Is Organic Coffee Better?
Many people wonder what organic coffee is all about. How does it differ from regular coffee? Is the cost worth it?
These may be some of the questions you think about when you hear or read the words "organic coffee".
Here are some facts you should know about organic coffee.
Organic coffee is not a new idea, it’s actually the original way to grow coffee.
These days, it can be seen as part of a trend of going back to the old ways. People are beginning to realize that perhaps the older methods and traditional ways are better than the newer and modern methods.
But why is the coffee called “organic” coffee?
Organic coffee is called "organic" because it is grown using methods that have very little environmental impact, which means that organic coffee production causes very little harm to nature.
This limited impact on the environment is part of the huge appeal of organic coffee. Over the past few decades, people have become more aware of the damage they cause to the environment, partly because of mass media exposure and partly because people themselves can already sense some environmental changes. People now try to do their part, including drinking organic coffee, to preserve the environment.
But how is organic coffee farming different from ordinary coffee production?
In standard coffee production, farmers must clear a huge area of land. They cut down trees and other shade-providing foliage. They do this land clearing because more sunlight means more coffee beans.
This impact on the environment means that our ever-decreasing forestry is diminished even more. If this continues without change, migratory birds will no longer have resting places and their chances of survival will lessen.
In contrast, the farmers don't cut down the trees in organic coffee production. Instead, they allow the coffee beans to grow in the shade. That's why organic coffee is often called "shade-grown" coffee.
To truly understand the benefit of organic coffee production, we must keep in mind that coffee is mostly produced in tropical areas like Brazil—countries that contain dense vegetation and forests. Thus, by using conventional methods of producing coffee, we put these precious resources at risk.
Organic coffee production also minimizes the use of toxic chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides. Instead, they make use of special systems to replenish the soil and maintain its fertility. The resulting product is a better tasting and higher quality coffee.
However, to be sold as organic coffee in the United States, certain standards must be met during production. These standards are established by the Department of Agriculture.
These standards require:
- A sufficient buffer must be placed between the organic coffee and the nearest crop.
- A sustainable plan must be put in place to combat pests, rotate crops, and to prevent soil erosion.
- The land where organic coffee is grown should not have been exposed to any prohibited chemicals within the last three years.
These points are just some of the rules and standards ordered by the United States to certify organic coffee.
What about your decaffeinated needs? No worries. There is also a special process to decaffeinate organic coffee, known as Swiss water. It uses only water to extract caffeine from organic coffee.
Organic coffee isn't only for drinking, its superior quality is also selected by confectioners to make coffee-based treats. You don't have to drink a cup to enjoy organic coffee.
So, there you have it, some of your concerns might be alleviated by these facts. If, however, you remain skeptical about organic coffee, it’s definitely worth giving it a try.