What Is Unique about Shade Grown Organic Coffee?

If your goal is a great cup of coffee, free of impurities and friendly to the environment, you probably want to look for shade grown organic coffee brands. But, what is unique about shade grown organic coffee?

Shade Grown Coffee

Shade Grown Coffee

Growing Coffee the Way Nature Intended

In the wild coffee grows naturally in the shelter of shade trees. It is only recently that growers have developed sun tolerant hybrids in order to increase the amount of coffee that they can grow on a plot of land. Shade-grown coffee comes from coffee plants grown under a tree canopy. Coffee growers plant both coffee and a variety of shade trees. This is a sustainable agricultural practice resulting in high quality organic coffee. Shade trees attract birds and are the cornerstone of a healthy habitat. Some coffee farmers plant plantain and other trees which produce fruits to harvest so they grow more than one crop on their land.

 

The Best Organic Coffee is Shade Grown with the Birds

The Best Organic Coffee Provides Bird Habitat

In Harmony with the Environment

Serious Eats talks about shade-grown coffee.

First and foremost, there are some reasons that shade-grown coffee is a good idea. When coffees are grown in the shade of other plants, the biodiversity of the landscape sees a benefit. Native plants that shade coffee trees-which can range from forest trees like cedars, to fruit trees, like banana, orange, lemon, avocado, and soursop-are planted to create a harmonious nitrogen balance in the soil, and, over time, effect a specific, coffee-beneficial microclimate. The insect, animal, and bird landscape sees a positive influence as well, as biodiverse climates promote a sustainability of more species, which means greater survival of these species and increased pollination. Careful planting promotes healthier soil, which can also offer broader benefits like decreased erosion.

The point being that when a coffee farmer mixes coffee in with a canopy of other plants and crops there evolves a balance with nature that preserves the soil and the quality of the coffee that is produced year after year and decade after decade.

Does Organic Coffee Taste Better?

Unfortunately there is no strong evidence that growing coffee in the shade results in better taste. But, remember that taste is entirely subjective. For some folks the best tasting cup of coffee has so much cream, sugar and liqueur added that the coffee makes only a small contribution.

Is Shade Grown Coffee More Likely Organic?

This is certainly true. Healthy organic coffee is often shade grown. The kinds of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides that growers have to use when their crops are crowded in the sun to increase yield are not necessary in a mixed plant environment and are in fact dangerous to other plants and the microenvironment in such growing conditions. It has been shown that there are around 150 different impurities that can be found in a cup of regular commercial coffee. These are not found in organic coffee. What is unique about shade grown organic coffee is that it is great coffee, safe for the environment and safe for you! Look for organic on the label when you buy coffee.


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