Well, Organic as a word in a supermarket shows that it has been grown organicilly or without the assistance of everyday chemicals used to treat the products. The same goes with Organic coffee, it is grown, roasted and if wanted decaffeinated without the use of any chemicals. Normally to decafeinate a coffee bean it would require chemicals (methylene chloride or ethyl acetate) but organic methods do not utilize this method of decafination using chemicals.
With the coffee trees being shade grown, the animals in the trees avoid the harmly chemicals and also the coffee bean farmers/workers work in a heathier enviornment and are paid more because of the extra work in caring for the beans and the costs involved. Organic Coffee promotes health in coffee drinkers and growers around the world.
Define Organic Coffee. The term Organic Coffee was coined by Joe Smillie. Is all organic coffee decafinated
deansbeans.com has a whole bunch of background info about all their beans, and how they're raised, etc. I actually learned a lot about different coffee regions and organic, shade-grown coffee in general from their site.
But basically, like Hot Mugs said, it's coffee grown and processed without chemicals... which sounds a lot better to me.
Take it easy there guys. You all seem to be so for organic that it sounds like a better cup of coffee. In my experience it isn't. It ain't bad either.
Properly roasted and fresh I'm sure it'll beat most "commercial coffees".
However, I as a coffee drinker am willing to pay more for a properly grown, picked, and processed coffee. All of the organic and Fair Trade coffees that I have seen have too many flaws or trash in them to event consider them a high grade coffee. Black beans, twigs, and an inconsistancy in size do have a negative effect on the taste of coffee.
Chemical Free Alternatives. In brief, coffee drinkers concerned about the impact of agricultural chemicals on environment and society or those unwilling to accept my reassurances on the consumer health issue have essentially three alternatives:
Buy a traditional coffee, grown as coffee was grown from its inception, before agricultural chemicals were invented. All Yemen, almost all Ethiopia, and most Sumatra Mandheling coffees are grown in such a state of innocence, and all are among the world's finest.
Buy a certified organic coffee. Certified organic coffees are coffees whose growing conditions and processing have been thoroughly monitored by independent agencies and found to be free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, and other potentially harmful chemicals. The monitoring agencies visit the farm and verify that no chemicals have been used on the farm for several years, and then follow every step of the processing, preparing, transporting, storage, and roasting. Such careful monitoring is of course expensive, which is one reason certified organic coffees cost more than similar uncertified coffees. Many such certified organic coffees are the product of socially and environmentally progressive cooperatives. See pages PPP-PPP for more on organically grown coffees.
Buy a coffee labeled "sustainable." At this writing sustainable is a rather loose term meaning that, in the view of the importer or roaster, designated farmers are doing everything within reason to avoid the use of agricultural chemicals and to pursue enlightened environmental and socially progressive practices in the growing and processing of their coffees.