Best Organic Coffee Brands

Are you willing to pay extra for a cup of coffee that is organic? Then you might as well go with the best organic coffee brands. So, first of all, what do high quality organic coffees have in common? And what makes one organic coffee different from another? Are there other factors besides coffee brand that you should pay attention to? And finally what are some of the best organic coffee brands?

What Do the Best Organic Coffee Brands Have in Common?

  • Climate, soil, elevation
  • A culture of growing coffee
  • Certification
  • Aroma, flavor and antioxidants
  • Dedication to growing the best coffee

Best Organic Coffee Brands Have These Things in Common:  Mountains, volcanic soil and overcast with rain

It is not a coincidence that the good coffee in the world is grown in the mountains. Nor is it just luck that coffee regions have or have had active volcanoes with rich volcanic soil. The best organic coffee brands come from these regions where it is also cloudy and where it rains a lot.


Coffee grown at higher altitudes where it is cooler grows more slowly and this results in more taste.

Volcanic Ash Soils

The University of Hawaii at Manoa writes about volcanic ash soils which are called andisols.

Mineralogy: Volcanic soils largely consist of non-crystalline (amorphous) minerals, such as allophone and imogolite. These minerals form strong bonds with organic matter. As a result, organic matter generally accumulates in the surface horizon. In addition to organic matter, volcanic soils may also contain high amounts of volcanic glass material with the possibility of amorphous iron and aluminum minerals.

Physical Traits: Andisols are usually light and fluffy and are easily tilled. Like a sponge, these soils also hold a lot of water.

Fertility: When not highly weathered, volcanic soils are typically very fertile soils.

The short version is that volcanic soils are highly fertile, easy to cultivate, hold water well, and tend to retain other organic nutrients near the surface where plants can use them.


The best organic coffee brands come from the slopes of volcanoes like Nevado Ruiz which looms over Manizales, Colombia.

Nevado Ruiz Volcano


Cloudy with rain

Organic coffee is not irrigated nor does it receive synthetic fertilizers. Organic coffee nevertheless needs water. And it does best if the water supply is constant without periods of drought.

The best organic coffee brands are therefore grown where there is enough rain and where the cloud cover prevents the soil and plants from drying out. The fact that volcanic soil retains water very well is also a plus.

The Coffee Growing Culture

Way back in 2011 we wrote about organic Kona coffee.

Organic Kona coffee is grown on mountainous slopes on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kona coffee benefits from mild weather and moist growing conditions as well as the volcanic soil of the Hawaiian Islands.

Although Hawaiian coffee was first grown on large plantations a crash in the worldwide coffee market in 1899 led owners to lease or sell land to their workers. This started a tradition of family operated coffee farms of five to twelve acres. The fact that families continue to grow on the same land has led to the tradition of sustainable coffee growing that is the hallmark of growing healthy organic coffee. Top grades Kona coffee are Kona Extra Fancy, Kona Fancy, Kona Number 1, Kona Select, and Kona Prime.

The best organic coffee brands come from long term coffee growing cultures. For another example, Arabica coffee from Colombia has been grown by families in the “Cafetero” of Colombia in South America for generations.


One of the reasons that Colombia produces some of the best organic coffee brands is the strong coffee culture going back generations.

Colombian Coffee


Certification of the Best Organic Coffee Brands

You will always pay more for organic coffee than regular. And the best organic coffee brands can command very high prices. To make sure that you are getting organic coffee look for the certification seal from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The USDA certified organic coffee seal tells you that

sustainable agricultural practices were used and that the organic coffee is free of many of the pesticide, herbicide, and synthetic fertilizer residues that can be found on regular coffee products.


You will typically find USDA Organic coffee certification on the best organic coffee brands.

USDA Organic Coffee Certification


Other useful certifications are Rainforest Alliance and Smithsonian Bird Friendly seal. These certifications tell you that sustainable farming was used, fair labor practices were enforced and a fair price was paid to the farmer. But these are not strictly organic coffee certifications.

Why Are Some of the Best Organic Coffee Brands Different from Others?

Not all volcanic soil is the same. Some areas have been farmed for hundreds of years and have lost some fertility. Weather patterns change and some mountainous areas may not receive the reliable rainfall needed to guarantee high quality coffees. But, the most important reason why the best organic coffee brands differ from one another is the beans!

Coffee farmers have been growing coffee for a thousand years. And they have picked unique beans and replanted them to produce new varieties. Genetic mutation is always producing beans that are a little different. Also folks like the Colombian coffee growers association have worked to develop new  and more disease resistant Arabica strains. These new coffee varieties retain the high qualities of Arabica coffee. But they are stronger in fighting off the plant disease known in Latin America as la roya.

What Is Important Besides Buying the Best Coffee Brands?

How old is the bag of coffee you are buying? Even high quality Arabica organic coffee loses its aroma and flavor with age. Look for an expiration date on the bag of coffee you are buying. And, if you want guaranteed fresh coffee, freshly roasted at the source, contact us at

If you want your coffee to retain freshness and flavor do not buy ground coffee. Buy whole bean coffee and grind just enough for each use. Even the best organic coffee brands will lose their flavor when ground and not used immediately. Coffee roasted in small batches is always the best.

Some of Best Places for Organic Coffee

Come to Latin America for the best organic coffee brands. Latin American produces more coffee than anyone else. And reliably the best organic coffees come from the Eje Cafetero (coffee growing axis) in the mountains of Colombia. A similarly good but smaller region is western Panama in the province of Chiriquí.

Here is a short list single origin coffees from Panama

  • Finca Villa Estrella Boquete Coffee
  • Boquete Panama Coffee
  • Café Ferdabella
  • Geisha Coffee
  • Café de Luna
  • Café Suarez
  • Palo Alto
  • Ruiz Family Coffee


In Panama the best organic coffee brands come from the slopes of the dormant volcano, Volcan Baru.

Volcan Baru


Here is a short list of coffees from the Eje Cafetero of Colombia

  • Volcan
  • Linea Rojo
  • Sostenible
  • Frailes
  • Origen
  • Oma
  • Juan Valdez
  • Medalla de Oro
  • Aguila Roja
  • Sello Rojo
  • Colombian Export
  • Café la 14
  • Olympica
  • Lucafe

For help with wholesale quantities of high quality export coffee or certified organic coffee from Colombia contact us at at your convenience.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Organic Coffee

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee comes from the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. These brands are mild coffee, low on bitterness. Because these coffee brands have a great reputation they are expensive. Four fifths of Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee ends up in Japan.

The Blue Mountains provide an excellent climate for coffee-They rise to over seven thousand feet with rich soil, excellent drainage, and abundant rainfall.

Costa Rica

If you are looking for environmentally friendly shade grown organic coffee, look for brands of organic coffee from Costa Rica. This region has volcanic soil, mountains and rainfall similar to Colombia and Panama.

Tesoros del Sol

This name means treasures of the sun. Their coffee is hard bean Arabica grown at high altitude in the Alajuela mountainous district of Costa Rica. This organization was founded in order to help local coffee farmers develop and maintain sustainable farming practices. Tesoros del Sol ships certified organic green coffee beans throughout the world. They have a coffee club in which members are routinely sent one of the nicest brands of Costarican organic or regular coffee.

Tree Frog Coffee

Tree Frog will send you freshly roasted coffee, directly from the estate. It is famous for its sweet aroma, smooth body, and rich taste and a professional roasting process. The intent of this coffee plantation is to not only provide you with a great cup or healthy organic coffee but maintain a healthy ecosystem as well.

Keens Beans Organic Coffee

Keens shade grown beans are hand-picked and sun dried. This company grows its full body coffee in Costa Rica but roasts the green coffee beans in Pensacola, Florida. This allows for more rapid shipping to North American customers. And, if you choose to roast your beans at home a few at a time, simply order green coffee beans from Keens Beans.

Muddy Waters

This company produces coffee in an area that has grown coffee since 1779. Muddy Waters obtains its organic coffee from some of the best growers from San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia, Puntarenas, and Cartago provinces, the traditional coffee growing districts of Costa Rica.

Café Britt

On their website, prices are quoted in Costarican colones instead of dollars. The company sells nine different brands of Costarican organic coffee.

Organic Coffee at the Grocery Store

Two easy to find organic coffee brands are at Whole Foods and at Sam’s Club or Wal-Mart.

Marques de Paiva Organic Whole Bean Coffee is grown in Brazil. This coffee comes in foil bags of 10 and 40 ounces. It even is available as a decaffeinated organic coffee.

Whole Foods has an organic whole bean coffee as well as Allegro Coffee Company organic coffee. The company provides customers with a Fair Trade Guarantee.

Other easy to find organic coffee brands include Caffe Ibis, Café de Chiapas, Elan Organic Coffees, Equator, Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters, Green Mountain Coffee, S&D coffee, and Sun Coffee Roasters.

Best Organic Coffee Brands PPT

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