Organic produce has always been the go-to choice for health conscious individuals. It provides a much better alternative to pesticide-ridden, chemically modified products, which can be harmful for you in the long run.
Studies have shown that crops of today, including coffee, tea, corn and wheat, have far less nutrients than about a century ago. They also have much less protein, and contain carcinogens that can cause cancer.
Organic coffee is mostly shade grown, which means that it promotes preservation of forests and trees. This is not so with the coffee available in the generic market.
What is organic coffee?
Organic coffees are grinds or beans from the coffee crop that has been fertilized only using natural fertilizers. The coffee is grown keeping the preservation of nature in mind, and this way of growing coffee beans has shown to reduce soil erosion and promote a healthy ecosystem.
The nutrients in the soil are also preserved since the fertilizers that are used are chemical free. In fact, by adding natural fertilizers like chicken manure or even coffee pulp, the soil is remediated and essential nutrients are added back into the soil, making the next batch of crops even better.
Organic coffee is rich in nutrients and vitamins, and generally tastes much better. They also have the right amount of caffeine that is not subjected to selective breeding, making the coffee as nature as possible. The coffee beans obtained from an organic crop are also healthier as they preserve more of the antioxidants than the regular coffee beans.
Benefits of Organic Coffee
- Preserve more antioxidants: Organic coffee has a much better preservation of antioxidants when compared with Regular coffee. Antioxidants are one of the most important thing that the body needs, and can help reduce fight Alzheimer’s disease, promote weight loss, improve skin, reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases, and also improve your brain functioning. These antioxidants are found in a much larger concentration in organic coffee as chemical fertilizers are not used.
- Soil remediation: The harmful chemicals in fertilizers destroy the soil and rob it of its nutrients. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, add a lot of nutrients into the soil, making it better for the soil and for the ecosystem. Soil remediation will eventually result in better tasting, nutrition rich coffee beans that will be much better for you. Given that coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, it becomes very important to use organic fertilizers for coffee, in order to fight climate change.
- No Carcinogens: Generic coffee brands use a ton of chemical fertilizers which are carcinogenic. Carcinogens are substances that increase the risk of cancer, and are found abundantly in fertilizers. Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, reduce the risk of cancer, making it a far better alternative than generic fertilizers.
- Better taste: Organic coffee is generally tastier, which is why most of the leading brands of espresso coffee beans use organic coffee. They preserve most of the oils and flavors that are natural to the beans. The chemical fertilizers usually erode these flavors, making your coffee taste flatter and give it a chemical taste. To get the best tasting coffee, Organic, shade-grown coffee crops are the way to go.
The only disadvantage or a negative of buying organic grounds is the price tag. Organic coffee is slightly more expensive than generic coffee. However, this is a small price to pay for the flavor, texture, health benefits and environmental benefits of using organic coffee.
How is Organic Coffee made?
Coffee is naturally grown in shades of trees, deep in the forests. However, the conventional coffees that we are familiar with are hybrid beans that are selectively bred to be feasible to grow in direct sunlight.
Organic coffee production requires the natural coffee beans, and do not use the hybrid beans that are used to make generic coffee. Because of this, organic coffee is primarily grown in shades of tall trees.
First, the coffee crop is planted in the deep shades of a forest. The growers ensure that the humidity and temperature is just the right amount. The crop is watered regularly, and organic compost is added from time to time.
The compost could be coffee pulp from a previous batch, manure, or even fruits and vegetables. Using this, it is ensured that the crop gets its required nutrients to grow. During harvest time, the beans are separated from the crop.
The beans then get roasted in batches, and the coffee is then ground up and sealed in bags that are also usually biodegradable and made of all-natural materials. The end product is one of the most rewarding cups of coffee, and the consumer must remember all the hard work that goes into the process.
This process takes longer than the commercial generic coffee beans and the yield is also smaller, but the coffee is far more delicious and healthier.
Top 10 Best Organic Coffee Beans
Considering all the factors mentioned above, let’s look at the Top 10 Organic Coffee Beans
Let us look into in-depth details of each of the Organic coffee beans mentioned above.
10. Allegro Coffee Organic (Dark Roast, Light Roast & Decaf)
The Allegro coffee roasters were formed in 1970, and are one of the innovators in the field of organic coffee. They grow their own beans, and roast them too. The coffee has hints of fruitiness and has a very distinct flavor profile.
It is available in dark roast, light roast and decaf variants. The size of the packaging is the standard 12oz. The flavor profile of the coffee is a blend of sweetness and smokiness. The dark roast especially brings out the smokiness of the coffee and contrasts perfectly with the sweetness and fruitiness of the bean.
The co-ops that farm the coffee use integrated farming systems, which means that there is an assuring that no chemicals are used in the production of the coffee. The coffee has certifications from fair trade, USDA, Non GMO project, as well as Whole Trade.
The light roast beans are also very delicious, but the most popular variant of this coffee bean is the Decaf. If you are looking for an organic decaf coffee, this one might be a great choice.
The flavors of the decaf coffee are bold and rich. The favor of the decaf grinds is smooth and smoky at the same time, and is one of the best decaf coffees available on the market.
All in all, the Allegro organic coffee is a solid product. It is also relatively cheaper than the other brands on this list, and has a great flavor profile
9. AmazonFresh Organic Fair Trade Whole Bean Coffee
The AmazonFresh Organic Fair Trade coffee is trademark of the amazon brand, and features one of the most authentic organic coffee experiences. The coffee comes in many variants based on the country of origin, including Peru, Rwanda, Nicaragua and Sumatra.
The Peruvian and Sumatran variants also come in the form of a K-cup, which can be used in any machine that takes coffee pods. This is one of the specialties of this coffee.
As the title suggests, this coffee is approved and certified by fair trade, assuring that the coffee beans are 100% organic. The Peruvian variant is medium roasted, and the toasty flavor is perfectly balanced with the natural sweetness of the coffee. However, the Sumatran variant, which is dark roasted, is a tad bit too bitter and perhaps slightly over-roasted.
If you prefer your coffee extra toasted, this may be the coffee for you. The coffee beans are sourced and curated in the countries on the label, and are grown by the native farmers who have worked the trade for many years.
The Peruvian variant has a few notes of tartness, and sweetness that seems to come from chocolate. The beans themselves are small, and packed full of flavor. The Sumatran variant is much less acidic and fuller. Overall, this is a good product that is sure to excite your palate. Given that this product comes in K-cups as well, it is well worth the price.
8. Mavericks Low Acid Coffee
Mavericks is a lesser known brand which specializes in low-acidic organic coffee. They take a no-nonsense approach to making coffee, and employ an innovative roasting technique that records some of the lowest pH levels, as low as 6.5.
If you suffer from GERD or other digestive tract diseases, this coffee will not irritate your stomach and may be the best choice for you. The coffee is roasted at a specific temperature which ensures that the acidity is as minimum as possible.
The net weight of the product is 16oz, which is slightly more than the standard 14oz. The price is also relatively low. The flavor profile of this coffee is a balance between bitterness and sweetness.
The sweetness is raw and fruity rather than chocolaty, whereas the bitterness is something akin to dark chocolate. The flavors are surprising, and the absence of tartness in the coffee results in a mellow yet flavorful coffee experience. The flavor is bold, yet also very smooth.
Given that this product specializes in low acidity, the flavors are bold and rich despite the fact that the coffee is slow roasted. Most of the oils of the beans are well preserved, making this one of the better organic coffees on the market.
7. Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee
Dean’s Beans is one of the more popular organic coffee names in the market. Dean’s Beans’ coffee comes from Asia and the Americas, where farmers use the shade farming method to grow the coffee crop. This ensures that there is no deforestation, and the coffee is eco-friendly.
The coffee is also certified by fair trade, making it assured that the coffee is authentic and organic. It comes in the decaf variant as well, which is by far the more popular choice. The Decaf coffee has a strong and rich flavor, just like the caffeinated variant.
Dean’s Beans claim that they are directly connected with the farmers that supply their coffee. A part of the funds that are collected go to the farmers to enhance the coffee plantations. The coffee itself has a distinct nutty flavor. The Hazelnut flavor is all natural, from natural essential oils.
The Dean’s Beans team guarantees that there are no chemicals added to enhance the flavor. The Nutty sweetness is beautifully contrasted with the toasty flavor of the coffee, and adds a perfect note to the already delicious coffee beans. The Decaf process is done by adding water, and is eco-friendly.
The coffee comes in two variant flavors: Hazelnut dream and French Vanilla Kiss, both of which have a decaffeinated version as well. The French Vanilla flavor uses light-medium roasts and has a great body. The vanilla and the coffee work perfectly well together and add a whole new dimension to the coffee flavor.
This product is a great choice for people who want to help the cause of organic production. The French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavoring is the defining feature of this coffee, and does a great job in separating this brand from the others.
6. Joe’s Whole Bean Coffee
This medium-dark roast coffee comes in a 40oz pack, and has beans only. The product does not come in the form of grinds and can only be purchased as roasted beans. The coffee’s origins can be traced to the lush forests of South America, where the coffee plantations are rampant. This product is 100% organic, certified by the USDA.
The coffee type is Arabica, like all the other coffees so far on the list, and is a blend of a variety of beans that complement each other. The flavor is also great, yet subtle. It may be too ‘light tasting’ for some people, but the flavor profile is masked and subtle, and discovering it during your drinking experience is very rewarding.
The bitters are balanced reasonably well with the fruity sweetness, and the body is rich, with a decent crema formation for espressos. The coffee is very smooth, and has very little tartness. However, the central flavor note is that of floral sweetness. It is one of the defining features of this coffee, and works remarkably well with the toasty coffee flavor.
The beans work well for all sorts of brew styles, including French press, espresso and long blacks (Americano). The chocolaty taste pared with the floral aromas and the natural bitterness of the coffee oils are perfectly balanced, and very subtle, making this a light but rewarding coffee drinking experience.
5. BLVCK Organic Cold Brew
By far, this brand of coffee gives one of the most personalized, curated coffee drinking experience. They guarantee that all of their products are fresh, and are ground to order. This means that there is minimal wastage of coffee beans as well as packaging, which is one of the most eco-friendly measures to be taken.
It also ensures that the coffee stays fresh and aromatic when you open the packaging. Because of this, the price is on the higher side. It is more expensive than most other products on the list, but the price is justified by the availability and eco-friendly steps taken by the company.
The BLVCK cold brew coffee bottles available on the market use this exact same coffee powder, and hence, the flavor in the two is very similar. If you are wondering if you should buy this product, consider tasting the BLVCK cons brew coffee bottles in order to see if the flavor profile is to your liking.
This is highly recommended, and will make it easier for you to decide, since no matter how much you tweak the strength of the coffee, the basic flavor profile will remain constant.
The flavors are sweet, and the strong, bitter, boldness of the coffee comes through quite well. It gives a very tasty, but not very balanced flavor. The tastiness of the coffee is very apparent, and BLVCK does not shy away from it.
This coffee is best used for brewing black coffees. They are marketed as being made specially for making Americanos and long blacks, so do consider this as well before making the purchase. This is one of the better tasting black coffee brews as the bitterness of the natural coffee oils is highlighted quite well.
4. Rise Up roasters Organic Decaf Coffee
This coffee is available in many variants, including a decaf blend. The decaf blend is absolutely divine in this product, and the coffee retains all of the flavors and aroma of the coffee beans, making this one of the best decaf coffee products available on the market. Rise up coffee roasters are also one of the lesser known coffee roasters in the industry.
However, their niche is making this perfectly decaffeinated blend of beans, which is also organic. The coffee comes in the form of beans and is medium roasted. It is available in other variants that are not decaf as well, which are also splendid. There are light, medium and dark roasts that are packed with flavor.
If you are looking for smooth tasting, mellow coffee, this one is the right product for you. The sharp tartness is mellowed out quite a bit, and a whole new dimension of flavors is opened up with the roast. The roast is done at a very specific temperature to ensure that no oils are lost, and the coffee is smooth and flavorful.
The bitter notes are present, but the coffee has a distinct sweetness that comes from the beans’ fruitiness. This coffee is also slightly expensive, but is worth the price since it comes in a 2lbs pack. The coffee is also fresh roasted to order, ensuring that wastage is minimum, which adds a point to the eco-friendliness of the product as a whole.
The dark roast may feel a bit over-toasted, but the flavors are all still present. The medium and light roasts on the other hand are masterfully roasted, and have some of the best and most unique flavors available.
The decaf version, which is undoubtedly the most well done of all the variants, retains almost all of the flavor from the beans despite going through the decaffeination process.
3. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans
These beans are made by a local artisan coffee family that specializes in growing environmentally friendly coffee beans. Their specialty dark roast coffee is one of the best dark roast coffees available. The coffee is also very strong, a lot stronger than a regular cup of coffee.
The coffee tastes fantastic, and balances the acidity and has notes of chocolate, caramel and dark nuts. The nutty flavor is satisfying, and adds a new dimension to the coffee bean.
There are also hints of cinnamon, and the crema formed is thick, indicating a heavy body. The coffee originates from South American countries like Colombia. Without a doubt, this is one of the best beans that you could hope to purchase.
Winning numerous accolades, the Koffee Kult brand has transitioned into becoming a household name. Because of this, you as a consumer can rest assured that you will receive quality beans.
However, the flavor is strong. May be a tad bit too strong, especially if you are a beginner. This is most definitely not an entry level coffee, and therefore, you must consider this as one of the factors to determine whether you should or should not buy this coffee.
The strength of the coffee comes from the fact that it is shade grown organically, and roasted using a special technique that maintains the temperature of the roast.
This coffee can be used for brewing various styles, including americanos, drip methods, French press, as well as espressos. Since the flavor is so strong, the espresso is especially wonderful. The product is also available in other variants which are not as strong, like their medium roast.
Therefore, if strong tasting coffee is not what you are looking for, you may consider purchasing the other variants, which are also equally phenomenal.
2. Death Wish Ground Coffee
This coffee is one of the most popular coffee grounds available. This product received a lot of publicity online, due to the fact that it is twice as strong as regular coffee. This means that it has twice the caffeine content than other coffees.
One must be extremely careful while measuring out the coffee, as the strength may upset your gastrointestinal tract. Individuals with heart conditions must be especially careful with dosing this coffee.
Caffeine, especially in large quantities, is known to elevate blood pressure. With this coffee, the “bold” function on your coffee machine becomes redundant!
Coming to the flavor profile, this coffee is intense and bold, and packs a strong kick of bitterness that may put off some people. But to seasoned coffee lovers, the flavors are explosive and revolutionary.
The dark roast brings out the tastiness of the coffee, which is balanced with the natural bitter-sweetness of the bean itself.
The temperature variation roast that is employed in roasting this coffee retains and highlights a lot of specific flavors that are not found in other brands of coffee.
This is a blend between Robusta and Arabica, which may explain the unique flavor balanced between sweetness from cherries and bitterness from the roasting.
1. Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee
This coffee is Fair Trade, USDA certified, and is grown on the high mountains of Central and South America. The beans are dense and rich packed with antioxidants, more so than any of the other beans on this list. This coffee comes in a medium roast, and is also available in K-cups for ease of use.
The coffee is also extremely affordable and great tasting. The flavor profile of the coffee is splendid, balancing complex notes of bitter-sweetness with fruity tartness of the bean.
What’s more, this is a single origin bean, meaning that there are no blends, making this one of the purest coffees available on the market. The coffee is especially tasty, and is perfect for all sorts of brews.
The specialty of this bean is that it is extremely rich in antioxidants since it is grown on high altitudes, specifically from the Guatemalan highlands, which has the effect humidity, temperature and altitude to grow coffee.
This means that the coffee is far healthier than any other ones on the list, and the beans are densely packed with essential oils and nutrients. As mentioned before, the single bean factor also adds to the health aspect, since nutrients are far more consistent when compared with a blend.
The fact that this coffee is available in K-cups is another advantage. This coupled with the fact that it is a single origin bean, as well as a high altitude grown coffee which is eco-friendly and very affordable, this is one of the best organic coffees available on the market.
Buyer's Guide : Critical Factors to be considered while purchasing Organic Coffee
This section explores that factors that one must consider before purchasing a bag of organic coffee. These factors are essential, and have been considered in curating this list.
Since Organic Coffee is an umbrella term of the many numerous ways that coffee is made, it is important to narrow down the specifics in order to get exactly the right product that fits your taste. Without further ado, let’s look at some of the factors that are important in deciding the quality, flavor and price of the coffee!
1. Certification: One of the first things that you must check before making your purchase is the certification. Usually, companies that claim that their coffee is indeed organic do not have the appropriate certification, which may mean that the coffee company is trying to deceive you. To ensure that the certification is right, just look at the label. If the label has the USDA Organic seal or if the coffee has been approved by Fair Trade, it is 100% guaranteed to be authentic
The USDA and Fair Trade have a list of standards and rigorous checks that every coffee company must go through in order to get their seal of approval. These standards include the growing conditions of the coffee plantation, the farmers’ welfare and other environmental factors. Therefore, if you see the seals on the label, the coffee is authentic and good to go.
2. Location of plantation: This also is one of the very important factors to consider. Where the coffee is grown is one of the primary determinants of flavor and strength. For instance, coffee that is grown in the Philippines generally tends to have higher caffeine, but subtler flavor.
On the other hand, coffee beans grown in Guatemala are rich and chocolaty, but may not have as much caffeine. Therefore, it becomes especially important to consider this factor.
Most of the grounds or beans that are available come either from African countries like Madagascar, Ethiopia and Guatemala or from South/Central American countries like Brazil. The more exotic beans from Asia tend to be lighter in color, but bolder in strength.
3. Conditions of growth: Another thing that is an important determinant of the flavor of the organic coffee is the conditions of its growth. Coffee grows best in slightly humid conditions, and in shade rather than in direct sunlight.
If the coffee is grown under direct sunlight, it is most likely not organic and authentic, since a naturally occurring, unmodified coffee bean cannot grow under direct sunlight. Coffee today has been selectively bread to withstand heat so that it can be grown everywhere
If the coffee is grown on highlands in the forest, it is richer in antioxidants and is generally healthier, since highlands have the optimum condition of growth for the coffee. Therefore, it is imperative to check the conditions of growth of the specific coffee bean before making the purchase.
4. Type of Roast: The type of roast must also be considered before making the purchase. The dark roasts generally have lesser caffeine but more of the toasty flavor, so if you are an evening drinker of coffee, you should consider buying darker roasts.
Morning roasts are usually lighter, and have more caffeine. Lighter roasts have less bitterness and more of the fruitiness that comes from the beans. Therefore, all of these options must be considered before making the purchase.
5. Decaf or not: Decaffeinated coffees have been popularized over the years. A lot of companies that make decaf coffee do so with a process that harms the environment.
However, most organic coffee brands that are certified, decaffeinate their coffee with a natural water process, maintaining the temperature at a specific count for an extended duration of time.
Therefore, this must be looked at as decaffeinating beans through chemicals is harmful for both the consumer as well as the environment.
6. Price: The price of the coffee must also be considered before making the purchase. Some new artisan coffee houses have begun charging their customers over $40 for 16oz of coffee, which is unacceptable in most cases. The average market price must be considered when making the purchase, and your budget must also be able to accommodate the beans that you want to purchase.
Exotic coffee from places like Asia are also more expensive since they are usually imported into the country by third party traders rather than an already established company. Therefore, price is an important determinant, and must be considered before making your purchase.