Organic Coffee with Mushrooms

You may like mushrooms on your steak, mushrooms on a hamburger or especially sliced mushrooms on a lettuce salad. But, mushrooms in coffee? Remove the image of slices of mushroom in your cup of java and let’s start over. There is a mushroom that grows only in a remote part of China that is a folk medicine. Recent research shows that the ganoderma mushroom may help strengthen the immune system of people with cancer. But if you take ganoderma you might get a dry nose and throat as well as nausea. And ganoderma may interfere with chemotherapy meds or anticoagulants. Organic ganoderma coffee combines the benefits of this medicinal mushroom with healthy organic coffee. And there are other kinds of organic coffee with mushrooms.


Cordyceps is a kind of mushroom that grows throughout the world. Some of these contain chemicals with biologic properties. For example the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine used after organ transplants is extracted from a variety of Cordyceps. One variety of organic coffee with mushrooms is simply a Cordyceps powder that is prepared like one prepares coffee. This is similar to making chicory coffee instead of real java. The same arguments that apply to ganoderma apply to Cordyceps. Is this a coffee variety or replacement or is it a medicine?

What we said about ganoderma applies to Cordyceps as well.

Is This an Herbal Supplement or an Unregulated Drug?

For more than a century the United States has had laws requiring that medications do not cause any harm. For forty years the law has required that medications do what they claim to do. These laws, unfortunately, do not apply to dietary supplements. Thus products like ganoderma are commonly marketed in such a way as to suggest that they have numerous benefits to your health. However, if you read the fine print they never really say that. If they make clear claims about the effectiveness of their products the Food and Drug Administration will require them to provide proof or take their products off the market. Thus the way these products are marketed is to provide “testimonials” about how someone felt better or suggests this product to friends. This level of “proof” is not scientific and not based on research. So, go ahead and try some organic ganoderma coffee but be aware that while there is a ton of proof that coffee is good for your health you may be wasting your money by adding the mushroom from China.

The health benefits of coffee are many and researchers seem to find more every day. Coffee is known to reduce the risk of type II diabetes, various forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and the risk of depression and suicide. There is little to evidence that combining organic coffee with mushrooms improves the health benefits of coffee. There is evidence that drinking coffee helps you live longer and although mushrooms in your coffee may not reverse that effect there is no evidence that they will help either.

Organic Colombian Coffee K Cups

Here is the dilemma. People like single serve coffee because of the convenience. And many folks prefer high quality organic coffee from places like Colombia. What to do? Can you find organic Colombian coffee k cups? First of all here are a couple of sources or organic Colombian coffee k cups that we found on the internet.

Caza Trail Coffee

On Amazon, of course, you can buy a box of 100 single serve cups of Caza Trail Colombian coffee.

  • Harvested in regions of Colombia where the coffee is renowned for its rich, mild flavor
  • Medium body and acidity complemented by a floral aroma for enticing depth
  • Convenient for busy mornings or when you need an on-the-go treat
  • Fair Trade certified and Kosher certified
  • Single serve cups compatible with all 1.0 & 2.0 Brewers

Nature’s Promise Organic Colombian

If you have access to instacart same day grocery delivery you can order 12 packs of organic Colombian coffee medium roast k-cup packs.

  • Our organic Colombian coffee has a medium roast profile that is flavorful and complex. Enjoy a hot cup in the morning for a perfect way to start the day.
  • USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified

White Coffee

We mentioned White Coffee k cups recently. If you shop at Walmart or Walmart online you can get a ten count pack of White Coffee k-cup organic Colombian pods

This coffee is listed as USDA organic and the packaging and pods are said to be biodegradable.

K Cups and Freshness, or Lack of the Same

If you are going to go to the trouble of finding high quality Colombian Arabica coffee make sure that what you are buying is fresh. Single serve pods contain ground coffee.

Many coffee drinkers purchase regular ground coffee because it is cheaper and quicker to prepare than organic whole bean coffee. Our belief is that buying ground coffee is a mistake! There are ways to store coffee and preserve freshness if you use ground coffee but you still lose flavor, health benefits and aroma compared to storing whole beans, especially if you roast your own.

Single serve pods have a “use by” date on them but that date has more to do with spoilage than true freshness. Green coffee beans are good for up to two years if properly stored. Roasted coffee is good for up to 6 months if properly stored. Ground coffee starts to oxidize as soon as it is exposed to the air so the freshness of k cups is suspect form the very start. In the end you can certainly get organic Colombian coffee in k cups but you might as well be buying a lower quality coffee and saving money. If you really want fresh Colombian coffee or great coffee from Panama, check out our coffee price list and contact us via the “leave a reply” comment box at the bottom of the page. We would be please to send you coffee directly from the Colombia coffee growing district, the Eje Cafetero. Whole bean roasted coffee send by air from Manizales can be at your door in a week after roasting!

Coffee Butter on Toast Anyone?

If you really need that coffee to get going in the morning here is another source of caffeine. The Japanese food products company, Snow Brand Milk Products, has come up with a coffee butter spread to put on your breakfast toast.

Who would have thought? We have our doubts about this product being organic. In fact it is probably made from robusta coffee beans which are the mainstay of caffeine in soft drinks and other products. Nevertheless spreadable coffee has arrived in Japan. How long will it take to get to your breakfast table?

What Other Foods Contain Caffeine?

Since we are on the subject of sources of coffee aside from your cup of java what other foods contain coffee? provides a list of foods & drinks that contain caffeine.

While caffeine can be used in a wide variety of foods and beverages, it is derived from a few main sources. Those sources include tea leaves, cocoa beans – which are used to make chocolate – kola nuts and coffee beans. Some of the most common foods and drinks that contain caffeine include tea, chocolate, soft drinks, coffee and ice cream.

Most of these are ones you would think of as sources of caffeine. And of course energy drinks contain lots of sugar and lots of caffeine. But what if there is caffeine in oatmeal? Health lists surprising sources of caffeine and includes morning spark instant oatmeal.

Instead of adding fruit or nuts to this healthy food, Sturm Foods has amped up its instant breakfast with caffeine. The packaging boasts that a serving has about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Why not just have the coffee with a bowl of regular oatmeal?

And you can get caffeine in beef jerky.

Perky Jerky

Looking for your afternoon pick-me-up in a package of beef jerky just seems strange. However, this version actually has less fat and sodium and fewer calories per serving than traditional beef jerky. And it packs a serious punch: One serving has about 75 milligrams of caffeine, about the same as a can of Red Bull.

Or in Sunflower seeds.

SumSeeds Energized Sunflower Seeds

Marketed as a healthier alternative to energy drinks, these seeds are infused with caffeine, plus natural energy boosters taurine, lysine, and ginseng. Sunflower seeds are a vitamin powerhouse, packed with folate, B6, and vitamin E, and they don’t contain the added sugar of sodas or energy drinks. But one serving of energized seeds has 140 milligrams of caffeine, about the same as four cans of Coke.

Of course if you want healthy antioxidants, great aroma and superb flavor with your morning caffeine you will want healthy organic coffee.

Start the day with a hot cup of healthy organic coffee and you can receive a number of health benefits. Healthy organic coffee contains calcium. It contains antioxidants such as polyphenols which are also called condensed tannins and help prevent tooth decay in addition to their antioxidant activity. The antioxidant properties of a healthy cup of organic coffee include the ability to lessen age associated cellular damage, prevent new blood vessel formation in cancerous tissue, and inhibit the long term inflammation seen in atherosclerosis. Ongoing research points to uses of polyphenols as treatments for specific age related conditions. And all of this from a cup of healthy organic coffee!

In the meantime, where can you order that Japanese coffee spread?

How to Grow Organic Coffee

If you live in a warm climate or perhaps if you own a greenhouse you could grow your own organic coffee. Coffee is a tropical evergreen shrub. It grows naturally between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. In the Americas this region reaches from the middle of Mexico down to the Northern edge of Argentina. This area includes Southern Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Northen Chile, Bolivia, most of Brazil, Northern Paraguay, French Guayana, Surinam, Guyana and Venezuela. The only region in the USA where you can grow organic coffee out of doors is Hawaii. So how to grow organic coffee may require that you move to a Southern climate. Having said that how do you grow organic coffee?

Planting Coffee from Seed

You can purchase organic green coffee beans and start from there. Make sure that your green coffee is as fresh as possible. If you live in an area where they grow coffee you can simply pick the cherries off the plant and remove the fruit. Dry a bit but not a lot. If you don’t live where they grow coffee you can buy green coffee from a coffee roaster but make sure to specify a recently arrived batch. If you want really fresh Colombian beans contact us for specifics of pricing and shipping and we will arrange to have very freshly picked green coffee beans sent directly to you.

Sprouting Coffee Seeds

Soak the green coffee beans in water for 24 hours and then plant in damp sand or wet vermiculite. When the seed has germinated you can plant it. Put the seed flat side down in loam soil. You will want high humus content and can add bone meal, dried blood or rotted manure. Cover the seeds but do not tamp down the soil. Water daily just enough to keep the soil most.

Waiting for the Coffee

It takes two or three years for your coffee tree to flower and produce coffee cherries. As the plant grows you will need to water it less but thoroughly to encourage deeper roots. If you would like to speed up the process consider buying coffee trees that are about a year old. One source of year old coffee trees will give you Kona coffee beans, Arabica coffee from the Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii. Blair Estate from Kauai, Hawaii provides coffee plants and says how to plant them.

If you are planting more than one coffee tree you should space them in the following fashion. Plant your rows running north to south leaving 6 feet in between trees and 12 feet in between rows. This is important if you intend to maximize your crop as it will allow the maximum amount of sunlight to hit your trees. It will also allow for easier maintenance for mowing and weed control. You should carefully lay out your rows with string and mark beforehand where your holes will be dug. It is important to note that planting in this style and in open fields will require frequent watering. Shade grown coffee will obviously require less watering and is easier to maintain but it will produce less coffee per tree. If you are planting in the row method and with a large number of trees (more than 200) you should consider irrigation. Cost per acre to set up a drip irrigation system is about $2000. There are approximately 623 trees that can be planted per acre using the 6×12 spacing method. In most cases where only a few trees are planted-watering and fertilization are an easy task.

If you get your coffee plants from a supplier you save a year or more. Follow their instructions for planting and care.

Would You Like Wine Infused Coffee?

An article about wine infused coffee got us thinking. Organic coffee antioxidants are good for you. And red wine has antioxidants as well. In fact red wine may be the reason for the French fatty food paradox. The National Institute of Health writes about the French Paradox.

The French paradox is the observation of low coronary heart disease (CHD) death rates despite high intake of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat.1,2 The French paradox concept was formulated by French epidemiologists in the 1980s.

The answer proposed for the French Paradox was that the French drink red wine which is high in antioxidants. They are coffee drinkers as well which give you a double shot of antioxidant protection. So, wine and coffee have health benefits. Would you like your wine and coffee served separately or would you like wine infused coffee? Time writes about wine-infused coffee.

The improbable combination of alcoholic depressant and energy-boosting stimulant comes to us courtesy of Napa Valley’s Molinari Private Reserve, a vineyard partnership with a master roaster for Peet’s Coffee, as FoodBev reports. They’ve apparently worked for over two years to perfect the combination of a house-made red and “carefully selected” coffee beans. The beans “relax” in the “artisan-crafted” wine to absorb its flavors, then get dried and hand-roasted. The result? A rich small-batch coffee with a blueberry note, according to Molinari. Plus, a double boost of antioxidants.

The folks at Molinari say that the wine infused coffee works for iced coffee or any coffee house coffee. The question is which coffee are they using? It had better be good coffee when they are selling it for $19.95 for a half pound bag. On the other hand the wine is from Napa Valley. Our suggestion is to skip the wine-infused coffee and go with the real items on both counts. You can find excellent Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley wines throughout the world and you can get excellent coffee from Panama or coffee from Colombia freshly roasted and sent to your door. Take a look at our Organic Coffee Price List and contact us via the comment box.

It’s All about the Antioxidants

It is the antioxidants in coffee that account for the majority of its health effects. The American Institute for Cancer Research says that coffee contains the following:

  • Chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant compound that is the major phenol in coffee
  • Quinic acid, a phytochemical that contributes to the acidic taste of coffee
  • Cafestol and kahweol, compounds that are extracted from the beans’ oil during brewing. Unfiltered coffee, such as French press or boiled coffee, contains these compounds
  • Caffeine, a naturally occurring stimulant that affects the central nervous system
  • N-methylpyridinium (NMB), created by roasting, may make the antioxidants more potent

Chlorogenic acid may be slightly lower in decaf coffee according to limited research, but it still contains plenty of phytochemicals. Lab studies suggest that instant may be lower in antioxidant potency than brewed coffee, though more research is needed.

And just what do antioxidants do?

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits cell damage and cell death in human cells caused by oxidative breakdown of other molecules. Oxidation is a factor in sickness and aging.  Antioxidants in coffee do the same things chemically as other antioxidants and because we drink so much coffee worldwide coffee is the primary source of antioxidants.

Because wine also contains antioxidants it also has benefits for your health. Wine-infused coffee may be a good idea but we prefer a glass of one and a cup of the other.

What Is Organic Coffee Fruit?

When they harvest and process coffee are they throwing away some of the good parts? What about the fruit? What is organic coffee fruit? These are the parts of the fruit of the coffee plant. The seed of the coffee plant is what we call a coffee bean. It is surrounded by the coffee fruit. The fruit and bean together is called the cherry. We wrote about how coffee is processed.

Natural Process

During the natural drying process, the entire cherry is left intact. The soon-to-be coffee beans still nestled in the center absorb some of the characteristics of that sweet pulp and flavorful cherry skin, until the milling stage when the dried fruit and parchment layer surrounding the bean are hulled.

Wet Process

Washed process separates the bean from the cherry in a procedure called de-pulping. Coffee beans are placed into fermentation tanks, also known as wet mills, and the beans are de-pulped as they pass through a series of stations. First, directly after harvest, coffee cherries are dropped in a hopper at the top of a mill, and water carries the cherries to a holding tank. Any damaged, less dense floating cherries are skimmed off. The good cherries sink and are sent through a de-pulping device. From there the seeds are directed to a fermentation tank to rest for 36-72 hours.

In both cases the coffee fruit is discarded and on an organic coffee farm tilled back into the soil as mulch. What are we missing when we throw out the regular or organic coffee fruit?

The Wasted Super Food

I remember when I was a child one of our teachers saying that the best nutrients and vitamins are in the outer layers of fruits, vegetable and nuts. That may apply the coffee fruit as well. writes about coffee fruit and calls it nature’s wasted superfood.

Coffee is one healthy vice. Along with keeping you from drooling all over your desk mid-day, it’s low in calories, packed with antioxidants and may protect against ailments like Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s and liver disease. However, the thin and juicy coating on the outside of the coffee bean does this and more. A true superfood packed with antioxidants-due to the uber-concentrated polyphenols-coffee fruit has the power to boost the immune system, protect against free radicals and act as an anti-inflammatory.

But coffee fruit ruins the taste of coffee which is why it is separated from the bean. So, what are the uses of regular or organic coffee fruit? When coffee fruit is not composted it can be made into concentrates for energy drinks, enhanced waters, coffee powder, beauty products full of antioxidants and even coffee fruit juices.

Jump Start Your Brain with Organic Coffee Fruit

There are potential brain benefits of coffee fruit extract. Coffee fruit extract has been shown to boost levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is important for memory and learning new skills. Low levels of this protein are found in people with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, dementias and Alzheimer’s. The rationale for producing a commercial product from coffee fruit is to help prevent or treat these conditions.


Coffee Fruit and Bean

Coffee Fruit and Bean

How Do You Make the Best Cup of Coffee?

Look on the web for how to make the best cup of coffee and you see a bunch of ads promoting coffee makers, do it yourself coffee gismos and a French press for only $14.99 plus shipping and handling. How do you make the best cup of coffee? It starts with good coffee beans and proper handling and storage. Then it moves on to roasting, grinding and boiling the water. Here are a few common sense thoughts about how to make the best cup of coffee.

High Quality Arabica Coffee

Last week we wrote about how in Nicaragua they are planting robusta coffee beans as a climate change resistant coffee. Robusta is the “other” coffee bean. It is more disease resistant than Arabica but does not give you the best cup of coffee. So long as they are still growing high quality Arabica coffee in the highlands of Central and South America, Africa and the East Indies use Arabica coffee beans for the best cup of coffee.

Fresher Is Better

Coffee taste and aroma comes from the antioxidants. They degrade (oxidize) over time. As a rule of thumb properly stored green coffee beans are good for two years. Properly stored roasted coffee beans are good for 6 months. Ground coffee starts to degrade as soon as it is exposed to the air. If you really want fresh Arabica coffee, especially organic coffee, consider having your green or roasted coffee shipped directly to you from the processor in the coffee growing axis, the Eje Cafetero, of Colombia. If you buy green coffee beans roast only enough for the day when making coffee. If you buy roasted coffee buy only enough for a few months to ensure freshness. Then store in a cool and dry place. Grind only enough to make each serving of coffee.


Coffee in Colombia

Coffee in Colombia

Basic Coffee Brewing Is Best

Single serve coffee is the latest craze. It is efficient in that you can make yourself a single cup of coffee. It is inefficient in that single serve coffee results in millions of plastic cups in the land fill. And single serve does not result in the best cup of coffee! To make the best cup of coffee use the best and freshest coffee. Then all you need to do is boil the water and add to your ground coffee. The commonest way to do this in Colombia where coffee is a way of life is to put the ground coffee in a cotton strainer and pour boiling water over the coffee and into a container below. In the low lands you may wish to let the boiled water sit for a minute to let the temperature reduce just slightly but if you are making coffee in Manizales, Colombia at about 7,000 feet boiling water is 198 degrees and you need not wait. Another basic way to make the best cup of coffee is to use a French press.

When you use a French press the coffee steeps just like tea. Because no filter is used you get the oils and particulate matter that contains so much of the aroma and flavor of the coffee. And the temperature of the coffee remains the same throughout the process until you pour into your coffee cup.

How to make the best cup of coffee is to stick with the basics which are great coffee, property stored, basic brewing and, of course, organic coffee.


Highway Sign Near Manizales Colombia

Highway Sign Near Manizales Colombia

What Is the Best Organic Coffee Creamer?

If you have gone to the trouble of buying high quality Arabica organic coffee from Colombia don’t use just any old non organic creamer. What is the best organic coffee creamer? Here are a few thoughts on the subject.

Cream Instead of Non Dairy Creamer

Lots of folks end up using a non-dairy creamer because they are lactose intolerant and thus avoid all dairy products. Here we are talking about organic creamers and that can include the original, but organic. If you live on the West Coast contact the Strauss Family Creamery.

Our certified organic milk comes from our own farm and from eight other local, family farms in Northern California. The first thing you’ll notice when you pop the top of the reusable glass bottle of our cream-top milk is the beautiful aroma. Our organic milk is pasteurized and non-homogenized; you can really taste the difference our cows’ diet makes. Our cows graze on the sweet grasses that grow in the unique, coastal climate of the Tomales Bay region in Northern California. This is reflected in the full, rich flavor of our organic milk, organic cream and all of our other organic dairy products.

Look for organic milk products in your local supermarket and if you want is milk or cream in your coffee simply buy organic. Now how about all of those non-dairy but organic alternatives?

Organic Soy Creamer

If you can’t drink daily products but want a little creamer in your coffee consider organic soy creamer. A reliable source is Organic Valley.

Always Organic

Absolutely NO antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or GMO anything.


Filtered Water, Whole Organic Soybeans, Organic Soybean Oil (expeller pressed), Organic Fair Trade Unrefined Cane Juice, Organic Inulin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Flavor.

Organic Coconut Creamer

If your preference in creamers is coconut consider Native Forest organic coconut cream. You can find this on Amazon and have it shipped to you.

About the Product

Coconut cream is certified organic; Certified kosher and verified by the non-GMO project

Coconut cream is a gluten free and vegan food

It is produced in a facility that is both HACCP and organic certified, your assurance of product safety and organic integrity

It makes a delicious topping for fruit pies, cobblers, puddings and sundaes

Product of Thailand

This organic product comes from a long ways away but so does your organic coffee!

How about Almonds?

If you shop at Whole Foods look for organic almond milk.


Organic almond milk (filtered water, organic almonds), tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, xanthan gum, potassium citrate, sunflower lecithin, vitamin a palmitate, ergocalciferol (vitamin d2), dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin e).

Allergen Info:

Contains tree nut (almond) ingredients. Produced in a facility that processes milk and soy.

Certifications: Kosher, Organic

Or Would You Prefer Oats?

Oatly makes an organic oat drink that you can use in your organic coffee.

Water, organic Swedish oats and a little bit of sea salt for flavor. That’s it. Then this product is packaged in a process that allows it to be stored without refrigeration. That means you can take it to the summer cottage and store it in the hall and then pop it into the fridge to chill before using.

So, if you went to the trouble of having organic coffee from Panama or Colombia shipped to you go organic all the way and buy an organic creamer too.

What Is Climate Change Resistant Coffee?

Year after year meteorologists report that average global temperatures have hit another high for the modern era. Considering that what is today the frozen arctic once supported palm trees we have wondered if growing coffee on the arctic tundra will one day be possible. But what would extreme climate change do to coffee production? Last year we asked if climate change could destroy coffee production.

Higher temperatures, more chaotic weather patterns, droughts and floods we become the norm as the world climate change, according to experts. The Tech Times writes about the effect of climate change on agriculture.

As average global temperatures begin to rise due to human activity, scientists say the drastic effects of climate change continue to take effect all over the world.

One of the most severely affected sectors is the field of agriculture. In the past decades, extreme weather conditions caused by climate change have disrupted global food production.

The researchers found that global cereal production was as much as 10% lower in the last twenty years. However, there appears to be a “fertilizer” effect of higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The problem for coffee is that the fertilizer effect would not reduce the risk of leaf rust or help when crops are washed out by floods or die because of drought. Climate change may not destroy coffee production but it may well reduce it.

What should coffee producers do? reports that Nicaragua focuses on climate change resistant coffee.

With climate change threatening crops in many parts of the world, Nicaragua is turning to a robust variety of coffee bean to protect one of its key exports.

The appropriately named robusta coffee comes from the Coffea canephora plant, which is being increasingly planted in the Central American country under government authorization.

The sturdy variety is easier to care for, higher in caffeine, faster to produce fruit and more disease-resistant than the more popular Arabica sort Nicaragua traditionally grows-although it is of lower quality, fetching a lower price.

However, its advantages make it better suited to ride out climate change and bring benefits to smaller producers, industry groups say.

“Robusta coffee production has proven its profitability through its high productivity, low production costs and high potential,” says Luis Chamorro, an executive with the Mercon group, which plans to plant the variety on 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres) it owns on the eastern side of the country.

The problem for many producers is that they grow high quality Arabica coffee and not the more disease resistant but lower quality Robusta. An alternative approach has been taken by the Colombian coffee growers association in regard to one of the threat of climate change which is coffee leaf rust. They have simply bred high quality Arabica coffee strains that are leaf rust resistant.

When coffee leaf rust swept into Latin America the Colombian coffee research organization, Cenicafé started work on producing a Colombian leaf rust resistant coffee. This was in the 1980s. Today Colombian leaf rust resistant coffee comes in two varieties, Colombian and Castillo. The first is a cross between an old Colombian variety, Caturra, and a rust-resistant strain from Southeast Asia, the Timor hybrid. Castillo is an offshoot of further cross breeding of the first Colombian leaf rust resistant coffee strain. Replanting with Colombian leaf rust resistant coffee in Colombia has reduced the incidence of leaf rust from 40% to 5% from 2011 to 2013.

The bottom line is that traditional coffee producers are working to adapt to expected climate change with modifications of what they plant and new strains of coffee.

What Is in Non Organic Coffee?

A primary reason to drink healthy organic coffee instead of regular coffee is to avoid unwanted contaminants such as pesticide or herbicide residues or chemicals from synthetic fertilizers. Just what is in non organic coffee? One of the most complete analyses of contaminants in coffee comes from the Australia New Zealand Food Standards authority. Their study, Survey of Chemical Contaminants and Residues in Espresso, Instant and Ground Coffee is informative albeit somewhat lengthy. Here are some of the high points and our comments.

This survey considered a range of chemical contaminants thought to be present in coffee. The range of chemicals analysed in this survey included metals, acrylamide, furan, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), ochratoxin A , and a range of pesticide residues.

Using state of the art technology scientists tested 164 samples of espresso, ground coffee and instant coffee purchased from stores in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. The authors also compare their results to testing done in other nations.

It is important to note that some of the things they tested for are produced in processing of coffee and are therefore found in both non organic and organic coffee. Toxins from fungi are caused by improper storage of coffee beans and are also found in both non organic and organic coffee. And if the water you are using contains things like arsenic, don’t blame it on the coffee. That having been said here are some of the results of what is in non organic coffee. These are chemicals found on non organic coffee.

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Manganese
  • Nickel
  • Tin
  • Zinc
  • Acrylamide
  • Furan

Although pesticide residues, beryllium, mercury and ochratoxin A (fungal toxin) were not found these have been discovered in other testing of non-organic coffee including in previous testing in New Zealand.

Roast Your Coffee to Be Safe

Even if you are drinking regular coffee that originally has pesticide contamination you are better off with roasted coffee than green coffee. It turns out that roasting degrades pesticides. NCBI reports a study from Japan about pesticides in coffee beans during the roasting process.

In Japan, maximum residue limits for pesticides (MRL) in coffee are set on green coffee beans, but not roasted coffee beans, although roasted beans are actually used to prepare coffee for drinking. Little is known about the behavior of pesticides during the roasting process. In the present study, we examined the changes in the concentration of pesticide (organochlorine: γ-BHC, chlordane and heptachlor) residues in coffee beans during the roasting process. We prepared green coffee beans spiked with these pesticides (0.2 and 1.0 μg/g), and the residue levels in the beans were measured before and after the roasting process.

We determined the residual rate after the roasting process. γ-BHC was not detectable at all, and more than 90% of chlordane was lost after the roasting (3.1 and 5.1% of chlordane remained in the beans spiked with 0.2 and 1.0 μg/g of chlordane, respectively). A low level of heptachlor (0.72%) was left in the coffee beans spiked with 1 μg/g of heptachlor. Disappearance of γ-BHC during the roasting process may be due to the high vapor pressure of γ-BHC, while chlordane has a lower vapor pressure. We also examined the behavior of piperonyl butoxide and atrazine during the roasting process. Piperonyl butoxide behaved similarly to chlordane, but atrazine disappeared after the roasting process, because it is unstable to heat.

Your best bet if you want to avoid consuming pesticides with your coffee is to drink only organic coffee. However, it is reassuring that roasting tends to degrade these chemicals.