephants.'
The coffee is refined at Anantara's own foundation, the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation in Thailand, where 30 street elephants have been rescued to date. Eight per cent of coffee sales will be donated to the foundation to help care for the elephants.
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