$500 Coffee or $85 Beer?

Normally I don’t discuss news items on this blog, but I couldn’t resist this pair of articles I spotted over the weekend.

Recently I read an article on MSN.comin which the headline posed the question “$85 for a 6-pack?” A monastery in Belgium which creates the rare brew Westvleteren XII  put 15,000 commemorative 6-packs for sale in the United States.

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Is this worth $85?

Normally the beer can only be purchased at the monastery, but the monastery decided to expand sales a bit to raise money for much needed renovations at the monastery.  The beer became available on Dec. 12 in various retail outlets around the country and is expected to sell out.

Now, $85 seems like a lot of scratch for a 6-pack of beer, but I get it.  It has a reputation as a superior brew, it’s limited edition, etc… After all, vintage wine and champagne connoisseurs might easily spend hundreds on a fine bottle of liquid.  Is it extravagant? Sure, but it isn’t the most outrageous thing one can spend his/her money on.

In fact, the $85 limited edition beer sounds like a bargain when compared to Black Ivory Coffee, the world’s priciest coffee at $500 a pound.

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$500 for a pound of coffee? Suddenly Starbucks looks like a discount store. 

Yes you read that right…$500 for a pound of coffee.

So what makes this coffee so expensive? Does it really taste THAT good to warrant the price?  The creators of the coffee, think so.

The creators of this blend claim the coffee is exceptionally smooth because of the unique process the beans undergo before the roasting process.  You see, elephants eat the coffee beans and the beans “slow cook” and ferment inside the elephant’s stomach. The stomach acid breaks down proteins that normally cause a bitter taste in coffee. Additionally, items that the elephants eat, such as bananas and sugar cane, infuse flavor into the coffee beans.

Once the beans are properly “slow cooked”, they are retrieved from the elephants poo.


You can’t rush the digestive process of this fellow if you want a superior cup of coffee.

Yes, Black Ivory Coffee is made from coffee beans extracted from elephant feces.

Running an elephant poo coffee company takes money.  It reportedly costs $1000 per month to take care of each elephant. Other than stating that the creator of this coffee sunk $300,000 into developing the coffee, there isn’t much more detail on how much is spent on the other parts of the process.

I just hope those people who have to retrieve the coffee beans from the poo are properly compensated.

Want to try a sample? The coffee is currently sold in select luxury hotels around Asia and United Arab Emirates for $50 a cup.

If given the chance, would you try a cup of Black Ivory Coffee? Would you be willing to pay $50 for a cup or would you only try it if you were given a free sample?

I like to think I’m open to trying new things, but in this case I think I’d take the $85 beer and skip the Black Ivory Coffee at any price.





15 thoughts on “$500 Coffee or $85 Beer?

  1. Ugh. The price is high and from elephant’s excrement? No way! I’m not a coffee and beer fan, anyway. I’ll settle for my love of tea. At least they are from leaves.

    • 🙂 I laughed out loud when I read the article about the coffee. There are easier ways of making smooth batches of coffee, but yeah I would never be able to get past the “ick” factor to try a sip.

      By all means stick with tea. It’s also packed with antioxidants.

      • True though I have heard another kind of coffee made from another animal’s dung. Apparently, this animal eats coffee beans so when it poops, well, you know.

        I like innocent green tea leaves! Haha

  2. That’s great Nicole, I had to laugh 🙂 I wonder what makes someone think “Ah, those coffee beans have passed through an elephant, lets see how they taste”? I’ll keep my eyes open for some at the supermarket and let you know lol! 🙂

    • LOL. From the article, I got the impression that is was partly a way to help take care of these elephants? But who knows… Definitely let me know if you see any *interesting* blends of coffee on the shelves in your area. 🙂

  3. I love my morning coffee. However, if I had to drink coffee that passed through an elephant, first, I would give up the habit. I wouldn’t buy a cup for 50 cents, let alone the prices they charge!

    • Aw, come on! You wouldn’t want to shell out good money on a cup of this coffee? LOL – yeah I would probably give up coffee as well if that were the only kind available. I like my morning cup, but not enough to pay that much for it, nor to drink coffee made from beans that have stewed around in you know what.

  4. Great post! Like Supernova, I often wonder who was the first goofball to think about making coffee from beans retrieved from elephant poo. They would have had to be playing in it to find it, or maybe when they were burning the dried dung they said, ummm, this smells like a good cup of joe – and the rest is history. Or maybe they stepped in a fresh pile and a coffee bean stuck to the bottom of their foot. Thinking it was a stone they pried it off but discovered a coffee bean – that tasted good. Okay, my imagination is on overdrive – I’ll stop. Thanks for the thought provoking post. 🙂

    • I couldn’t stop laughing when I first read the article. You never know, one of your theories below may very well have been the catalyst for producing this coffee!

  5. I love coffee…..I like a slight bitter tasting coffee. So I’ll pass on the poo coffee…thank you….lol. You gotta wonder who thought of doing this. Cheers!


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