Most coffee drinkers are not aware of how coffee effects the environment as the farmers might be cutting down forests, using pesticides and resorting to other methods that impact the environment. This in particular is the reason that people should be aware of the ways as how to choose sustainable coffee which is much better for the environment.
Country of origin
There are still a few countries which grow coffee under the shade helping to preserve biodiversity and native forest and they hardly resort to the use of chemicals. On the other hand, there are lots of countries which have cut down forests or removed shade trees by planting sun-tolerant varieties of coffees. Countries like Mexico, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea and Nicaragua grow coffee under shade whereas countries like Vietnam, Colombia, Brazil and Costa Rica grow coffee without shades in deforested areas.
Certification is associated with variety of costs which is the reason why not every sustainable coffee carries a seal. When it comes to the certification system, Bird-Friendly certification is believed to adhere to stringent environmental standards. Organic certification indicates that nearly every chemical input have been reduced or eliminated. Rainforest Alliance consists of an environmental criterion which does not have organic certification.
Commercially 2 species of coffee is generally used which include Coffee canephora and Coffee arabica. Arabica coffee is of extreme high quality whereas robusta or Coffee canephora is generally of low quality. This coffee is produced in mass quantities in deforested areas by using different chemicals and mainly used in majority of supermarket coffees. Therefore, it is always advisable to search for “100% Arabica” in the label of the coffee.
It is quite understandable that sustainable coffee is not available at a cheap price. The basic notion of people is that they feel they are spending too much by paying a few dollars extra for a coffee from some specialty roaster and instead stick to their old un-sustainable coffee. But in reality, it actually costs much less than some good bottle of scotch or wine or some other beverages.
It is always advisable to purchase coffee from some specialty, small roaster. Good roasters always have a good relation with co-ops and farms that grow the coffee, generally in a sustainable manner. The grower of the coffee gains by having reliable buyer and healthy safe environment whereas roaster gains through his reliable source of best quality coffee. Well-informed roasters have every bit of information about the origin of the coffee and can easily guide the customers towards making the best choice for a coffee that is of high quality and is also sustainable.
After oil, coffee happens to be the 2nd largest US import which is a clear indication of the fact that there are millions and millions of coffee drinkers all over the world and by knowing how to choose sustainable coffee they can definitely create a big impact on Earth’s environment.