Friday, August 2, 2013

The World's Best Brew?

Today’s blog is about one of my favorite topics…COFFEE! 

I’m a big fan of the amber elixir of the gods and that’s not news to anyone who knows me. It’s as much a comfort food as a pick-me-up but while I’m never happier than with a fresh mug in hand, no one has ever mistaken me for a coffee connoisseur. I’ll drink whatever is handy as long as I have enough artificial sweetener and creamer to take the edge off it. In the absence of better options I’ve even been known to drink the stuff provided by my employer, a coffee-colored substance I suspect is made from industrial floor wax.

Despite being a neophyte of sorts my interest in these wondrous little beans means I hear a lot of chatter about it online and every now and then something gets my attention. For example, the story of the world’s most expensive coffee. Black Ivory goes for $50 a cup in select 5-star restaurants in Thailand. Yes, you read that right. $50 a cup. We won’t even get into what it costs a pound.

Personally, I can't justify paying that much for a single cup of coffee, though if someone had offered I might have been willing to mooch a $5 sip back in the day. Now I’d be willing to watch in nauseated fascination and try not to be too obvious with the grimacing as they downed every last drop. That’s the best I could do.

Black Ivory isn’t ordinary coffee and the price is reflective of the simple but expensive process it goes through before it ends up in your gold-plated cup. The website describes it as “…naturally refined by elephants…” For those of you familiar with the almost affordable Kopi Luwak you know where I’m going with this. For the rest of you I think it’s safe to say if you knew what happened to the beans before they were packaged and shipped to the restaurant, you’d join me in my slightly nauseated grimacing.

The process beings with Arabica beans. Once they’re picked, the beans are fed to elephants tended in a special sanctuary. When they come out the other end of the pachyderm a lucky person gets to pick them out of the dung and clean them before roasting. A short trip through the packaging department later and it ends up in cups where couples pay $100 to sit and slurp while their dinner settles.  

I know it’s the latest addition to the list of acquired tastes associated with wealth like fish eggs and snails but I think I’ll stick to my Kahlua Coffee, thanks. 

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