Green Coffee Break

Until I met my husband I didn’t like coffee. I was a tea person and maybe the occasional whipped cream topped, syrup flavored something, but even that was rare. Now, I’ll go through three or four cups in the morning and I almost always have another pot brewing by afternoon.

Have you really looked at all the “green” factors that can go into a truly green cup of coffee? I’m not going to throw facts and figures at you and try to scare you. That’s just not my style; I like to blog about what I learn and how I understand it. So, grab a cup, I’ll keep it simple…

Organic Coffee – This is coffee grown without the use of pesticides, chemicals and other “stuff” that probably doesn’t make your coffee taste very good anyway, right? Part two of the process is for coffee farmers to participate in crop rotation. This helps prevent erosion as well as the leeching of nutrients from the soil.

Fair Trade Coffee – This certification applies to the payment and treatment of farmers in the coffee industry. Typically, under Non-Fair Trade conditions the farmers may make less for the coffee then it costs them to grow. This leaves the farmers and field workers in a constant state of poverty, unable to maintain their fields or provide for their families. There is a noticeable increase in price for Fair Trade Coffee, but this is because the farmer is promised a minimum amount for his product that is much more adequate then Non-Fair Trade. That seems pretty fair, right?

Need me to stop so you can refill? I’ll wait…

Shade Grown Coffee – Coffee actually prefers to be grown in the shade, but someone figured out how to make a crop that grew faster and was much more tolerant of sunlight. So we clear cut rain forests to make way for fields. Meanwhile, this caused soil erosion, mineral depletion and the decline of many migratory bird populations. In order to try to reverse this mass destruction we have reverted back to Shade Grown Coffee. Coffee fields are now peppered with canopy trees, which attracts birds back into the fields. The birds are a natural “pesticide,” if you will, since they eat bugs. Additionally, the trees also neutralize the soil and produce mulch, a natural fertilizer.

To end on a sweet note:

Organic Cane Sugar – This is an unrefined, sun-sweetened sugar cane juice. It follows the certified organic standards and has a smooth flavor that is awesome in coffee!

So, there’s a little green insight on your morning (and afternoon) coffee. Enjoy!

Have a thirst for more information? Read more at: Organic Trade Association, Global Exchange, Earth Easy.

An original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. Read more about growing your small business green with Jen’s Virtual Assistant services, eco-alternatives to business needs and great reviews and giveaways at Eco-Office Gals.

And remember, the Bummas Giveaway is going on until Sunday March 1st at 7pm EST, and all you have to do to enter is comment on the giveaway post with a valid email address; if you haven’t entered yet, what are you waiting for?

3 Responses to Green Coffee Break
  1. Marj
    February 26, 2009 | 4:15 pm

    No thanks on the coffee. I prefer tea. Coffee is disgusting!

  2. Marj
    February 26, 2009 | 4:44 pm

    No thanks on the coffee. I prefer tea. Coffee is disgusting!
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  3. Lena
    February 27, 2009 | 1:17 pm

    Thanks for the simple explanations (this is my preferred style too). I never knew about the shade growing part of it. Very interesting! I especially like the idea of attracting birds with trees.