My fair trade beans experience


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I have heard alot about fair trade coffee. The ideas behind fairtrade is assisting the independant coffee farmers. I am a righteous member of society and beleived wholeheartedly that fair trade coffee beans would show my compassion for struggling farmers.

Now my problem with fair trade.

I've purchased multiple pounds of fair trade grinds and fair trade whole beans from different sources. It seems that even companies with an already wide array of beans for sale are adding "fair Trade" coffee beans on the label, as if this was the flavor of the bean! With a blind eye, I sheepishly purchased a few pounds of this "fair trade" and have had enough of trying them out.

For starters buying fair trade coffee beans without a hint of their source was one of the stupidest things I've done. Blindly making a purchase based on the ethical feelings in my soul rather then truthful debate of if I even wanted coffee that style. This package says the beans are from central and south america, I now sit here and ponder "these beans have seen more areas on the face of the earth then I have!". I have also another pound here from Mexico, and have purchased Guatemalan in the past.

moving on...

I spent time drinking each of the blends I have purchased. Starting with a very good smooth blend from Guatamala. This was my first experience with fairtrade, the sticks and non-coffee materials I found in the bag where to say the least distastful, but the coffee it made tasted as if it had an air of presence and style in my mouth. This was purchased through a friend and I hardly take into consideration when buying super market fair trade beans.
Next I have this unknown pound of fair trade I purchased that says it originates from both Central and South America. This is my second, it is slightly bitter but frankly I am upset over the marketing of fair trade coffee as a flavor or style of coffee and not a method of purchase!
Finally is the worst one yet, I have failed in different style to have this Mexican fair trade coffee taste any good! it is always rather bitter and never any tasteful. I do not know its orgins as it was a gift, but I do know without any of the traditional non-fair trade coffees at my office I had to purchase an extra pound of beans just so I am not drinking bitter coffee all week!
Dec 24, 2003
Victoria, BC
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That's pretty sketchy that you bought a bag of coffee that said the beans are from central and south america without naming the actual place the beans were grown.

I know some coffee sellers that really like to push "fair trade" and "organic" in your face but to not even list where the beans originate from is just not right. (but funny that someone actually did that at the same time).


New member
Feb 15, 2004
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If you all are still interested in trying some fair trade coffees, use google to look up Brazilian DaTerra. Not only is it a fair trade coffee, but it is also certified by IQnet, which is a worldwide certification organization that makes sure the beans are grown in certain guidelines and standards. I've had a little of it myself and it is quite enjoyable. Like so many other Central and South American coffees, this Brazilian has a nutty taste almost like fresh roasted peanuts.