Updated: December 6, 2012 | By The Associated Press, thecanadianpress.com

Elephant dung coffee: An exotic brew at $50 a pop

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Thailand - In the lush hills of northern Thailand, a herd of 20 elephants is helping to excrete some of the world's most expensive coffee.


Elephant dung coffee: An exotic brew at $50 a pop

In this photo taken Dec. 4, 2012, Niang Homhuan, 37, a Thai mahout's wife, picks coffee beans out of elephant dung at a camp in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. A Canadian entrepreneur with a background in civet coffee has teamed up with a herd of 20 elephants, gourmet roasters and one of the country's top hotels to produce the Black Ivory, a new blend from the hills of northern Thailand and the excrement of elephants which ranks among the world's most expensive cups of coffee. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Thailand - In the lush hills of northern Thailand, a herd of 20 elephants is helping to excrete some of the world's most expensive coffee.

Trumpeted as earthy in flavour and smooth on the palate, the exotic new brew is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung.

Stomach turning or oddly alluring, this is not just one of the world's most unusual specialty coffees. At $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound), it's also among the world's priciest.

The Associated Press travelled to the coffee's production site in the Golden Triangle, an area historically known for producing drugs more potent than coffee, to see the jumbo baristas at work. And to sip the finished product from a dainty demi-tasse.

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