Shade-Grown coffee

AlisonRay

New member
Apr 9, 2006
2
0
Austin, TX
Hi! I'm new to the coffee forum and happy to be here, cause I do love my coffee :D !

Can anyone tell me who might have quality Shade-Grown coffee? Does Starbucks carry it?

I recently read a Welloria article about coffee and it mentioned Shade-Grown and Fair-Traded. I know most places have Fair-Traded which is great, but I'm really interested in converting to Shade-Grown coffees. The article explains that shade-grown coffees are grown under trees that help protect native and migrating birds from becoming extinct. I'm an environmentalist, so this got me excited about shade-grown coffees.

Does anyone here use Shade-Grown? Any reccommendations?

Since I mentioned it, the link for the Welloria article about coffee is http://www.Welloria.com/Coffee/Coffee_p1.html (In case you do want to read it, I think there's a free sign-up... I'm a member so I get to it directly).
 

equus007

New member
Apr 4, 2006
315
0
Austin, Tx
shade-grown

Starbucks does use shade-grown coffees however they simply buy from fincas many of whom roast and market their own beans. Its fresher(usually) from the people who own the plantations. Lots out there. I would start by doing a search for shade-grown coffee and including your state or city name in the search. Then try the brands from as close to you as possible.
 

CAFECOSA

New member
Oct 19, 2005
1
0
Seattle/Costa Rica
Shade Grown & Fair Trade

Hi! Shade grown coffee is a tricky thing. Most coffees are processed through co-ops which mean that there are 500 farmers bringing their coffee in to the processing plant from local farms surrounding the co-op. It is nearly impossible for the co-op to say that their coffee is shade grown as they would have to go to each and every farm to verify status. Most shade grown coffees will be estate coffees.

It is great that you are interested in this cause. My personal opinion is that shade grown and organic certifications are amost more important than a Fair Trade certification. Coffee processing is VERY hard on the environment and by supporting shade grown and orgainic, you are being environmentally supportive.

However, just because coffees aren't labeled as certain types (shade/organic/Fair Trade) doesn't mean that they aren't worthy of buying. For example. . . . we buy our coffee from a beneficio (coffee co-op) in San Marcos de Tarrazu, Costa Rica. This beneficio is Fair Trade Certified. As a company, we are trying to create jobs in the local community. We roast and pack our coffees at origin (in San Marcos) and then ship around the world. Because we origin roast the beans, we are not able to become Fair Trade certified. TransFair USA, the Fair Trade labeling organization will not certify us because we roast the beans at their source - in Tarrazu, Costa Rica. The only way a coffee can be Fair Trade certified is if it 1 - comes from a Co-Op and 2 - is roasted in a country that has a certification program in place. If we chose to bring the green beans to the US for roasting and packing, we could be certified. However, this would go against our mission as a company. Another thing to consider is that the independent farmer is not able to obtain certification because he/she is not a co-op.

We are starting to buy other coffees from estates and beneficios that are spending thousands of dollars to upgrade their processing so that they can produce a more sustainable product. Do you think it is fair that people don't buy these coffees just because they aren't certified in one way or another? Certification programs are extremely expensive. Another thing to remember is that coffees from specialty growing regions by nature command a price per pound that is far higher than the Fair Trade required price. . . . which I think is currently $1.26/pound.

So, these are just some things to conisder in this process of coffee buying. I suggest that before you buy your beans, you do some research to find out where they are from and what the estate or beneficio is doing to promote a healthy balance between protecting the environment and providing fair wages and living standards for their pickers.

Good luck!
 

buck100

New member
Aug 25, 2005
19
0
Fort Lauderdale
Hello Alison,

Shade grown is very difficult and unless you are buying direct from the farm or a supplier that works with specific shade grown coffee farms. You can never be sure what you are getting.

I agree with what CAFECOSA said and coincidentally, I also buy shade grown coffee from San Marcos in the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. You may want to look at this shade grown coffee article that I wrote an article for more information.
 

equus007

New member
Apr 4, 2006
315
0
Austin, Tx
shade-grown

buck and cafe cosa are totaly correct.
Shade-grown can only reliably be obtained from single estate growers and because of the way the market works most single estate growers will not be FT. We are experiencing the same problem ourselves. As much as we would love the added sales that can come with having a FT seal on your product we will never get the certification because we are too big. Always seemed kinda silly that the thing stoping us from getting the cert is that we are too good to our people and are able to employ them year round which is a big no-no for the FT people. We have the four best fincas in Nicaragua and yet we are still not "fairly trading" because some committee has decided so...now tell me who's not being fair?
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
Not to mention in some areas, people are cutting down the rain forest to grow organic coffee because there is a big demand and thus higher price for it. We in the coffee consuming nations are making a political and social statement about how moronic we truly are.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
No different at all. I am just trying to point out if people think drinking organic coffee is doing the environment a favor they are not. The point is when there is a higher price for something that is not better, then somewhere and somehow people will be taking advantage of the price differentiation. Let's put it this way, clear cutting rain forest to grow organic coffee is not what those who are demanding organic coffee have in mind. On the other hand its pretty hard to have good beans without contended workers, and properly cared for land. So if people buy better quality beans, by default, they are buying from businesses that care about their people and their land. La Minita for example, is neither FT nor organic, but they have wonderful coffee and I can't think of another farm that take better care of its people and its land. I get frustrated when people in the coffee industry choose slogan expediency over education. Look at some of the coffee shops that are FT only, how many of their employees get a living wage? If they can't demand that from themselves, then how hypocritical is that to demand that from their suppliers? I remembered reading somewhere a family farm cannot be certified as FT if farmers children helped out because this is considered as using child labor. Well for goodness sake, even in the US, kids help out in the family farm. Alright, enough venting, time to drink some soothing Darjeeling that are from a tea plantation that has no shade, and are hand picked by young girls with no shoes who should be in school, who are paid diddly.
 

Latest posts

Top