Happy Earth Day to all our fellow earth inhabitants. We hope you are taking time out of your day today to advocate, reflect, & educate yourself on all the important issues that our world is facing today.
We at Salt Spring Coffee are incredibly passionate about the care we put into each and every cup of coffee. Our values don’t only benefit our loyal customers, we also want to ensure that we are helping the earth thrive in every way we can. This is why we are dedicated to establishing processes that are as natural as possible, and that we work with partners who hold themselves to the same standards. Through organic certification, and simply witnessing the care that our farmers put into their crops with our own eyes, we can say with confidence that we are making a positive impact.
In today’s market, we see the word “organic” plastered on a lot of different products, and people could probably explain in simple terms what that means (no pesticides, etc.) Today we want to dive deeper into what organic means to Salt Spring Coffee, and the process that we follow to ensure that our coffee is 100% shade-grown organic.
Before we get too far into it, let’s explore what sun-grown vs shade-grown coffee is.
What is Sun-Grown Coffee?
Sun-growing is exactly what it sounds like – Sun-grown coffee farmers completely clear cut the land to make room for more coffee. In Central America alone, sun-grown coffee cultivation has lead to millions of acres of forests to be destroyed. Unfortunately, the negative effects of sun-grown coffee do not end there. Without the lush forest canopy, there is little to no biodiversity surrounding the crops, which means they have no protection against pests; so pesticides and herbicides are necessary. We all know that synthetic pesticides are harmful to us humans, but they can also greatly impact the planet as a whole. Additionally, because of the unobstructed land and high consumer demand, farmers are able to plant these crops at a higher density. This leads to environmental chemical overload to combat pests, which destroys the soil and leaves various long-term effects.
What is Shade-Grown Coffee?
Shade-growing on the other hand, is how organic coffee is produced. It’s the most natural way to cultivate coffee, with no pesticides or herbicides needed. The coffee plants are grown within the shade of a lush forest canopy which not only provides protection to the coffee plants, but also a home for other types of plants and animals. The soil stays fertile & nutrient-dense due to the leaves and foliage that fall from the canopy and decompose into the earth. Shade-grown coffee is able to grow at its own, natural pace, there is minimal soil erosion, and the coffee beans reap all the benefits from this. This results in a better quality bean with a more balanced flavour profile in comparison to its sun-grown counterpart. Essentially, growing in the shade leads to a happier cup of coffee, and a happier planet overall.
When you purchase organic shade-grown coffee, you can rest assured that your dollars are supporting the farmers who are cultivating their crops in the most ecologically beneficial way. And that’s something to smile about.