Coffee article Health
Organic Coffee vs Regular Coffee: What's the Differences?
I’d like to believe that coffee lovers are open-minded people who are open to trying out new
coffee brands and have interest everything about coffee.
With the latest craze on healthy living, green living and naturopathy, coffee is not exempted in
this “health” war. Organic coffee became the buzz and more and more people are becoming
interested with drinking organic coffee.
In fact, even people who used to believe that coffee is bad for the health because it supposedly
causes dehydration, heartburn and high blood had a change of heart after they found out about
Suddenly, coffee was on the pedestal just by slapping “organic” on its label.
If you think about it, is organic coffee any different from regular coffee? What are differences?
What are the similarities? Is it really better to drink organic coffee than regular coffee?
Let’s find out!
The truth about organic coffee
According to Ethical Coffee, just like any kind of coffee certification, there is a set of standards
followed before a coffee produce is labeled organic. The organic seal in the United States is
monitored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For coffee get an organic seal, producers
cannot use synthetic substances such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. At least 95
percent of the coffee beans should have grown under organic conditions.
Because organic coffee farmers do not use synthetic fertilizers or chemicals used in growing or
production, this means cleaner beans, air, land, and water. The coffee is grown with only
organic fertilizers from coffee pulp, chicken manure, or compost. Organic farms also share in
fighting climate change by emitting less carbon than chemical farms, while also emit significant
amounts of carbon. As a bonus benefit, organic coffee beans are richer in healthful antioxidants,
and many people can even taste the difference. It’s not only your health that gets a boost.
Mother Earth is also happy that less chemicals are used in farming.
Most organic coffee is grown the natural way. The farms are within the shade of lush forests,
providing a home for wild plants and animals, sustaining soil fertility, and keeping unique
regional ecosystems alive. These forested farms provide better resiliency and become equipped
to handle unusual weather patterns that are a result of climate change. In the long run, these
farms make a safer investment for farmers and their futures. Honduras is one of the leading
producers of organic coffee. Other South American countries are also producing more and more
organic coffee as Equal Exchange partnered with coffee cooperatives to restore forested lands
and growing more organic coffee farms.
The truth about regular coffee
Let’s be clear about one thing here. Coffee is one of the most widely traded commodities in the
world – second to oil. Over 12 billion pounds of coffee is produced every year. Each day over
1.6 billion cups are drunk. Every second 18,500 cups of coffee are consumed.
It is not easy to meet the demand. As a result, farming methods were adapted that would double
or triple the yield of production. Every acre of land used for coffee production should be
maximized. However, this process comes with a price, human and environmental health were
the common victims.
Regular, or conventional coffee, is mass-produced coffee beans. It is readily available in just
about anywhere. You can find it at your local deli, in a nearby convenience store, in a vending
machine and even in your cupboard, if you are someone who just grab a pack of coffee from the
One important feature of regular coffee is its affordability. It’s relatively inexpensive. Why?
Because regular coffee is mass-produced.
According to Ethical Coffee, coffee farmers who harvest regular coffee beans often use
synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and insecticides to ensure the most number of
harvested coffee beans. Pests can easily ruin a coffee farm. Using chemicals can ensure that
the coffee farm is safe from potential harm and maximum yield is guaranteed.
Such a practice exposes the farmers to health hazards. The communities living near the coffee
farm can also be affected by the chemical residues that mix in the air and the water resources.
Because of the demand for more coffee beans, some forests are cleared to give way to fields of
coffee. Coffee production may increase but at the expense of the natural ecosystem. Natural
pest-deterrents like birds and lizards lose their home. Insects that eat coffee start to populate.
As a result, farmers resort to chemical solutions to protect their fields.
Due to the inevitable climate change, rains increase water runoff in areas where forest were
cleared. Soil is washed away along with its nutrients. The rainwater also carries away the
chemicals sprayed on the coffee trees.
Is it better to drink organic coffee?
You can consider two things when deciding to drink organic coffee.
Health concerns: Organic coffee is arguably better than regular coffee because they are
produced without the potentially harmful and lethal chemicals. Also, organic coffee preserves
more of the antioxidants present in coffee beans. If you want to get the best out of coffee for
your health, going organic is the best option. You get more caffeine and more beneficial
antioxidants that help fight aging, promote weight lost and prevent the risk of developing cancer,
heart disease, liver problems, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Environmental concerns: If you want to contribute to fighting climate change, patronizing organic
coffee is the way to go. This way, you encourage coffee farmers by supporting to buy their
products. Organic coffee thrives in the shade under the lush canopy of thick, tropical forests.
In other words, forests don’t need to be slashed and burned to make room for organic coffee
crops, because natural coffee grows better in those woodlands anyway. Regular coffee,
meanwhile, is usually grown on large sprawling farms that were once forested.
Should you buy organic coffee and forget about regular coffee?
If price is your main concern when buying coffee, your choice will gravitate on buying regular
coffee. It is really affordable and it gives you the caffeine fix you need on a daily basis. You still
get the same antioxidants but along with it, you can just imagine how much chemicals are used
in growing these coffee beans.
However, if price is not an issue, go for organic coffee.
Many people are disappointed by the expensive price tag of most organic coffee. However, in
time, the price will also go down as more coffee farmers opt for organic farming.
To date, organic coffee is about 3 percent of the total coffee production. It’s a small number,
hence, the price is highly dictated by the producers. But as the law of demand and supply
dictates, an increase in demand of organic coffee will encourage regular coffee farmers to have
a shift and go for organic coffee production.
If you have not tried drinking organic coffee, now is the time to give it a go. Here is some
organic coffee brands you can check out:
Café Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee (Honduras)
Java Planet (Colombia)
Kicking Horse (Blend, Fair Trade)
Death Wish Coffee (Blend, Fair Trade)
Jungle Coffee (Costa Rica)
Camano Island Coffee (Papua New Guinea, Fair Trade)
JO Espresso (Blend, Fair Trade)
Two Volcanoes Gourmet Coffee (Guatemala)
Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso (Blend, Fair Trade)
The Bean Coffee Company (Blend)
Larry’s Beans House Blend (Blend, Fair Trade)
Coffee Bean Direct Ehtiopian Yirgacheffe (Ehtiopia, Fair Trade)