What Is Organic Coffee?

The pinnacle of the coffee world is organic coffee. So what is organic coffee? The organic label means that the coffee you are drinking was grown, processed, and stored according to sustainable agricultural practices and not mixed with coffee that does not meet this standard. The short version is that organic coffee is free from the roughly one hundred fifty impurities that can routinely be found in regular coffee grown by regular means. Roughly three percent of commercially available specialty coffee is organic.

Certification of Coffee As Organic

Coffee may be totally organic but you, the consumer, do not know that since you live in somewhere North of the coffee belt that is in the tropics. The coffee probably comes from near Manizales, Colombia, in the Colombian coffee belt, was likely grown around 8,000 feet altitude in rich volcanic soil and miles away from any nearby city. Luckily there are organizations that go to coffee farms and make sure that all of the boxes have been checked so that the coffee you are drinking is organic. The label on your bag of coffee says USDA Certified but the US Department of Agriculture delegates the certification job to local experts. The only coffee the US resident drink that is grown in the USA is grown in Hawaii where the USDA does the certifying.What Is Organic Coffee?

Criteria for Organic Coffee Certification

Coffee falls under the same rules that the USDA uses for all organic foods. Here is what they say.

In order for coffee to get organic certification, the land it was grown on has to have been free of herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fertilizers for three years or more and there has to be a buffer of land between the organic coffee crop and adjacent non-organic crops. This has to be demonstrated to the certifying agent before certification can be obtained. Additionally, organic coffee is processed, stored and shipped separate from other coffee.

Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified. Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.”

When you insist on the organic label for your coffee you can be assured that the coffee is high quality because nobody goes to all of the trouble of organic farming without producing a superior product. Thus, besides being free of impurities, grown according to strict standards, and processed to perfection, your coffee is Arabica of the highest quality.

Gourmet Organic Coffee

Besides organic coffees the other set of expensive coffees are gourmet coffees. May gourmet coffees are, in fact, grown organically. Thus they are free of impurities, tend to have higher levels of antioxidants, and generally taste a lot better than the average cup of coffee. As we noted, because organic growers put more effort into their crop much of that work results in gourmet quality coffee at the same time that it satisfies organic requirements.

What Is Organic Coffee? – SlideShare Version

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