You may enjoy your daily cup of the best coffee, but you probably do not have any idea what goes on to get that cup of coffee to you, starting from the actual process of growing coffee. In fact, you probably have no idea that there is more than one way to grow coffee. Coffee can either be sun grown or shade grown. You may not even be able to tell the difference between the two unless you are a coffee connoisseur. Though you may not be able to tell the difference, there are some distinct differences between the two from taste to actual environmental impacts as a result of the growing method.
Traditionally, coffee was shade grown. After some time, people realized that they could get more yield from their coffee plants by moving towards a sun grown method of growing. Sun grown coffee is generally considered to be a lower quality coffee. Shade grown coffee is an obviously higher quality coffee and has a better taste. This is because shade grown coffee beans will mature at a slower pace than sun grown coffee. This means that there are more natural sugars and an enhanced flavor as a result.
In addition to the taste benefits, there are also health and environmental benefits to choosing shade grown coffee. Shade grown coffee is organically grown, meaning that there are no chemicals used in the growing process. It requires little to no chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. This is not only great for your body because you are not consuming these potentially harmful chemicals, but this is also much better for the environment. The shade can also help to minimize erosion because it can help aid in the retention of soil moisture. Shade grown coffee also offers a habitat for birds, which can help the bio-diversity of their area.
Environmentalists have some concern about sun grown coffee. This started so that people can gain a much higher profit from their coffee. This did not come without a cost. While this is a much cheaper option for consumers, this can be harmful to the environment and poses a risk to consumers. Sun grown coffee requires things like chemical fertilizers and pesticides due to its exposure to the sun and lack of nutrients in the soil. This also poses a risk to the birds that rely on these shade trees for their habitat. Without them, the birds lose their homes. This disrupts the biodiversity of the region. On top of all of this, small farmers will suffer because they cannot afford the extra costs incurred by needing additional chemicals.
At the end of the day, shade grown coffee is the best choice. It is an environmentally responsible choice and offers greater sustainability. It also has a better taste for those coffee fans that are looking for the best quality coffee out there. The growing trend of sun grown coffee is harmful to the environment just for the profit of the big farms that can afford to grow coffee in this way. Shade grown coffee is really the best choice for your coffee needs.