Gourmet Coffee Brands

For many folks there is a good cup of coffee, OK coffee, or bad coffee. In the world of true coffee lovers there is good coffee or exceptional coffee. And, for the true connoisseur there is gourmet coffee, either regular or one of the organic coffee brands. Although there is USDA certified organic coffee there is no agency that certifies gourmet coffee brands.


Gourmet coffee brands do not have a seal proving what they are like USDA Organic Coffee Certification does for organic coffee

USDA Organic Coffee Certification


But, all gourmet coffees have several things in common. These coffees are all Arabica coffee varieties grown in volcanic soil in mountainous terrain. And a gourmet coffee has been carefully processed and quickly delivered to the consumer. No matter how good a roasted coffee was to begin with, it does not age like a fine wine. Old coffee is never gourmet coffee.

And, a gourmet coffee is freshly roasted, French roast or otherwise,  in a small batch, immediately ground, and brewed. Coffee starts to age the moment the contents of the roasted bean are exposed to the air. And ground coffee is really not gourmet because it has aged before it ever got to you.

Although we like to promote Fair Trade coffees, being fairly traded is not an issue with gourmet coffees as they have a following and charge plenty for their coffee.

All of this having been said, what are some specific gourmet coffee brands?

Gourmet Coffee Brands

  • Gesha coffee from Panama
  • Kopi Luwak from Indonesiae
  • El Injerto from Guatemala
  • Yauco Selecto AA from Puerto Rico
  • Kona from Hawaii
  • Blue Mountain from Jamaica
  • Several excellent coffees from Colombia

Gourmet Coffee Brands 1: Gesha from Panama

Gesha coffee is a Arabica variety that originated near a village of the same name in Ethiopia.

Gesha is an heirloom varietal. The seed stock is extremely pure. It has not been cross bred or altered. It is a faithful replica of the original seed stock from around Gesha, Ethiopia. The plant was tried in Central America in the 1950s because of its disease resistance.

Hacienda la Esmeralda is a coffee farm in Panama famous for its small plots of Gesha coffee.

Hacienda la Esmeralda gesha coffee has sold at auction for $100 a pound! There are a few other growers of gesha coffee in Honduras, Costa Rica and Colombia. A unique Gesha variety is called Santuario and sells typically for about $80 a pound.


Gourmet coffee brands like this gesha coffee from Panama can cost as much as $350 a pound

Very Expensive Gesha Coffee


Gourmet Coffee Brands 2: Kopi Luwak from Indonesia

This is perhaps the most expensive coffee in the world as noted by the website most expensive coffee! You may or may not like how this coffee comes to be but it is one of the gourmet coffee brands. The palm civet cat eats the choicest coffee berries.

During the digestion process the coffee cherries and the pulp are removed but the coffee beans are not digested. During this process some kind of unique fermentation occurs which is responsible for giving the civet coffee its special flavor.

The feces of the civet cat are collected and the coffee beans isolated and cleaned. The process may be unique but the coffee commands a high price of as much as $500 a pound!

Gourmet Coffee Brands 3: El Injerto from Guatemala

Finca El Injerto is a coffee farm in Guatemala. They have won multiple awards for their coffee. They are also proud of the fact that their operation has been certified as carbon neutral.

Our commitment with our coffee’s quality has earned us multiple awards, being acknowledged as one of the best 5 coffees in the world.

Gourmet Coffee Brands 4: Yauco Selecto AA from Puerto Rico

Yauco Select production is limited to about 3,000 bags. This coffee has been a gourmet favorite for years and years. The coffee culture on Puerto Rico goes back a quarter of a millenia!

Over 250 years ago, a few coffee trees were first introduced to the island of Puerto Rico. At the time, coffee was mostly a Caribbean crop in the new Continent.

This is also a gourmet coffee that you can order online.

Gourmet Coffee Brands 5: Kona from Hawaii

Kona coffee is a market name for one of the most expensive coffees in the world. This coffee is Arabica and cultivated on the Big Island of Hawaii. It grows on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the North and South Kona Districts.

Be careful when ordering this coffee online. Hawaii forbids any coffee not grown where Kona is grown to be labeled as Kona coffee. But you can find coffee from elsewhere that may even contain a few percent Kona beans being sold as 100% Kona coffee. Of course your first hint will be when you make coffee and get a bad taste. Make sure that what you order is grown, processed, and packaged in Hawaii!

Gourmet Coffee Brands 6: Blue Mountain from Jamaica

Like Kona coffee, Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica comes from a specific region of the island. And like Kona, there are several growers who produce coffee on Blue Mountain. And, all of them are expensive, running about $200 a pound. To avoid being scammed, order online from an estate like BaronHall to be sure you are getting genuine Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica.

Gourmet Coffee from Colombia

There are lots of excellent full body Arabica coffees from Colombia in South America. We wrote that what gourmet coffees have in common is volcanic soil in the mountains. And these coffees are grown by people who have lived the coffee culture for generations. This description fits most of the coffee grown in the Colombian coffee growing axis, the “Eje Cafetero.” Where good Colombian coffees differ from other gourmet coffees is in the price. You can afford to drink gourmet coffee from Colombia every day.

We also noted that no matter how good a coffee is, it will not age well. Coffee is not a fine wine that gets better on the shelf. So, do you want to take advantage of one or more of the excellent gourmet coffee brands from Colombia? If so why not buy Arabica coffee directly from Colombia?

The folks who contacted us about coffee from Colombia ranged from people who were simply interested in Colombian coffee to roasters across the globe who were interested in prices and the specifics of getting bulk wholesale green coffee beans shipped from Colombia. With our readers’ and clients’ questions in mind here is some useful information about our business connecting Colombian Arabica coffee growers to coffee lovers everywhere.

A Word about Juan Valdez

Maybe you will just pass on paying $200 a pound for coffee. You can still find good Colombian coffee at your local supermarket. To make sure that it is 100% Colombian coffee look for the guy with his buro on the package. This is Juan Valdez and his buro, Conchita.

The Juan Valdez name was invented by the Colombian Coffee Growers Association in the middle of the 20th century. When you see Juan on the label it means you are getting 100% Colombian coffee.

And if you want the freshest green or roasted Colombian coffee contact us at BuyOrganicCoffee.org. We will have our suppliers in Juan’s country send the coffee directly to you.


Gourmet coffee brands in Colombia may be just as good and not nearly so expensive as the $300 a pound variety

Arabica Coffee from Colombia

Fair Trade Coffee

What is Fair Trade coffee? Where does it come from and who makes it? Is it organic coffee or is it a gourmet coffee brand? Is Fair Trade a good cup or coffee or just an expensive one?

Fair Trade Coffee

The idea behind Fair Trade coffee is provide a price floor for small scale coffee farmers for their coffee. The FairTrade.org.uk website writes about coffee farmers and the beginnings of the Fair Trade idea.

Fairtrade was started in response to the dire struggles of Mexican coffee farmers following the collapse of world coffee prices in the late 1980s. With Fairtrade, certified coffee producer organisations are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their coffee, which aims to cover their costs of production and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level. Through their producer organisations, farmers also receive the additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community improvements.

The coffee bean is subject to the same swings as other agricultural commodities and farmers cannot simply cease coffee production until prices recover. Fair Trade tries to protect their small farmers and farmers cooperatives from ruin during down times.


To achieve the benefits of fair trade coffee look for the Fair Trade International Logo

Fair Trade International Logo


Small Coffee Farms Help by Fair Trade

The coffee market is huge and worldwide but the majority of coffee is produced on small coffee farms by the small producer or cooperative. None of these growers have the pricing power to gain a better market share or better price. They are largely at the mercy of a global supply chain. And the profits increase as one ascends the supply chain away from the coffee farmer.

Fair Trade Coffee Helps Smooth Out Boom and Bust Cycles

When there is a good year more coffee is produced that can be sold at reasonable prices. But, at the same time the costs of the small coffee farmer do not change. The situation in Mexico in the 1980’s was just one example of the boom and bust cycles that can devastate both small and large coffee farmers. A price guarantee for Fair Trade coffee helps farmers survive when the price of coffee falls.

A Unique Product and Supply Chain

We have written about gourmet coffee brands and have noted that these folks have well known brands and do not have a problem selling their product and making money. This is the situation that Fair Trade wants to copy. To do this they help coffee farmers take care of their land and grow better coffee. And they market their product to coffee drinkers as coffee that is good to drink and good for the coffee farmer.

But, to sell Fair Trade coffee it has to pass through the supply chain to the coffee roaster and to you. Thus there are Fair Trade certified growers and coffee roasters.

More Than Just Coffee

Coffee is not unique in being produced by small farms and being subject to boom and bust cycles. So, as Fair Trade has grown it has included bananas, chocolate, cotton, flowers, sugar, tea and many other commodities to its list of Fair Trade products.

Fair Trade Coffee versus Organic Coffee

Is fair trade coffee the same as healthy organic coffee? When does fair trade coffee differ from organic coffee and when are they the same thing? Fair Trade certification is not the same as USDA organic coffee certification. However, there are certified organic coffees produced by Fair Trade farmers. And Fair Trade coffee farmers learn and apply sustainable agricultural practices. So, much of Fair Trade coffee is organic coffee in fact even if it is not certified. Fair Trade coffee farmers learn to avoid synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and other chemical that get into the coffee and linger in the soil and water table. Unfortunately, to be certified as organic, a grower needs to have their soil tested and have in place a verified plan for every practice and procedure starting with planting and including crop maintenance, harvest, de-husking, bagging, and transport. And at all times organic coffee must separated from non-organic coffee to avoid cross contamination. This is simply too expensive and difficult for a small and subsistence coffee farmer to do.

Does Anyone Else Follow the Fair Trade Coffee Model?

We have written about both UTZ and Rainforest Alliance. Both of these organizations follow a plan similar to that of Fair Trade. They teach small coffee growers how to farm better and they help the farmer get a better price for his or her coffee. These organizations are also concerned about child labor practices and childhood education. Both of them also deal with a wide variety of food products and not just coffee.


Rainforest Alliance has a system similar to the Fair Trade coffee approach to supporting small farmers

Rainforest Alliance


Where Does the Money Go with Fair Trade Coffee?

Fair Trade coffee is a wonderful idea but does this system achieve its stated goals? An article in The Guardian discussed not so fair trade. It wonders if enough of the money brought in by Fair Trade prices goes back to farmers in developing countries.

Economist Paul Collier argues that Fairtrade effectively ensures that people “get charity as long as they stay producing the crops that have locked them into poverty”. Fairtrade reduces the incentive to diversify crop production and encourages the utilisation of resources on marginal land that could be better employed for other produce. The organisation also appears wedded to an image of a notional anti-modernist rural idyll. Farm units must remain small and family run, while modern farming techniques (mechanisation, economies of scale, pesticides, genetic modification etc) are sidelined or even actively discouraged.

Part of the problem is that they need to sell Fair Trade coffee at a bit of a premium in order send money back to farmers. But the advertising and promotional costs cut into available revenues. There appears to be a tightrope that these folks need to walk in order to fulfill their mission.

Where Can You Get Fair Trade Coffee?

One easy place to try a cup of Fair Trade coffee is your local Starbucks. 100% of their espresso roast is Fair Trade coffee. However, Starbucks is not 100% Fair Trade. Rather they say that their coffee is “ethically sourced.”

An offshoot organization in the USA is Fair Trade America. Their website lists where you can get Fair Trade coffee. These sources include both coffee shops where you can walk in for a cup and online sources as well. A competing USA organization is Fair Trade USA. They have a similar set up and purpose.


Fair Trade America provides Fair Trade coffee to customers and benefits to its coffee farmers

Fair Trade America Logo

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 BuyOrganicCoffee.org.

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 BuyOrganicCoffee.org 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

Trader Joe’s Benefits

You may have heard about Trader Joe’s coffee but there are also many other Trader Joe’s benefits. Trader Joe’s is an American grocery store chain. They have been ranked as having the highest sales per square foot in the USA. And Trader Joe’s was also ranked as the second best supermarket chain after Wegman’s. They have consistently ranked high in customer service and are considered one of the most ethical companies. So, Trader Joe’s benefits to you include great coffee but also great customer service and an ethical approach to the products they sell.

Trader Joe’s Benefits Include a Wide Selection of Organic and Fair Trade Coffees

The food and drink site, The Thrillist, ranked Trader Joe’s coffees.

Whether you think Trader Joe’s is a quirky wonderland of delicious snack foods or the seventh circle of hell, you have to respect the staggering amount of coffee they’re peddling. We counted 30 varieties on a trip, which made us wonder which were drinkable and which were nothing more than gussied up Folgers in goofy, colorful tins. There are a lot of options.

Here are top ranked coffees at Trader Joe’s according to The Thrillist.

  • Kenya AA
  • Organic Fair Trade Honduras
  • Wintry Blend
  • Lys Kaffe
  • Colombia Supremo
  • Ginger Bread
  • Organic Fair Trade Five Country Espresso Blend
  • Select Harvest
  • New Mexico Piñon Coffee
  • Low Acid French Roast

And there were twenty more choices, so Trader Joe’s benefits when it comes to coffee include great coffee and a wide selection as well.


Trader Joes benefits include USDA certified organic coffees

USDA Organic Coffee Certification


We were pleased to see a coffee from Colombia listed high in The Thrillist’s rankings. It is of note that they commented that if the coffee had been fresher it would have been better. If you like to buy Arabica coffee directly from Colombia and want the freshest please contact us at BuyOrganicCoffee.org.

When we wrote recently about Colombian Arabica organic coffee we received several requests for information and pricing from folks who wanted to buy Arabica coffee directly from Colombia.

If you want good coffee, drink Arabica. If you want great coffee, look for Arabica coffee from Colombia. And if you want the best, look for Colombian Arabica organic coffee. If you want this great coffee shipped directly to you, contact us today.

The folks who contacted us after the article ranged from people who were simply interested in Colombian coffee to roasters across the globe who were interested in prices and the specifics of getting bulk wholesale green coffee beans shipped from Colombia. With our readers’ and clients’ questions in mind here is some useful information about our business connecting Colombian Arabica coffee growers to coffee lovers everywhere.


Trader Joe's benefits include Arabica Coffee from Colombia

Arabica Coffee from Colombia


Trader Joe’s brands include a wide selection of coffees. BuyOrganicCoffee.org benefits include direct access to suppliers deep in the heart of the coffee growing region of Colombia.

Trader Joe’s Brands Include Unique Products for Folks with Food Allergies

Having found out I was allergic to soy, I began my mission to search for a protein powder that had no soy. This was no easy deed, I looked through all of my containers of it, and there biggest day, was a listing of soy in the ingredient section for each one of them. I was pleasantly surprised one day while shopping at Trader Joe’s to find a protein powder containing no soy called Trader Joe’s Hemp Protein Powder. When I looked at the ingredient and nutrition label, this is what I found:

  • 130 calories per serving
  • No saturated fat
  • 9 grams of protein
  • 500 mg of Omega 3
  • 10 essential amino acids
  • It is also gluten free!
  • It is soy free!
  • Low in sodium
  • High in iron
  • High in dietary fiber

Anyone who has suffered from food allergies knows it is no fun. I believe Trader Joe’s Hemp’s is great for those allergic to soy or gluten or for those who just want to see if it may make a difference in their life.

This powder’s taste does take some getting used to. I do not know if it is the absence of the soy or the gluten, but it definitely has a much grittier texture than most powders I have used. I have tried the chocolate and the vanilla flavors, and the chocolate really does not taste like chocolate but it okay. I do like the fact, though; that it has a small list of ingredients in comparison to some others (that taste like candy).

I was also taken back a bit by the amount of protein per serving in the Trader Joe’s brand of Hemp Protein Powder in comparison to other protein powders. This one only offered 9 grams of protein per serving while many protein powders now offer 15-25 grams of fiber per serving. Because I like this product so much, I just mix it together with things like natural oatmeal or yogurt ( mixes well with creamier items) to make up for the protein it lacks.

Trader Joe’s has so many great products and such great customer service that if you have a specific need in regard to foods or drinks just ask and they can probably help you. Their food categories include gluten free, kosher and vegan.

And if you want to make something different for dinner or dessert Trader Joe’s benefits include recipes right on the main page of the Trader Joe’s web site. Today it is Strawberry Lemon muffins with a link to the complete recipe.


  • 1 cup TJ’s Just Almond Meal
  • 2 tablespoons TJ’s Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1 teaspoon TJ’s Baking Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon TJ’s Sea Salt
  • Zest and juice from 2 large TJ’s Lemons
  • 1/4 cup TJ’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, melted (microwave for 30 seconds)
  • 2 tablespoons TJ’s 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 4 TJ’s Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup diced TJ’s Strawberries
  • Lemon Glaze (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup TJ’s Organic Cane Sugar
  • Zest and juice from 1 large TJ’s Lemon


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 10 muffin liners, or grease slots with coconut oil and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup almond meal, 2 tablespoons almond flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate medium bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, ¼ cup melted coconut oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 4 beaten eggs. Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in 1 cup of diced strawberries. Do not over mix.
  • Add ¼ cup spoonfuls of the batter to 10 muffin slots. Bake 17 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • To make glaze: in a small saucepan, combine ½ cup water, ½ cup sugar and the zest and juice from 1 lemon. Heat to a rapid boil until glaze thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove muffins from oven and let cool. Drizzle glaze atop muffins and enjoy!


Trader Joes brands include great recipes like for strawberry lemon muffins right on their web site.

Strawberry Lemon Muffins

Shade Grown Coffee Benefits

Organic coffee is a better choice than regular coffee. This is because organic coffee has all of the benefits of coffee and none of the impurities than can be found in a regular cup or java. And shade grown coffee is often a better choice than plain organic. Why is this? What are the shade grown coffee benefits that convince us to buy shade grown instead of organic or regular coffee?


There are many shade grown coffee benefits including preservation of biodiversity and a better cup of coffee.

Shade Grown Coffee


Shade Grown Coffee Benefits

  • Gourmet coffee
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Preservation of biodiversity
  • Soil preservation as a priority
  • Commitment to responsible land management

Shade Grown Coffee Benefits 1: Shade grown is gourmet coffee

A couple of years ago we wrote about gourmet coffee and what that means.

In general gourmet coffee is characterized by high quality beans and skillful preparation. In the world of coffee many consider Jamaican Blue Mountain, Kona from Hawaii, select organic coffees from Panama and Arabic coffee from Colombia as being of high gourmet quality. But there is more to the story.

Growing coffee in the shade results in a finer coffee. This is similar to growing coffee at higher altitudes. The beans mature more slowly and with deeper and richer flavor.

Shade Grown Coffee Benefits 2: Sustainable Agriculture

The ideal way to grow coffee in the shade is to plant coffee within an existing forest. Mother Nature takes care of the rest. In this ideal situation there are no herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. This is organic coffee at its finest.

Forested coffee farms are bio-rich buffer zones for plants, flowers and wildlife that are at risk as a result of deforestation and poor land management. Planting coffee under the existing forest canopy results in a high quality coffee. And income from selling the shade grown coffee helps the farmer keep the land in its original pristine condition.

Without having to resort to the use of synthetic fertilizers or other chemicals the natural plants are all preserved. And the water table is not polluted. Sustainable agriculture is one of the best shade grown coffee benefits.


Shade grown coffee benefits the enviroment by preserving biodiversity and soil quality. It benefits you with a gourmet cup of coffee.

Coffee in the Shade


Shade Grown Coffee Benefits 3: Preservation of biodiversity

On a regular coffee farm the land is cleared for planting. At best the farmer may intersperse plantain within the coffee growing area. This provides shade and helps prevent erosion. But when the natural forest is cleared for coffee planting a huge number of species of plant life and animals are lost.

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute studies biodiversity and more in regard to the tropics, the areas where coffee is grown.

The most conspicuous trait of tropical ecosystems is their high biodiversity. A few hectares of tropical rainforest may be home to more species of plants, fungi, animals and microorganisms than all of the United States and Canada combined.

And when the rainforest is cleared to plant coffee almost all of the plant and animal species that lived there are lost. Shade grown coffee benefits include preservation of biodiversity.

Shade Grown Coffee Benefits 4: Soil preservation

When a bio system is left alone the plants grow and they die. They return to the soil to provide nutrients for the next generation. Bacteria and fungi find their place in the ecosystem and in turn each generation provides nutrients for the next. Animals including insects help pollinate plants and provide nitrogen rich fertilizer as well. Over many years the soil builds up and provides a habitat for all that live there. Shade grown coffee is simply part of the system and lends to preservation of soil and biodiversity which is not the case with most commercial coffee farms.

Shade Grown Coffee Benefits 5: Responsible land management comes first

Especially when most coffee is grown using commercial farming practices, shade grown coffee has great value. Forested coffee farms are bio-rich buffer zones for plants, flowers and wildlife that are at risk as a result of deforestation and poor land management elsewhere.

Responsible land management by shade grown coffee farmers provides habitat for a wide variety of species. And it provides a refuge for those displaced by deforestation elsewhere.

On a regular commercial coffee farm the farmer needs to constantly watch his financial bottom line. The price of regular coffee is set in the futures market in New York. And the price the farmer gets for his regular coffee is set by supply and demand.

Because shade grown coffee is gourmet coffee and typically organic coffee it commands a higher price. This allows the smart farmer to put responsible land management first. And in so doing, he preserves the land for continued production of high quality, gourmet and organic shade grown coffee.

What is preserved when coffee is grown in the shade of the rain forest?

The tree canopy is the uppermost layer in the forest habitat. The canopy has many different types of tree species of varying heights, branch height, tree architecture and leaf size. These trees provide shade for coffee plants. They are home for birds, bats and many other natural organisms beneficial to the habitat.

Epiphytes are a group of plants that grow on other plants, usually trees, instead of growing in the ground. Orchids, ferns, bromeliads, and lichen are epiphytes. They do not take resources directly from the plant on which they live.

Neotropical migratory birds that breed in Canada and the USA during the summer and spend winters in the Americas or the Caribbean islands, favor epiphytes for nesting, water, and food. Neotropical birds include, for example, All Black-capped Vireos and Lucy’s Warblers, some Painted Buntings, Northern Parulas, and Gray Catbirds.

Coffee plantations with more epiphytes have more canopy cover and more arthropod insects such as grasshoppers, butterflies, ants, beetles, and others. Is this good? Yes, arthropod insects are beneficial for the environment and are an important food source for the birds.


One of the nicest shade grown coffee benefits is preservation of habitat for birds like the Tangara Gyrola that lives around Manizales, Caldas, Colombia

Tangara Gyrola, Colombia

Shade Grown Coffee Benefits PPT

Organic Coffee Insurance

There are a lot of uncertainties in life. And we do well to seek insurance or protection against the risks we may confront. For example, if we eat healthy foods we insure ourselves against things like vitamin deficiency, heart attacks or high blood pressure. There are many benefits of drinking coffee and even more benefits from drinking organic coffee. So, one way of thinking about organic coffee is that you are taking out organic coffee insurance!


Considering all of its health benefits we should think of the morning cup of java as an organic coffee insurance policy.

Organic Coffee Insurance Policy


What Are the Advantages of Organic Coffee Insurance?

  • More energy and better sports performance
  • More interest in and better performance at sex
  • Reduced incidence of diabetes
  • Less likelihood of developing cancer
  • Not so likely to develop degenerative diseases of aging
  • Longer life

Organic Coffee Insurance Benefit 1: Better sports and more frequent sex

Life goes better and we are more successful if we have more energy. Everyone knows that a cup of java is good for waking up in the morning. But not everyone knows that coffee can enhance athletic performance.

A cup or two of coffee is useful in increasing strength and endurance over a few hours. Three cups or more do not increase the effect. Why does coffee help us in sports?

Drinking coffee increases adrenaline. Adrenaline increase heart rate and blood flow, increases blood flow specifically to the brain and helps improve short term speed and endurance.

Typically half of the caffeine that you ingest at 7 am is gone by 1 pm (a six hour half-life). If a hypothetical 154 pound runner drinks two cups of coffee and gets 400 milligrams into his system he will still have 200 milligrams six hours later. This is plenty of time for a slow marathon runner to complete the course or for someone to complete a soccer match.

For more details about organic coffee for athletic performance follow the link to the whole article.

Organic Coffee Insurance Benefit 2: More interest in sex and better sexual performance.

So, does coffee make sex better as well?

Scientific research shows that coffee can lead to sexual arousal in females. Studies of sixtyish men and women show that coffee drinking women have sex more frequently and coffee drinking men have higher potency.

And, of course, if drinking coffee increases strength and stamina over a few hours it will probably give you more energy for the other thing you enjoy in life besides coffee!


Drinking organic coffee can improve your sex life. Think of your cup of java as organic coffee insurance against problems in this area.

Couple Drinking Coffee


Organic Coffee Insurance Benefit 3: Reduced incidence of Type II diabetes

Drinking coffee raises the level of a chemical called sex hormone-binding globulin in your body. Elevated levels of that chemical appear to reduce your likelihood of developing one of the two types of diabetes, Type II. Of the roughly 24 million Americans who have diabetes 90% have type II.

Drinking 4 cups of coffee a day reduces the incidence of this disease by nearly one half. That is a lot of people who would do well to take out insurance  of the organic coffee variety and not get Type II diabetes. For more info, read our article about coffee and diabetes.

Few Cases of Cancer Is Organic Coffee Insurance Benefit 4

Coffee drinkers are less likely to be afflicted by cancer of the liver, endometrium or colon. The reasons for this organic coffee insurance benefit are the antioxidants in organic coffee, especially the high quality organic variety.

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the cell damage and cell death in human cells caused by oxidative breakdown of other molecule in the cell. Oxidation is a factor in sickness and aging. Antioxidants help prevent the damage caused by excessive oxidation and to a degree inhibit the aging process.

Organic coffee is high in antioxidants and, because we drink so much coffee, the beverage is the biggest source of antioxidants in our lives.

Organic Coffee Insurance Advantage 5 Is a Slowing of the Degenerative Disease of Aging

A few years ago we wrote a tongue-in-cheek article, Forget Your Alzheimer’s and Drink Your Coffee.

The article noted two things. Coffee drinkers are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. And laboratory studies indicate that drinking coffee may slow the progression of the plaques that gum up the brain and cause the disease.

Likewise, coffee drinking is related to a lesser incidence of Parkinson`s disease and dementia in general.

Organic Coffee Insurance Benefit 6: Longer life

When we wrote Drink Coffee, Live Longer, we noted a scientific study.

The journal Circulation published an article, Association of Coffee Consumption with total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Three Large Prospective Cohorts. This long and complicated title simply means that a lot of people were studied for cause of death.

Here are the results.

  • One cup a day: 6% lower risk of death
  • Up to three cups a day: 8% lower risk of death
  • Three to five cups a day: 15% lower risk of death
  • More than 5 cups a day: 12% lower risk of death

Another study done in Spain showed that people over age 50 are especially helped by drinking coffee. This is because the antioxidants in coffee help slow down the degenerative diseases of aging. And those diseases are the ones that cause deaths in the older age group.

Great Insurance That You Can Enjoy

We started this article with the suggestion that drinking organic coffee is like having an insurance policy. The great thing about insurance with organic coffee  is that you get to enjoy the taste of Colombian Arabica organic coffee as you insure yourself against a whole host of health problems.


Buy Arabica coffee directly from Colombia as organic coffee insurance against a whole host of health issues as well as against bad coffee from elsewhere.

Arabica Coffee from Colombia


So, if you like the idea of coffee insurance and especially the organic variety, please feel free to contact us at BuyOrganicCoffee.org for more info.

Organic Coffee Side Effects

When we think of something having side effects we usually expect something bad. But, that is not the case with organic coffee. Organic coffee side effects are all good! You may be someone who drinks coffee in the morning to get started. Or you may need a cup of java to make it through a long afternoon at work. And you probably like the aroma and flavor of a good cup of coffee. It does not matter why you drink coffee or how much you drink. You will experience positive organic coffee side effects even if you are not aware of them.

Organic Coffee Side Effects

  • Better quality coffee
  • Health benefits of coffee
  • Benefits of organic versus regular coffee
  • Helping save the environment

Organic Coffee Side Effects, 1: Better Quality Coffee

Your organic coffee is almost always Arabica organic coffee.

There are two basic species of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee is generally believed to be the first type of coffee to be cultivated with a tradition stretching back over a thousand years. When you buy Arabica organic coffee you are choosing the species of coffee with superior taste.

Arabica has less caffeine than Robusta, the other basic coffee type. But Arabica has more complex flavor and aroma and is the ingredient of most gourmet coffees. So, when you choose organic coffee for whatever purpose, the side effects are better aroma and better taste.

Organic Coffee Side Effects, 2: Health Benefits

Coffee has many health benefits. And most of those benefits come from the antioxidants found in green coffee and also those formed during roasting. Higher quality coffee such as organic coffee typically has more antioxidants and therefore more health benefits.

For the complete lowdown on organic coffee health benefits, take a look at our article of the same name. The short version is that if you drink coffee you are less likely to get a whole bunch of bad diseases. These diseases which you can perhaps avoid include Type II diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, liver cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, colon cancer, death by suicide, and progressive dementia.

Not only are you likely to live longer by drinking coffee, you will perform better and enjoy yourself more along the way. For folks who engage in strength and endurance sports a cup or two of coffee beforehand helps their performance. And, it turns out that sex is better too for coffee drinkers. What? Does coffee make sex better?

Scientific research shows that coffee can lead to sexual arousal in females. Studies of sixtyish men and women show that coffee drinking women have sex more frequently and coffee drinking men have higher potency.


Organic coffee side effects include increased interest in sex in women and potency in men.

Couple Drinking Coffee


As we noted in the article there is more to the coffee and sex story. Coffee drinkers are less likely to get diabetes and the impotency that comes with that bad disease. Coffee drinkers are less likely to get prostate cancer, need surgery and destroy the nerves in that area necessary for male potency. Obviously if you drink coffee and don’t get Alzheimer’s you will remember who you spouse is which will improve the odds of having sex this evening! And, because coffee improves athletic performance you will be more energetic when making love. And that should impress your partner and make it more likely that the two of you will try that again.

But, why do you want organic instead of regular coffee for these benefits? First of all, organic coffee is high quality Arabica and has more antioxidants than many types of regular coffee. This fact improves your odds of experiencing the health benefits of coffee! And then there is the matter of avoiding quite a few things that may have slipped into your regular coffee container.

Organic Coffee Side Effects, 3: Why Organic versus Regular Coffee?

When you look for organic coffee, look for proof of organic coffee certification.

The soil in which organic coffee is grown must have been verified as free from prohibited substances for at least three years. In addition there must be distinct boundaries between land on which organic coffee is grown and land where pesticides, herbicides, and prohibited chemical fertilizers are used.

Organic coffee certification includes the adherence to a specific and verifiable plan for all practices and procedures from planting to crop maintenance, to harvest, de-husking, bagging, transport, roasting, packaging, and final transport.

There is a lot of work required to get organic coffee certified. But, the end result is that your cup of organic coffee does not contain measurable amounts of synthetic fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, or chemicals used to kill insects that attack coffee plants. If you want coffee in your coffee cup and not synthetic and potentially dangerous chemicals, drink organic coffee. And if you want to make sure that what you are drinking is really high quality organic coffee, look for proof of certification such as the USDA organic (United States Department of Agriculture) seal on the container.


USDA Organic Coffee Certification Is the Gold Standard

USDA Organic Coffee Certification


Organic Coffee Side Effects, 4: Better Coffee Farming Protects the Environment

The general term for the kind of farming used to produce organic coffee is sustainable agriculture. Plant matter is tilled back into the soil. Animal waste provides nitrogen for plants. And no synthetic fertilizers leach down into the water table. Growing coffee in the shade creates a better coffee. And leaving the trees in place provides a place for the birds to nest. Also, leaving in place or planting trees among the coffee plants helps prevent soil erosion as well. Organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution help in this regard with their bird friendly certification.

Bird friendly coffee comes from coffee plantations with a variety of shade trees and not just a monoculture on one kind. The Smithsonian requires native trees appropriate for native birds.

A wonderful example of organic coffee side effects might be preservation of habit for a Colombian songbird such as the Tangara Gyrola which lives in the heart of the Colombian coffee growing region near Manizales.


One of the nicest organic coffee side effects is preservation of habitat for birds like the Tangara Gyrola that lives around Manizales, Caldas, Colombia

Tangara Gyrola, Colombia

Organic Coffee Side Effects PPT

Organic Coffee Health Benefits

Why drink organic coffee? There are two good reasons. Organic coffee is typically Arabica which is the best tasting and aromatic coffee. And there are many organic coffee health benefits. First of all, coffee by itself is good for your health. Organic coffee has all of the good qualities of regular coffee. And, the other organic coffee health benefits are because of what organic coffee does not have, all of the impurities often found in a cup of regular coffee. First of all here are some of the healthy aspects of both regular and organic coffee.


Active, long and healthy live are organic coffee health benefits

Healthy Life with Coffee


Main Organic Coffee Health Benefits

  • Reduced risk of diabetes
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Fewer and Less Severe Degenerative Diseases of Aging
  • Longer Life
  • Better Athletic and Sexual Performance

Organic Coffee Health Benefits Include a Reduced Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes is a devastating disease that can lead to sudden death from complications of a high blood sugar. And it can lead over the long term to kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, and more. The good news for coffee drinkers is that drinking coffee reduces the risk of Type II diabetes, the type of diabetes often responsible for long term problems.

Drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day, with caffeine, reduces Type II diabetes incidence by 56%, more than half.

In fact, the benefits of drinking coffee to reduce the risk of this type of diabetes start at one cup a day and improve up to six cups a day.

Organic Coffee Health Benefits: Reduced Risk of Cancer

Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of cancer of the prostate, liver, endometrium (womb), and several types of cancer of the mouth and throat. The American Cancer Society writes about how coffee can lower cancer risk.

Coffee is brewed from beans that contain antioxidants, which are thought to have a protective effect against cancer.

Researchers have conducted more than 1,000 studies looking at this question, with mixed results. Some early studies seemed to show that coffee might increase risk of some cancer types. Since then, however, larger and better designed studies have weakened those conclusions. And, many of the newer studies link coffee to a lowered risk of some types of cancer. These include prostate cancer, liver cancer, endometrial cancer, and some cancers of the mouth and throat.

As with diabetes, a cup of coffee a day appears to reduce cancer risk and that protective effect increases up to about 6 cups a day. Regular and organic coffee antioxidants are thought to be responsible for this benefit. Coffee is high in antioxidants. There are foods like blueberries that have a higher concentration of antioxidants but the huge volume of java that we consume makes coffee the main source of antioxidants for most folks everywhere.

Fewer and Less Severe Degenerative Diseases of Aging Are Health Benefits of Organic Coffee

Coffee drinkers are less likely to develop dementia, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. As with other regular and organic coffee health benefits, a cup of coffee a day helps and the benefit increases up to 5 or 6 cups a day. Five cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 60% and Alzheimer’s disease by 67%. This benefit is also tied to the antioxidants in coffee.

Living Longer Is Perhaps the Best of All Organic Coffee Health Benefits

In our article a couple of years ago, “Drink Coffee, Live Longer” we noted that drinking coffee reduces your risk of dying. A study published in the medical journal, Circulation, looked at the Association of Coffee Consumption with total and Cause-Specific Mortality. What this means in layman’s terms is how drinking coffee is related to avoiding death from several specific diseases.

Higher consumption of total coffee, caffeinated coffee, and decaffeinated coffee was associated with lower risk of total mortality.

This effect was seen for heart diseases, neurological diseases, and suicide.

And Better Sport Performance and Better Sex Are the Next Best of the Organic Coffee Health Benefits

There is good evidence that those competing in strength and endurance sports perform better after a cup or two of coffee. We wrote about this in our article, Does Coffee Enhance Athletic Performance?

Adrenaline increase heart rate and blood flow, increases blood flow specifically to the brain and helps improve short term speed and endurance. And coffee only lasts just so long and then the body metabolizes and excretes it. Typically half of the caffeine that you ingest at 7 am is gone by 1 pm (a six hour half-life). If our hypothetical 154 pound runner drinks two cups of coffee and gets 400 milligrams into his system he will still have 200 milligrams six hours later. This is plenty of time for a slow marathon runner to complete the course or for someone to finish a soccer match.


Better performance in endurance and strength sports is one of the organic coffee health benefits

Coffee Enhances Athletic Performance


And, coffee can make sex better as well.

Does coffee make sex better? Interestingly scientific research shows that coffee can lead to sexual arousal in females. Studies of sixtyish men and women show that coffee drinking women have sex more frequently and coffee drinking men have higher potency. A common sense finding is that coffee gives you a physical and mental boost that can carry over into more energy when making love.

Drinking coffee will not just allow you to avoid several bad diseases and live longer. Coffee will help you enjoy and succeed more in life along the way.

Organic coffee health benefits include increased interest in sex in women and potency in men.

Couple Drinking Coffee

Organic Coffee Health Benefits versus Regular Coffee

Certified organic coffee is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or synthetic fertilizers. Sustainable organic farming is good for the soil and the water table and it is good for you. When you drink organic coffee you are assured that potentially dangerous contaminants will not be in your morning cup of java. The organic coffee health benefits in this regard are avoidance of all of the problems linked to drinking pesticides, fungicides and more along with your coffee.

Organic Coffee Disadvantages

Coffee is good for you as it has many health benefits. And organic coffee is better. It keeps the health benefits of regular coffee, while removing as many as a hundred or more impurities from your regular cup of java. But, are there any organic coffee disadvantages? Here are our thoughts on the subject. There are, in fact, real and imagined organic coffee disadvantages.

Organic Coffee Disadvantages: Number One Is a Higher Price

Healthy organic coffee can easily be three times as expensive as regular coffee. And if you like shade grown organic coffee or single origin coffee the price can go higher still. The health advantages of organic coffee come from sustainable agriculture and the avoidance of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and other chemicals. Shade grown coffee and single origin coffee may taste better but they do not have any more health advantages than basic organic coffee.

Organic coffee disadvantages include $350 a pound gesha coffee from Panama.

Very Expensive Gesha Coffee

When you avoid using the chemicals you get a better coffee but less of it. Organic coffee farming is less productive than regular commercial coffee farming. And it requires more work too. All of the extra work and expense that goes into growing these products means the coffee farmer needs to charge more in order to make a living. And, as we noted in our article about organic coffee certification, every step along the supply chain must be organic as well.

Organic coffee certification includes the adherence to a specific and verifiable plan for all practices and procedures from planting to crop maintenance, to harvest, de-husking, bagging, transport, roasting, packaging, and final transport. Along the way procedures must be in place at every step to insure that there is no contamination of the healthy organic coffee produced in pristine soil with regular coffee produced on soil exposed to herbicides, pesticides, and organic fertilizers.

Thus every step from growing coffee all the way to final delivery of organic coffee to the buyer is more precise, more complicated, and more expensive than for regular coffee. And all of these folks need to get paid in order to make a living.

Organic Coffee Disadvantages: Number Two Is Fungal Contamination

The reason that farmers use fungicides and other chemicals is to treat infestations of their crops. The primary problem is coffee leaf rust known as la roya in Latin America. When coffee farmers do not avoid or successfully treat this infestation they lose their coffee crop. Forbes writes in this regard about a world without coffee because of leaf rust.


One of the organic coffee disadvantages is that organic crops are more susceptible to coffee leaf rust.

Coffee Leaf Rust


Coffee rust is a significant problem in almost every coffee growing region in the world, and in recent years, countries in Central and South America have been hit particularly hard.

Because of excellent foresight, Colombia has developed leaf rust resistant coffee strains that help combat this problem.

But, there are other organic coffee disadvantages related to infectious agents that get into the coffee.  If the farmer is not careful they could get passed on to you.

Ochratoxin is toxin that can grow on green coffee. It is produced by fungus. And that fungus is more likely to grow around the base of a coffee plant when too much organic matter is allowed to collect there. Unfortunately, organic coffee farmers use plant mulch instead of synthetic fertilizers. And, if they are not careful to till the plant matter into the soil it is a great place to grow mold, right at the base of the coffee plant.

Ochratoxin in Moldy Coffee

Ochratoxin is one of the organic coffee disadvantages if the organic coffee is not tended properly or stored correctly. For a scientific review of the problems caused by Ochratoxin take a look at an articles in the journal Toxins published in 2010. The high points of the article are that Ochratoxin can cause cancer and kidney problems in adults. And it can cause birth defects when pregnant women ingest this toxin.


One of the potential organic coffee disadvantages is a fungal infestation called Ochratoxin on green coffee beans.

Ochratoxin on Green Coffee Beans


Your job once you get your coffee is to store it in a cold and dry place to prevent mold growth. The job of the coffee farmer and those involved in storage and transport of organic coffee is likewise to keep it dry to avoid mold growth.

And, no, Ochratoxin is not removed when moldy coffee is roasted! That is why proper farming and storage are so important.

 Organic Coffee Disadvantages: Number Three Is It Is Not Organic Coffee

Organic is not only good for you but it is good for the environment. So, going organic with your morning cup of java is a great idea. But, make sure to check the organic coffee certification the container of coffee. Certification should mean the following:

The soil in which organic coffee is grown must have been verified as free from prohibited substances for at least three years. In addition there must be distinct boundaries between land on which organic coffee is grown and land where pesticides, herbicides, and prohibited chemical fertilizers are used. This guarantees that drift of substances sprayed or otherwise applied on adjacent land will not contaminate the organic plot of land.

Good organic certifications include USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), UTZ, Smithsonian Bird Friendly, Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance. However, they vary in terms of how much content is organic. The best and most reliable label is USDA. The Department of Agriculture has a strict definition of what constitutes organic and what their certification means. The Smithsonian Bird Friendly designation is probably the next best guarantee that the coffee was grown without use of chemicals. UTZ, Rainforest Alliance, and Fair Trade are good certifications. But they are as worried about child labor and profits for the farmer as they are about coffee being strictly organic.

Fake Organic Coffee Disadvantages

You may read on the internet about e coli, a germ that gets into chicken and other foods and can cause sickness. You may also read about this germ getting into coffee. That is simply not the case. And, if someone maliciously put the germ in with green coffee, the roasting would kill it anyway!

The take home lesson is that you need to check the label for organic coffee certification if you want organic. And USDA is the best and most reliable.

UTZ Certified Coffee

Individuals looking for organic coffee may run across the UTZ Certified label. This label says that the bag of coffee you are buying came from a coffee farm that employed sustainable agricultural practices, good environmental practices and efficient farm management. A key feature of the UTZ Certified label is that UTZ Certified coffee is traced from grower to roaster. UTZ certified coffee is sold in North America, Europe, and Japan, in nearly fifty nations. According to UTZ,

UTZ Certified stands for sustainable farming and better opportunities for farmers, their families and our planet. The UTZ program enables farmers to learn better farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their children and the environment. Through the UTZ-program farmers grow better crops, generate more income and create better opportunities while safeguarding the environment and securing the earth’s natural resources.

UTZ starts by educating the coffee farmer, working with him to achieve organic status, and then follows through by providing a market for his organic coffee.


UTZ Certified coffee is the end result of the company working with coffee farmers across the globe.

UTZ Helps Organic Coffee Farmers


Tough Requirements, Gradual Implementation with UTZ Certified Coffee

The long term goals of UTZ are good agricultural practices, safe and healthy working conditions, abolishment of child labor, and environmental protection. However, a grower does not need to accomplish all that is required in the first year. This allows a grower to sign up to get his coffee UTZ certified, learn what is necessary, and grow into the long term requirements of the program. Because of the close tracking feature of all UTZ Certified products, consumers of healthy organic coffee produced by these growers can be assured of product quality as well as the farming practices that brought it to market.

What UTZ Teaches and Requires

A UTZ grower learns to do the following and then continues to do what is needed.

  • Reduce and prevent soil erosion
  • Keep records of fertilizer and chemical use and use these products responsibly
  • Follow good farming practices including integrated pest management
  • Avoid deforestation
  • Protect water sources, native and endangered species
  • Use native fauna for shade grown coffee
  • Train workers properly in their own language
  • Implement and follow through on health and safety requirements
  • Teach and require good hygiene
  • Trace coffee from planting to roaster
  • Carry out internal inspections every year

Is UTZ Certified Organic Coffee?

A UTZ Certified grower does not necessarily get approval from the US Department of Agriculture for organic coffee certification. In doing so he avoids the cost of another certification. However, many organic growers go with UTZ Certified coffee instead of organic certification. They do this because of the wider range of benefits of working with UTZ and the wider range of benefits that UTZ Certified coffee enjoys. In short, UTZ Certified coffee is typically organic coffee with healthy organic coffee antioxidants and a minimum of impurities. As with all coffees UTZ Certified coffees contain the useful ingredients which reduce the risk of Type II diabetes as well as several types of cancer. UTZ coffees are grown according to standardized and high level practices and result in high quality coffee. And, when you drink good coffee that is UTZ Certified you can trace it back to a valley in the mountains of Colombia, Panama, or Brazil where a family is living a better life by working with UTZ to bring you a great cup of coffee.

Organic Coffee Certification

Certified organic coffee is grown without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers. When you drink organic coffee you can avoid the more-than-100 impurities that can be found in a cup of regular coffee. There are other certifications other than UTZ. The gold standard is USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). But many small growers cannot afford to have someone designated by the USDA to certify and recertify their coffee. Thus there are many small growers who follow organic practices but only get a regular price for their coffee. That is where UTZ and organizations like Rainforest Alliance come into play.

USDA Certification

According to the USDA, the following applies to USDA organic coffee as well as to all organic food production.

“… 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…”

Because the only coffee growers in the USA are in Hawaii the USDA outsources its onsite inspections to Bio Latina and others.


USDA Organic Coffee Certification Is the Gold Standard

USDA Organic Coffee Certification


Rainforest Alliance Certification

These folks are similar to UTZ in that they help growers achieve organic certified status working with them to achieve step by step milestones on the way. And, Rainforest Alliance helps farmers find better markets for their organic products from bananas to coffee.


Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance


Six of One and Half a Dozen of the Other

All of the certification processes give you organic certified coffees. Organic shade grown coffee is a top of the line product. Growing coffee this way protects the environment and avoids displacing song birds and other animals of the forest and gives you a great cup of coffee. Whether you go the USDA route or like UTZ or Rainforest Alliance you will be getting organic certified coffees. If you drink UTZ certified coffee you have a coffee tracked from farm to roaster to you with quality controls along the way. And you will have the comfort of knowing that your coffee came from a grower whose family cares for the land and has a better life because of UTZ and you. If you are having trouble finding organic certified coffees and especially if you are interested in wholesale organic coffee contact us at Buy Organic Coffee. For help finding small growers of organic shade grown coffee deal with people who work where it is grown. Contact Buy Organic Coffee for more info.

UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Joining Forces

As of this writing UTZ is working to join forces with Rainforest Alliance to create a powerhouse in the world of organic food, sustainable agriculture, and better lives for small scale farmers and their families.

UTZ Certified Coffee PPT