There’s a lot that goes into making a great cup of coffee.
Whether you’re just waking up in the morning, sitting down in a favourite café on the high street or finishing of your evening meal, if you’re a coffee connoisseur, you’ll want everything to be just perfect. That means everything from the cup and company to the milk and beans.
Coffee lovers have high standards.
But is organic coffee better than non-organic? What does it offer that other coffees don’t? Has it got more flavour? Is it better for you? Well, first you can sit in comfort and drink your coffee knowing that you’re helping to save the planet.
At Hoxton Coffee, we like to think you get a lot from more from organic, that’s why we’ve selected a great range for you to buy online.
Here’s our quick guide to what’s so great about organic coffee and why you should put it on your shopping list.
What is Organic Coffee?
You’ll have seen products organic coffee in your local supermarket, but what does it really mean.
First of all, let’s talk about pesticides. Most people think organic equates to farmers using none at all but that’s not strictly true.
Organic coffee production does use pesticides but they’re natural ones. In other words, they don’t use synthetic pesticides that leech into the coffee beans and which can certainly damage the local ecology. Neither do organic coffee growers use chemical fertilisers or harmful fungicides. Common organic fertilisers, for example, include coffee pulp or natural compost. They’re much better for the beans and the land around them. Organic coffee means a whole lot more, however. Non-organic growers will clear large areas of land to farm in the open which is not only bad for the quality of the coffee beans but is also pretty damaging for the local environment. Organic growers use the shade of local forests where the plants can flourish. They grow in the natural world and all that entails.
We also tend to associate organic with better work practices as well. The whole range of the coffee making process, including farming and employment, to the packaging and delivery all follow quite strict ethical and sustainable processes. People also often get confused between organic and Fairtrade, thinking they are interchangeable. Fairtrade generally doesn’t promise that products have been organically grown, it’s more about the wages workers are paid and how they are treated by the company that grows the coffee. The good news with Hoxton is that you don’t have to worry, they’re both organic and Fairtrade!
Is It Really Organic?
Some organic products profess to be organic but, though it might sound counter intuitive, they have quite low standards. Organic chicken for example, doesn’t necessarily mean that your bird has been wondering happily around an open field for most of its life. Organic in this sense generally means that, according to EU standards, each chicken has a certain amount of ‘personal space’. With coffee, it’s always best to look for certain signs, just to be sure that your organic meets your high standards.
In the UK, you need to look out for certification by the Soil Association which has much higher standards than the EU in general when it comes to cultivated produce. The Soil Association is a registered charity and certifies products on the basis of health, ecology, fairness and care. All our Hoxton organic coffee is certified by the Soil Association so you can be 100% sure of the provenance as well as the quality of our products.
Where Does Organic Coffee Come From?
You have to head to the tropics to find the best places to grow coffee. That’s why you see packets from locations such as Columbia, Ethiopia and Sumatra. These are a bit like wine regions as coffee beans from different areas tend to have their own unique flavours.
Places like Columbia tend to produce smooth, slightly chocolatey brands with low acidity. It means you get a balanced coffee which is great for that morning wake up call. Ethiopian coffees can be a lot lighter when the beans go through a process of washing or can be heavier and taste a lot fruitier if not. Sumatran coffees are a little on the meatier side and the beans generally take to dark roasting better than other varieties.
The Benefits of Organic Coffee
It’s all well and good opting for organic coffee but what are the real benefits? Does it taste better? Is it healthier?
- Firstly, choosing organic coffee means that you’re supporting sustainable and natural production processes that are good for the planet.
- Non-organic products can contain residues of chemical herbicides and pesticides that are not necessarily that great for your body, not forgetting the impact they have on local wildlife and the soil.
- Aficionados of organic coffee say that it has a better taste and that it doesn’t have the slightly ‘metallic’ taste that highly processed products have. They also point to the health benefits of not drinking something that’s been exposed to lots of chemicals.
In addition, organic comes with all the same benefits as normal coffee. Taken in reasonable amounts, coffee can boost your alertness and even make you more productive at home as well as work. It’s thought to help improve exercise if you have a cup before you hit the gym and could protect your liver and heart according to a few studies. Of course, what most of us like is that gasp of pleasure and the sense that all is well with the world as we take our first slurp of coffee in the morning.
That and the fact that coffee goes brilliantly with chocolate.
Over 12 billion pounds of coffee are produced each year and every day around the world we consume over 2 billion cups. More of us nowadays have a packet or two of quality coffee in the cupboard along with a cafetiere, filter machine or barista style coffee maker and a favourite mug.
If you want to try something special with your morning breakfast, try organic Hoxton.