Best Organic Coffee – Our Top Picks
Coffee. The fuel that drives most of us throughout the day. We drink it in the morning, in the afternoon, sometimes even in the evening and at 2 am. However, a lot of the coffee that we drink was produced using pesticides, herbicides, and a lot of other icides. These can be very toxic to our bodies, along with having negative affects on the environment. The good news is there is an easy alternative that is actually better than the coffee you are used to drinking. Organic coffee not only usually tastes better than regular coffee, but also for the environment. We scoured the interwebs looking for the best organic coffee and we've found them. Here are our top 10 picks for the best organic coffee you can put into your body.
After drinking crumby coffee for too long....Here is the best Organic Coffee of 2018
In the chart below, you will find my top 10 rated Best Organic Coffee. For a more in-depth review of each model, please click on "Read Review."
Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee
4.5 out of 5
The Organic Coffee Co., Java Love
4.5 out of 5
The Organic Coffee Co. French Roast
4.5 out of 5
Kicking Horse Coffee, Smart Ass
4.4 out of 5
People's Organic Choice Coffee
4.4 out of 5
Equal Exchange Organic Coffee
4.4 out of 5
Cafe Altura Ground Organic Coffee
4.4 out of 5
Cameron's Specialty Coffee, Organic French Roast
4.3 out of 5
Jeremiah's Pick Coffee
4.3 out of 5
Marley Coffee, Organic One Love
4.2 out of 5
Top 10 Best Organic Coffee for 2018
- Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee
- The Organic Coffee Co., Java Love
- The Organic Coffee Co. French Roast
- Kicking Horse Coffee, Smart Ass
- People's Organic Choice Coffee
- Equal Exchange Organic Coffee
- Cafe Altura Ground Organic Coffee
- Cameron's Specialty Coffee
- Jeremiah's Pick Coffee
- Marley Coffee
What is Organic Coffee
Organic coffee is is grown just like regular coffee with some key differences. Producers of organic coffee are not allowed to use any synthetic substances like pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, or fertilizers. In order for coffee to be labeled organic, at least 95% of the beans must have been grown under organic conditions. Most organic companies make sure that 100% of their product is organic, which is great.
The reasoning behind organic coffee is not so much for the consumer but for the planet and to benefit the workers. By eliminating the presence of pesticides, organic coffee and food in general is greatly helping the environment. Pesticides and other synthetic compounds are highly toxic to the soil that the coffee grows in. It can throw off the natural balance of the nitrogen cycle. That is in addition to the possibility of those pesticides being washed into nearby water sources which can contaminate the water and negatively affect the marine life. Pesticide and fertilizer use is one of the leading causes of soil pollution and a heavy contributor to water pollution.
When looking at the conditions the workers have to deal with, it is much worse. While the pesticides do not usually reach the consumer, they are hazardous to the work force. While harvesting, planting, and maintaining the coffee fields, the workers are forced to be around and can end up breathing in the pesticides. That stuff is highly toxic to human health and can lead to a number of illnesses.
Thankfully, the best organic coffee has no negative effects against human workers, consumers, or the environment. The only thing that may sting a bit is the price tag.
Types of Organic Coffee
Organic coffee has a variety of different types. Each one is based on either where the coffee is grown or what that variety of coffee does for the environment. In organic coffee, there are 5 popular types. None of them really have any disadvantages or advantages over the other. Purely what you personally like. Each has something that make it special.
Organic shade-grown coffee is the first, and very popular type of organic coffee. This variety is grown in the natural shade of tropical forests, without clearing land for farming. This is really awesome as a lot of deforestation is contributed to agriculture. While it may seem weird to grow in shade because to grow anything in a time efficient fashion, you need sunlight. However, though the growth of this variety of coffee is slow, brands claims it tastes better and has more flavor. The biggest thing about shade-grown coffee, in addition to not cutting down trees, is that it also uses much less water. This is because the evaporation of water in the soil is low due to the lack of sunlight and heat. Only thing negative about this variety of coffee is the high price tag, because of the small availability.
Organic bird-friendly coffee follows nearly the same production technique as shade-grown. Biggest difference is brands who make bird-friendly coffee have their priority in preserving the natural habitat of birds. So a lot of the proceeds from their sales go towards preservation. So that's cool.
Organic Kona coffee is one of the most popular brands. It also has a very unique growth technique. Kona coffee is grown on fertile volcanic soil of the Kona region in Hawaii. The farmers depend nearly completely on the fertility of the soil, which is enriched by the volcanic ash and lava. Though they do use organic fertilizers and biotic pest control methods . It has a very unique taste and flavor, obviously due to the process in which it is grown. However, Kona coffee is also one of the most frauded claims in the coffee market. Many brands will try to sell normal, regular coffee under the Kona tag for better marketing.
Organic green coffee is special because the coffee is taken from raw coffee beans which are not roasted, like many of the other varieties. Of course, no chemicals are used in the processing either. The taste of this coffee depends on good soil, the right altitude, climate, and processing. Another pretty cool thing about green coffee is that it is a highly rich source of antioxidants and contains chlorogenic acid, which is said to be far more effective in getting rid of free radicals than the antioxidants in green tea. In addition, it also boosts metabolism and the caffeic acid helps to energize the body after fatigue.
Organic decaffeinated coffee is a variety of organic coffee is that it is decaffeinated. I have never quite understood the point of decaf coffee, but if that is what you like, yay for you.
All of these coffee varieties are great and special in their own way. However, it ultimately is up to you and your tastes.
Things to Consider When Searching for the Best Organic Coffee
If you are not a coffee connoisseur, much of what is claimed by coffee brands may go right over your head. In addition, there are some things that you should be on the look out for. Some regular brands will try to trick you into buying their coffee over the others because they claim the same thing but have a lower price tag. I'm here to show you what you should consider when looking for the best organic coffee.
The price of coffee can be all over the place. The big brands of coffee will usually only cost about $5 per pound, but then you look at the rare and special variants which can cost nearly $30. Most people think that spending more for coffee means that it is super special in some way. This is especially the case when shopping for the best organic coffee. The thought is that the more you pay, the better the coffee will be for the environment and for your health. However, this is not only the case. Of course certain brands hike up their prices due to low availability or the expense of producing that type of coffee. However, there are more affordable brands of organic coffee. In general, organic coffee usually does cost more than regular coffee. However, when shopping, it pays to dig a little deeper into the brand of coffee than just the price tag.
Marketing is all about grabbing the attention of the consumer. Drawing you in with fancy words, brightly colored labels, graphics and all that stuff. However, this is also how a lot of brands trick you into buying low quality or sometimes even fake organic coffee. There are a few legit marks that you should be on the lookout for. USDA Organic or Certified Organic are one of the most important badges. Do not trust a label that just says "Organic Coffee". If it doesn't have the certification, the word "organic" means nothing.
One example of a phrase that has no legal binding is Direct Trade. The phrase means that the distributor or roaster has a direct relationship with he farmer. Trying to say that they are promoting either local businesses or trying to pass as a trustworthy brand. However, that phrase Direct Trade has no legal meaning or binds. Literally anyone can say that. Now, of course, this does not mean that that brand is lying in any way, it purely means that you should be cautious. Do a little digging into the company or brand to really find out their intentions.
In addition, as mentioned before, many regular coffee brands will try to pass their coffee off as a special brew. Shade-grown, organic, or Kona coffee for example. Anyone can claim this on their labels, but it doesn't mean it is true. Most of it is purely marketing. Keep on the lookout for those legit marks and badges.
This is extremely important when shopping for the best organic coffee. The organic food industry is full of fakers trying to make more money off of the organic trend. Like the consideration before, do not get distracted by the fancy lettering and popular words. Be sure to really look at the brand and the label to determine whether or not what they are claiming is legit. There are a few certifications that you should look for. Especially when trying to determine whether the variety of organic coffee is really what they are claiming.
Fair Trade Certified is a very important one. However, it has to be the full phrase. Many brands will claim fair trade, however without the label from an organization like Fairtrade International or Fair Trade USA, the claim means nothing. If you have a brand with one of those two labels, you are good to go.
Rainforest Alliance Certified is another good label. The certification shows that the focus of that brand is to be ecological, requiring some shade, some clean water rubrics, and attempts to preserve the environment. In addition to protections against child exploitation. However, while the certification is legit, the standards that surround the certification are a bit slack. For example, sometimes only 30% of the coffee in the package needs to meet the standards for the entire package to receive the certification. In addition, the package does not need to state what amount of the coffee meets the certification standards, so really there is no way to tell.
Advantages of drinking Organic Coffee
As briefly mentioned before, organic coffee has many awesome benefits. Coffee is the most valuable traded commodity in the world, second only to gas. It has an impact on many lives, both farmers and consumers. When buying organic coffee, you can rest assured that you are helping not only the environment, but also the lives of many coffee farmers.
When looking at the environmental impacts of organic coffee, you can see that it is greatly helping to improve the quality of the planet. The whole thing behind organic coffee and organic coffee in general is the absence of synthetic growing materials. These include pesticides and fertilizers. By not including synthetic compounds when growing the coffee, organic coffee is helping to reduce water and soil pollution.
The way certain varieties of coffee are grown also has great positive impacts on the environment. For example, shade-grown coffee uses much less water than coffee grown in regular fields. This is because the heat is lowered due to the lack of sunlight. This also helps root the soil which prevents erosion. Many varieties of organic coffee brands are also helping in preservation. Bird-friendly brands have the focus of helping preserve the birds natural habitat.
When taking a look at how organic coffee helps coffee farmers, you will find many similarities. Without using pesticides and herbicides, the farmers are able to breathe clean air, free of toxins. In addition, certain brands of coffee also give a substantial amount of proceeds back to the workers themselves, making their lives a little better.
The best organic coffee also has a number of health benefits. One very interesting benefit that organic coffee has over regular coffee is that it can help to boost your immune system. Organic coffee helps to satisfy hunger and helps your body get rid of toxins. While coffee is not meant to replace your nutrition, it can quickly fill your stomach, boost your energy, and help you stay away from unhealthy snacks between meals. Pair it with organic, raw sugar and it can also satisfy your sweet tooth.
Common Features of the Best Organic Coffee
There are certain things that make for a very good quality organic coffee. Here are a few things that you should look for when choosing the best organic coffee.
Frequently Asked Questions About Organic Coffee
For those of you who are not in the know about coffee, especially organic coffee, do not worry. You are not alone. Here are the top frequently asked questions by other consumers in the same boat as you. These might help you when looking for the best organic coffee.
1. What is "Fair Trade"?
Organic coffee that is fair trade certified is a great addition. It ensures that by buying that brand of coffee, you are making a huge contribution to the lives of many coffee farmers. Basically, what fair trade means is that it guarantees that the farmers are receiving a livable wage. It also means that you are helping them to develop sustainable farming practices for their farms and communities.
2. How do I know the coffee is really organic?
This is a great question as some coffee companies will try to pass their coffee off as organic, purely for marketing. To know for sure, look for the badge "UDSA Organic".
3. How can I tell if the coffee is really from the location the brand claims?
Many companies try to do the same as the "organic" claim with their location. Kona coffee is hit especially hard. To really be sure, take a look at the SKU number under or above the barcode. Also, do some research on the brand. Odds are, if they are lying, someone has exposed them by now.
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Your search for the best organic coffee hopefully stops here. Now that you know all of the facts and types and information about organic coffee, you can use it to turn your friends onto organic. Organic coffee is not only great for your body, the farmers and the environment, it also tastes phenomenal.