Organic coffee is getting a lot of attention lately. Why not? In my opinion, organic coffee is superior tasting coffee worth every penny, just for the distinct flavor.
Pardon? Oh, you asked, “What exactly is organic coffee?” Organic coffee is grown without unnatural herbicides, synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilizers, but it uses sustainable growing practices instead. These organic coffee plantations may use the following practices:
- Natural predators
- Natural fertilizers
- Earthworms, Butterflies & Bees
- Nitrogen-fixing shade trees
These practices not only create a better taste of coffee bean, but also are better for the communities it grows in. It keeps water cleaner and doesnt contaminate the soils.
The downside for growers is that it takes coffee farmers about 3 years labor before the coffee plantation can reap the benefits of sustainable organic coffee growth. Sometimes, insect infestations, molds and disease can take hold during this switch over. There are subsidies for farmers who grow coffee organically.
Certified organic coffee means it has been rubber stamped by an independent organization that complete field inspections. In order to be certified, growers have to follow the following guidelines without using any synthetic products and the growers are responsible to comply with an audit trail from tree to store:
- Coffee is grown in organic conditions
All organic coffee isnt certified, so watch for the seal of coffee certification. Certified organic coffee generally comes from the following places:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Papua New Guinea
Personally, I prefer organic coffee because the flavor is much better than coffee which has been grown or processed chemically. It is a bonus that the environment is better for the communities surrounding the plantations and processing plants. Organic Fair Trade Coffee is also worth the investment because it ensures the farmer gets a fair amount of money in case of major coffee market fluctuations.