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What Is Organic Coffee and Is It Better? We're Glad You Asked

The long and short of it is that organic coffee uses no chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers to grow the beans, which results in a more sustainable and (in many cases) an even tastier cup of coffee.

Organic food and drinks are all the rage lately, for good reason. Opting for the organic versions of items in your pantry, including your coffee beans, supports a more sustainable, gentle environmental impact. So, what is organic coffee, and is it better?

At Philly Fair Trade Roasters, we specialize in 100% organic Arabica coffee, roasted to order. Let's explore why a commitment to sustainability and fair farm practices make organic coffee a great choice for your morning cup of joe.

What Is Organic Coffee?

Let’s start with the basics: What is organic coffee?

To answer this question, you need to understand where coffee comes from. Coffee beans grow from plants primarily harvested in the “Bean Belt” near the Earth’s equator. Farmers have two primary options to nurture growing coffee plants:

  • (A) Use chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers to increase plant yields
  • (B) Use organic alternatives, like compost, for a more natural, eco-friendly grow

Conventional coffee comes from farms that use the “A” method, while organic coffee farmers use the “B” method. Organic farming methods provide a lower environmental impact with reduced carbon emissions, providing a much “greener” output. 

Organic farms successfully produce high yields using natural, safer alternatives and strategies such as multi-layered crop production, organic fertilizers, manure, compost, and more. For example, the farmer may intentionally introduce beneficial insects to the plant and farm so it can build a stronger resistance, or they may choose to plant crops under trees for natural sun protection.

Organic coffee farming is all about using intelligent problem-solving rather than harsh chemicals. 

Organic vs. Conventional Coffee: The Environmental Impact

The farming methods for conventional coffee cause rippling harmful effects that not only impact the local community but contribute to climate change around the globe. For example, chemicals like DDT, which coffee-producing facilities still use today, have already wiped out numerous natural water sources in Latin America, disrupting local communities and their access to clean drinking water. 

Hazardous chemicals endanger workers on the coffee farm, too, and reduce the quality of life for those living in the area. Such practices can contribute to deforestation, pollution, habitat loss, soil erosion, and other irreversible consequences. 

Organic coffee, on the other hand, relies on more sustainable farming practices that cause minimal disruption to the environment. Many organic producers use techniques that help support local farming communities, too.

Organic coffee beans growing

What Makes Organic Coffee Better?

Now that you understand the answer to “What is organic coffee?” and “How is organic coffee different from conventional blends?” let’s talk about what makes organic coffee better. 

The primary benefit of organic coffee may be its sustainability, though it may also provide potential health benefits and (we think) some appealing flavor characteristics. 

1. Organic Coffee Is Sustainable

Lowering your carbon footprint isn’t easy. You may not be ready to change your transportation mechanisms, major protein sources, or clothing brands, but you can easily switch the brand of coffee you buy. Purchasing a different type of coffee may seem minor, but supporting an organic farm over a conventional facility using deleterious methods is a huge step in the right direction. 

If you want to do your part in helping the environment and becoming more sustainable, organic coffee is a great place to start. You don’t need to change any other aspects of your daily routine other than the bag of coffee you buy!

2. Organic Brews May Provide Health Benefits

The lack of chemical pesticides and fertilizers used in organic coffee may make it healthier than conventional blends. Consuming non-organic coffee means you may be consuming higher levels of pesticides and harsh chemicals in your diet, which may contribute to various health concerns. 

For example, one common herbicide used across the food industry, Roundup® (the active ingredient glyphosate), may cause developmental delays in infants and increased cancer risks, with numerous lawsuits finding the manufacturer of Roundup liable for damages in the U.S. Studies show that numerous pesticides contribute to higher levels of ADHD in children and lower sperm quality in men. 

Switching to organic coffee can help you easily cut out one source of harmful substances in your diet. While you may not feel immediate health benefits, organic coffee could help you protect your long-term health, especially when you combine it with a fully organic diet. 

3. Organic Coffee Tastes Better to Some Drinkers

Many people believe organic coffee tastes better due to the natural growth process, reduced pesticides, and lack of harmful chemicals. Because of these characteristics, you can enjoy a richer-tasting bean flavor, authentic to how coffee should taste. 

Plus, you can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping your planet with each sip!

Shop Organic Coffee From Philly Fair Trade Today

Wondering which organic blend is right for you. At Philly Fair Trade Roasters, we provide a variety of unique organic and fair trade coffee blends for wholesale, online ordering, and retail, all roasted in our own facility in small batches and each with its own purpose and story.

Order organic coffee online from Philly Fair Trade Roasters or find a retailer near you with our many blends in stock!

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