Organic coffee is a coffee that is grown by special agricultural methods and techniques that omit the use of any artificial fertilizers and pesticides. The coffee, besides being of a purer form and richer flavor, is known to aid in soil structure conservation and prevention of environmental pollution.
History of Organic Coffee Beans
Organic farming is as old as farming itself, as it has been always practiced before the advent of modern day artificial fertilizers. Hence, organic cultivation of coffee is also as old as the cultivation of coffee itself, which has been traced back in history to somewhere in the 15th century.
Preparation of Organic Coffees
Organic variety of coffee beans can be used to prepare various forms of coffee drinks just in the way as regular coffee beans are used. The beans have to be first harvested, fermented and roasted before they can be used to prepare various coffee drinks.
Benefits of Organic Coffee Beans
These coffee beans are known to have a range of benefits for coffee drinkers as well as for the environment. Following is a list of benefits –
Organically grown coffee has a richer and tastier flavor than its synthetic counterparts.
The beans are free of harmful chemicals used in pesticides and insecticides, which may have ill effects on the health of coffee drinkers, including risk of certain diseases.
These beans are of a high quality as they have to go through stringent certification processes to be labeled as organic.
Coffee beans grown by organic farming are known to be beneficial for the environment, which is not polluted by insecticides and pesticides used in ordinary coffee. Harmful chemicals also decrease the fertility of the soil where non-organic coffee is grown. Organic variety of coffee is mostly shade grown, which means that forests are also preserved as the coffee beans can be cultivated without cutting trees. This type of agriculture makes use of natural fertilizers like bird droppings, dried leaves of trees and pest control measures like birds eating the insects which may infect the plants.
Miscellaneous Facts About Organic Coffee Beans
- The main producers of this type of coffee are Peru, Mexico and Ethiopia. 75% of the organic coffee of the world is known to come from Latin America.
- Certification of coffee for being organic as per United States regulations makes it necessary for the coffee beans to fulfill the following conditions-
-Coffee is to be grown without the use of synthetic pesticides
-Organically grown coffee and the closest crop cultivation must be separated by a reasonable buffer.
-The cultivation techniques must ensure crop rotation to prevent depletion of essential nutrients of the soil as well as pest control.
- For starting organic farming of coffee, initial capital investment is less than that for regular coffee, because pesticides and fertilizers need not be purchased. However, organic farming yields a smaller crop and hence lesser money.
- The total sale of organic coffee in the world market in 2006 was 67,000 metric tons.