With how fast the sustainability trend has taken over the globe, it is no surprise that coffee lovers have started demanding environmentally-friendly substitutes for their favorite beans. Organic coffee has been gaining steady fame as more and more people are taking an interest in the environment. Since education is becoming common, it makes sense that the demand for organic coffee will only continue to increase. If you’re new to the subject and need a guide to organic coffee, you’re in the right place. Here are all the benefits of organic coffee, compared with the drawbacks.
Guide to Organic Coffee
What Is Organic Coffee?
There is no difference between the composition of organic coffee beans and normal beans. The difference lies in the cultivation process. Organic coffee means beans harvested from plants that are grown without artificial fertilizers and chemicals like pest control drugs. Natural fertilizers like compost, manure, and coffee pulp. The USDA follows a rigorous checking process before certifying an organic coffee seller, which further confirms the quality of organic coffee. This means the coffee beans are free of any chemical traces, however, also brings drawbacks like a hefty price tag with them. We will discuss all these pros and cons below.
All You Need to Know About Organic Coffee
|20% more than conventional coffee
Price varies from brand to brand
|Demand for Organic Coffee||$55.1 U.S. billion in 2019|
|The Market for Organic Coffee||$6.55 billion in 2021
Expected to reach $9.53 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 10%.
|Types of Organic Coffee by Origin||Arabica
|Types of Organic Coffee by Roast||Light
|Types of Organic Coffee Available for Buying||Coffee pods
|The Best Brands Selling Organic Coffee||Death Wish Ground Coffee
Kicking Horse Coffee
Cafe Don Pablo
|Countries Where Organic Coffee Is Produced||Peru
Other countries in Latin America
Table sources: Global News Wire, National Coffee Association, New York Magazine, Wikipedia
Benefits of Organic Coffee
Free of Chemicals
Organic coffee is almost free of dangerous chemicals. In commercial farming, plants are regularly doused with chemical fertilizers to attain the maximum possible yield. Not just this, but a lot of chemical pesticides and herbicides are used to protect the crop. While these do help the farmer provide a hefty yield and profit from the crop, it is detrimental to both cultivators and consumers.
All the used pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers are said to cause cancer and damage our nervous system. Chemical fertilizers have high levels of nitrates and nitrites that can cause Diabetes, hemoglobin disorder, and even Alzheimer’s. Organic coffee reduces the risk of all of these problems and more, so there’s no surprise that people prefer it over normal coffee.
Organic coffee grows under sheds which helps to bring numerous benefits to the ecosystem. It prevents soil erosion and different diseases. The plant grows under a canopy, which helps to conserve water by lessening the need for irrigation. It is also discovered that organic farming emits less amount of greenhouse gases, thus preventing global warming, which is a major global concern.
In commercial coffee farming, large areas of land are cleared for cultivation, which damages the surface of the earth. Since the trees are taken down, the soil becomes loose, because no roots are holding it together. This results in soil erosion
Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are another reason behind soil erosion and increasing water pollution. These fertilizers are washed into the nearby water bodies contaminating them. Organic coffee cultivation limits the use of these products. Using eco-friendly practices while growing coffee organically increases the nutrients in the soil and reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the air.
Organic coffee offers all the benefits coffee does. It stimulated the brain, provides you energy and helps prevent liver damage, diabetes, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s. However, the biggest factor that sets it apart from conventional is the lack of harmful chemicals, and risks of side effects.
If you’re interested in reading more about the benefits of organic coffee, we’ve further discussed them here-9 Proven Reasons Why You Should Drink Coffee Daily
Organic coffee tastes different than regular coffee, however, the difference can be difficult to notice for some people. Nonetheless, those that experience a change in flavor, have mixed feelings about it. Some people believe that organic coffee provides a smoother brew, and tastes far more refreshing than normal coffee. Others believe that organic coffee is weaker than conventional coffee. Whatever the case may be, you might want to try organic coffee once at least. It has a lot of benefits, and who knows, you might come to love the flavor too.
Drawbacks of Organic Coffee
One of the biggest drawbacks of organic coffee is that it is pricey. A cup of coffee made from organic beans can easily be three times more expensive than a regular cup of coffee. The farmers are responsible for growing organic coffee charge more since organically grown coffee is harder to cultivate. Not just that, but conventional coffee farming provides greater yields and profits since chemical fertilizers are used. The farmers make up for the decreased yield and increased labor by charging inflated prices.
No Protection Against Plants Diseases and Pests
The farmers involved in organic farming do not use any chemicals, pesticides, etc. when growing their coffee. It is beneficial to grow beans without making use of harmful chemicals, but on the other hand, it can be a problem too. The farmers tend to focus on the prevention of any possible diseases. They maintain a healthy environment and the right conditions, but if the crop does get affected by a disease, it can be very difficult to manage. Most farmers make use of traps supported by manual labor to get rid of pests. However, if the pest infestation is widespread, the farmers are left in a torturous situation. They can either lose their entire crop to the pests, or they can use commercial pesticides that will risk their organic certification.
Many regions in the world have experienced the widespread destruction of fields upon fields of coffee plants due to fungal diseases such as the coffee wilt disease. If the farmer is not careful enough then the infectious agent can be passed down to the consumer of the coffee beans too, which makes it a bigger health concern. “Ochratoxin” is one such example of an infectious agent produced by certain fungi. The fungi grow on green coffee, and can sometimes grow at the base of the plant due to the accumulation of organic matter.
Problems With Storage and Ochratoxin
Organic coffee needs to be stored with extreme care. If farmers don’t follow suitable storage practices or keep the beans anywhere near moisture, it can encourage mold growth and exposure to mycotoxins. This particular exposure can cause sinus infections, memory defects, hair loss, and even DNA damage within the consumers. The mold produces ochratoxin which is a major problem. The coffee beans should be stored in a clean, dry place because once ochratoxin is produced it cannot be removed even when the moldy beans are roasted. The toxin is reported to cause cancer and kidney damage in adults, while birth flaws in the babies pregnant women.
Issues Caused by Roasting
There are a lot of problems with the right way to roast organic coffee beans. Many brands roast organic beans at high temperatures which have its deficits. Over-roasting leads to by-products like HCA’s or acrylamide that can find their way into our body causing harm to our nervous system and increasing the risk of cancer.
The certification process is expensive and time-consuming. The farm must complete a certain period following the rules of organic farming before it can be certified as an organic farm. This period is usually 3 years. Every measure and product used during this process needs to be reported to the governing body during this period. Even the slightest mistake can cause the farm to lose its license.
There are a lot of benefits of organic coffee, however, it has its fair share of drawbacks too. If you can afford the inflated price tag, organic coffee is the most obvious choice. After all, there are a lot of advantages to health. If you can’t afford it, conventional coffee has most of the benefits of organic coffee. Coffee can be enjoyed in any way. Don’t let certifications and brand labels stop you.