People around the world like their coffee differently. At Silver Bridge Coffee, we believe in a delicious cup of coffee crafted from fresh-ground, fresh-roasted Arabica beans from beautiful places like Kenya and Tanzania. There’s an island in Greece that uses a boiling technique that’s supposed to be terrible for your heart, but their average lifespan is the longest in the world, in part, due to their weird coffee. And we’ve all seen the ornate cezves and intricate techniques of Turkish sand coffee.
But that is nowhere near close to the unique ways in which other cultures make their coffee. Your perception of what makes the best flavored coffee is dependent on the place and culture in which you grew up. Believe it or not, if you grow up in some places, adding animal dung to your coffee isn’t a terrible prank you play on your brother – it’s how you get that something-special from your coffee drinking experience.
First of all, don’t judge – if you were raised in one of these places, it’d be your favorite kind of latte (if you could even afford it). And for a bit of a reality check, anyone who puts honey in their coffee is technically drinking bee vomit, so we aren’t all as different as we think we are.
Personally, we like the simple pleasures of a Pumpkin Spice Single Serve K-Cup®. We even like to get fancy sometimes with German chocolate cake coffee for breakfast and decaf chocolate mint coffee for evening dessert. But we’re open to trying new things – here’s a list of our 3 favorites for the category “Most Interestingly-Brewed Coffees”:
Kopi Luwak Coffee: Thailand & Indonesia
Kopi Luwak, or Civet Coffee, might be the rarest cup of coffee in the world. It’s brewed from coffee beans digested (or rather, not digested) by a coffee-bean-munching cat. Civets are a little cat-like creature native to Southeast Asia, which is probably why the Western World has derogatorily coined “Cat Poop Coffee” as their moniker for this island delicacy.
How did this coffee come into existence? Not sure anybody knows. But the process itself is really interesting, and the resulting coffee is some of the most sought-after coffee in the world. Civets can’t digest coffee beans, so the beans just run through the cat’s digestive system with little physical alteration, but a really important chemical one. After the cat excretes waste, the beans are cleaned and finished, then brewed into a cup of Luwak Coffee.
There’s absolutely no acidic taste due to the proteins involved, and the reason the beans are so prized is because they have a smoother taste, more aromatic qualities, and also less caffeine because of the process they’ve gone through.
Kopi Luwak Coffee will run you between $30 and $100 per cup, and anywhere from $100 to $600 per pound, depending on if it’s the farmed or wild variety. Or you could always stick with locally-roasted exotic coffees like Silver Bridge Coffee Monsooned Malabar – it’s way less than $600.
This Indian-sourced coffee bean also boasts a less acidic, smoother taste, because it’s been “processed” by the winds and rains of monsoons. The “monsoon” taste is something unique and historically coveted by European traders in the South Pacific; the coffee has hints of wood and sea. Only recently revived, Monsooned Malabar is definitely one of our most interesting varieties of coffee.
Monkey Coffee: India & Taiwan
People who use honey should have no problem getting on board with this one. Of course, as English-speakers are wont to do, this coffee also has a crude colloquial name: “Monkey Poop Coffee”. However, this time this adorable little “nickname” is categorically wrong. It’s spit. Monkey spit.
Rhesus monkeys and Formosan rock macaques basically use these coffee beans the way South Americans use coca leaf or the way Americans use chewing tobacco: they chew them and then spit them out. The result is a caffeine (or caffeine-style, in the cases of coca and tobacco) buzz. The enzymes in the monkeys’ saliva creates a vanilla-chocolate-citrus flavored coffee that’s very hard to find and very highly valued. Another interesting feature of Monkey Coffee is that after the beans are collected and cleaned, they turn grey instead of the typical green.
Though we’re not sure exactly how we got from “Hey! Those monkeys are eating my coffee crop!” to “Wow, this monkey coffee is good” is unclear, but whoever figured it out is a pretty resourceful human. These macaques and monkeys are pests to coffee farmers, whose farms often border rainforest. What’s more, the little buggers purposefully only eat the best bean fruits they can find. Much like deer and groundhogs in the US, Indian and Taiwanese farmers realized there wasn’t a way to avoid the tiny apes – unlike deer and groundhogs, they climb trees and have thumbs. So they turned loss into opportunity.
Monkey Coffee is rare, with most farmers reaping less than 50lbs per harvest, and the price per pound sits around $200 to $300. That means a solitary cup of this specialty coffee will cost you $10. Which really isn’t that bad… Still, there’s always the equally sweet and vanilla noted coffee blend you could try much closer to home; Silver Bridge Coffee Highlander Grogg.
One of our most popular flavored coffees, Highlander Grogg makes a great breakfast coffee with a unique blend of natural flavors for a bright and dynamic flavor. But you could also try the decaf version of this coffee as an evening treat, via K-Cup®, fresh-ground or whole roasted beans.
Black Ivory Coffee: Northern Thailand
Deemed “The New Black Gold” by the Bangkok Post, Black Ivory Coffee is the result of a painstakingly laborious and unpleasant process involving elephants and what they leave behind after a meal. Much like Luwak Coffee, what happens to the beans during the elephant’s digestive process creates a slightly-fermented bean that brews into what people describe as a delicate and interesting taste.
Black Ivory Coffee is the perfect example of “The harder it is to get, the more people want it.” Here’s why:
- The majority of the coffee beans are destroyed when the elephant chews.
- The harvest relies on being able to locate all the intact seeds.
- The amount produced depends on how the elephant feels – you can’t force an elephant to eat.
The resulting bean harvest is only about 2.5% of the original weight of the coffee beans the elephant ate. In 2021, this meant that the total production of Black Ivory Coffee for the year was just over 450lbs. It’s depth of taste, which evokes caramel and a nutty essence, as well as its low acidity, rivals the best flavored coffees naturally. As a result, Black Ivory Coffee competes with Luwak Coffee as the most expensive coffee in the world, averaging $1000 per lb wholesale and $50 per cup.
If you’re looking for a smooth, single-sourced exotic coffee bean, Silver Bridge Coffee Sumatra is a dark roast bean with the taste of toasted caramel, low acidity, and a full-bodied taste. As well as for your breakfast cup of coffee, our Sumatra is available in a natural, water-processed decaffeinated version, so you can enjoy the rich, syrupy taste in the evenings with no jitters.
Just… Coffee: Ohio, United States
Maybe when everything calms down and it’s safe to travel again, we’ll jet to Southeast Asia for an exotic coffee tour. But as for our process and our customers, we like to stick to appreciating the aromatics and taste of perfectly-brewed coffee from quality-sourced, freshly-roasted Arabica beans. Our coffee is sourced from beautiful, lush places like Peru, Kenya, the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia, and Tanzania, and our flavored coffees only include natural flavorings that complement and enhance the taste of the bean, not cover it.
At Silver Bridge Coffee, we’re just as invested in curating elevated coffee, but we’re also invested in that coffee not costing $400 per pound. We hand-select and locally-roast our coffee to preserve its freshness – we even hand write the roasting date on every bag. And if you place an order with us, you’ll see that your coffee wasn’t even roasted until we received your order! Our goal? Awesome, coffee-shop-status coffee without the price tag and at home. We guarantee you’ll love our coffee from the first sip.