Would you pay $1000 for a pound of coffee beans? This one Thai coffee company counts on it.
Most of us are very specific about the type of coffee we drink in the morning. How we make it, what coffee we use, and what we put in it. It makes sense that we would care a lot about the one thing we rely on to stay awake!
If we buy a cup of coffee, most of us wouldn’t pay more than $5 for our caffeine fix. But would you consider going as far as paying $100 for approximately four espresso size cups?
What is the most expensive coffee in the world?
Black Ivory Coffee is a coffee company located in Surin, Thailand. They’ve specialized in processing and producing rare cherry coffee beans for over ten years. Their coffee is made from “100% Thai Arabica cherries” and their brand emphasizes the luxury and quality of their coffee.
Depending on the quantity and kind of coffee you buy, their price ranges between $80 to a whopping $2,000 for a coffee order.
How do they make their coffee?
The key to making their coffee? Elephants. Yes, elephants. The company’s priority and core of their business is based on the elephants in Thailand. Don’t be fooled, these elephants are their priority. The elephants are watched, loved, and cared for by elephant care-giving families in the community.
Here’s how it works.
The process starts with hand picking the Thai Arabica cherries. Next, they will feed the elephants the Thai Arabica cherries with their favorite foods and meals such as fruits, vegetables, and rice. This is important because while they want to provide the elephants nutritious foods, they also want to keep the elephants happy!
Once the elephants have fully digested and deposited the cherries, they are hand-picked, by the elephants' care-givers (similar to the kopi luwak in Vietnam). The cherries are then sent to local high-school seniors to wash and dry them. The cherries must be sun-dried to a specific temperature before being sent to a sorting machine.
The machine sorts out any cherries that are too small or have any defects on them. Only the largest cherries are sent to packaging. It is quite a long process, and the company only produces their coffee based on orders to maintain freshness for their product.
Why is it so expensive?
So why is this coffee can go up to $1000 a pound? While the coffee is luxurious, rare, and unique, it is the workers and the elephants that are the star of the show.
The elephants’ care-givers put in love, time, and work into their elephants, while the local high-schoolers are being paid to wash and dry the coffee. Black Ivory Coffee focuses on providing these opportunities and benefits for them. In general, this income goes towards food, education, clothing, and health expenses.
The company is structured to help provide and support their workers’ families and their communities.
Why is Social Responsibility important?
We can all learn something from how Black Ivory Coffee structures and prioritizes the elements of their business. Social responsibility means holding your business accountable for the betterment and good of society.
It’s important for a business to have this social responsibility both internally and outside of their company. This could mean setting goals that are ethically aligned with everyday practices, creating strong and safe environments for their employees, giving back to the community, and reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Additionally, it can be as easy as fundraising efforts for charities, community service volunteering, or supporting initiatives and causes that align with the company.
You can typically see this in a business’ mission statement and initiatives. As we see with Black Ivory Coffee, their entire business is based on doing social good for their community, employees, and of course, elephants.
Black Ivory Coffee’s mission is to provide and support the elephant’s welfare and elephant conservation efforts. To support this even further, Black Ivory Coffee also partners with an elephant foundation in Thailand to educate on the current issue with elephant and human violence. In this case, their mission comes before their product.
It’s rather self explanatory why being socially responsible is ideal and important for a business. Apart from helping society as a whole, businesses are also improving their company. To consumers, it shows what the company cares about and values inside and outside of their business. Practicing social responsibility improves relationships between the company and their employees, and it also creates a strong, moral, and trusting reputation for the company’s brand.
During such an uncertain time in the world, we can all do our part to help not only one another, but our communities. It doesn’t have to be in the form of luxury coffee, either. Companies like Black Ivory Coffee remind and inspire us the importance of educating, giving, and helping.
Waka Coffee has established the Add Water, Give Water program through which we donate 4% of our profits to charity:water. Charity:water focuses on providing clean drinking water to 26 countries such as Africa, Asia, and Central America. Their goal is to solve the global water crisis through donations, sanitation and hygiene programs, and providing a consistent flow of water to communities.