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How to Know if Your Coffee Is Responsibly Sourced

Is the coffee you drink responsibly sourced? Would you even know?

Most people wouldn’t, because coffee shops don’t always do a great job of telling their customers that the coffee they’re drinking has been responsibly sourced. This means the coffee was grown in a way that isn’t destructive to the environment. Considering coffee farms have taken a huge chunk – about 2.5 million acres worth – out of rainforests in Central America, that’s really important.

After all, who wants to drink a latte if it’s destroying the earth?

That’s why drinking responsibly sourced coffee is important. We want to be good stewards of our planet while enjoying its fruits. As consumers, we have the power, as a group, to vote for responsibility and good stewardship. This means only buying coffee that was grown responsibly and in an environmentally-friendly way.

Here are some ways you can make sure the coffee you’re drinking at your local coffee shop is responsibly sourced.

Ask if They’re Certified by the Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is an organization that helps promote better, more responsible growing practices in countries where coffee is a key crop.

To help reduce the impact coffee-growing has on the environment, and to tell consumers that the coffee they drink is meeting high standards, the Rainforest Alliance certifies coffee. This lets you know that the coffee in your cup has been grown responsibly.

“Rainforest Alliance Certified” may appear on the bag itself. If it isn’t, you can ask your barista or roaster for more information.

See if the Coffee Is Fair Trade Certified

One reason why environmental destruction happens is that farmers, in order to scale up enough to make a living, have to destroy rainforests to plant more coffee. This is because they’re not getting their fair share of revenue from the crop.

Fair trade uses ethical trading practices to protect the grower and give them fair wages for their labor. This means less rainforest has to be torn up to grow the coffee.

There are two organizations that certify fair trade coffee: Fair Trade USA and Fairtrade America. Check with your coffee shop to see if your coffee meets fair trade standards.

Go Organic Whenever You Can

Pesticides serve their purpose, but it’s a lot better if you don’t have to use them. Organic coffee is grown without pesticides or other unnatural substances and is a lot more environmentally friendly on average.

Talk to your local roaster to see if they use organic coffee. If they do, great! Drink up and be merry. Drinking organic coffee can just taste better anyway, and, you know, that’s important.

Drink Responsibly Sourced Coffee

If you want to help the environment, vote with your wallet. Only drink coffee that is responsibly sourced. The name brand coffee you buy in grocery stores almost never meets those standards. That’s why it’s always best to get your caffeine addiction satiated from a local roaster, because you can actually talk with them and learn more about the particular coffee they use.

If you want responsibly sourced coffee in Birmingham, we have you covered with our original location in Homewood and our coffee shop in Lakeview. Come on by and drink a cup – and do your part to save the environment.