Success doomed civet coffee to its demise. This connoisseur variant is an Indonesian coffee, or kopi luwak, originally made from partially digested beans defecated by Asian palm civets. Gastric juices enhance the coffee flavor.
Farmers, however, succumbed to greed. They fell in the trap of the goose of the golden eggs, and killed the munificent animal. Greed undid them, and the kopi luwak brand became tarnished.
An entrepreneur in Thailand seized the opportunity. Blake Dinkin uses the same production process, but with elephants. He used to make civet coffee in Ethiopia but switched after an experiment feeding coffee to an elephant in a Canada zoo.
“As well as eating them, elephants can suck the beans through their trunks in a slushy fruit mixture – a kind of pachyderm smoothie,” says the Bloomberg news report. “Dinkin says the diet for the elephant is important, and they must also have the option not to eat the coffee cherries.”
This may seem like eccentricities for rich and spoiled people, who have nothing best to think about. It may very well be true. But we beg to disagree. It is yet another instance of man harnessing the abilities of animals to make a living in the world we share.