If you’re a big coffee drinker, you may be wondering what makes organic coffee and regular coffee different (aside from the higher price!). Is organic coffee better? We’re answering that question and more in this article.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I could be compensated if you decide to make a purchase. You can read my full disclosure here.
What’s the Difference Between Organic Coffee and Normal Coffee?
The main difference between organic coffee and regular coffee is the way the beans are grown and produced. Organic coffee is made with beans that have been grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals. Regular coffee (which we’ll also refer to as conventional coffee) is made with beans that may have been sprayed with these chemicals.
Let’s dive deeper into organic coffee vs regular coffee growing methods.
How Conventional Coffee Is Grown
Because coffee is such a large export for many countries, it’s important to have a consistent product that grows quickly. To achieve this, many coffee growers use pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals to control the growth of mold, pests, and diseases.
In fact, coffee is one of the most heavily treated crops on Earth.
Conventional coffee is typically grown in large monoculture plantations. These plantations are often located in tropical countries, where the climate is ideal for growing coffee beans, and land is cleared in order to make room for these large coffee plantations.
Coffee growers also use synthetic fertilizers to help the plants grow bigger and faster. These fertilizers can run off into local water supplies and damage the environment.
How Organic Coffee Is Grown
Organic coffee is grown without the use of chemicals. This means that organic coffee growers must be more vigilant in controlling for pests and diseases. To do this, they often use natural methods like crop rotation, shade growing, and companion planting.
Organic coffee is also typically grown on smaller plantations or farms. This helps to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly growing process.
Is Organic Coffee Better?
Organic coffee is better for the environment, it’s usually better for your health, and it may taste better too.
There are a few reasons why organic coffee may be better than regular coffee.
First, organic coffee is often grown in a more sustainable way. This means that the land is not damaged as it is when conventional coffee is grown.
Second, because there are no chemicals used in the production of organic coffee, it may be better for your health, and it’s often considered to be a more “pure” product. Some people believe that this makes organic coffee taste better.
Organic Coffee Is More Sustainable and Environmentally-Friendly
As we mentioned earlier, one of the benefits of organic coffee is that it’s grown in a more sustainable way. This is because organic coffee growers don’t use as many chemicals or synthetic fertilizers.
A fertilizer is any substance added to the soil that adds nutrients or minerals. Synthetic fertilizer, one of the types of fertilizers used in conventional coffee production, is typically made from petroleum by-products.
This means that not only are organic coffee growers being more sustainable by using fewer chemicals, they’re also not relying on fossil fuels to help their crops grow.
Aside from that, the use of synthetic fertilizers can have a number of bad effects on the environment:
1) Runoff: When the crops are watered, this creates runoff that is washed away into streams or rivers, polluting the community’s water supply and natural habitats.
2) Greenhouse gases: Synthetic fertilizers also release nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than CO2.
3) Water depletion: Crops like coffee (and cotton too) need vast quantities of water to help them grow, and when they’re treated with synthetic fertilizers, they need even more water. In fact, according to a report from the Institute for Water Education, a single cup of conventional coffee needs about 37 gallons of water to be produced. In many cases, this water is drawn from underground supplies, which can be a finite resource in areas of intense agriculture.
4) Soil depletion: Repeated use of synthetic fertilizers can also lead to the depletion of essential nutrients in the soil. Over time, this can lead to a decrease in crop yields and make the land less fertile. Which contributes to unsustainable farming practices and the need for more synthetic fertilizers year over year.
Pesticide usage is a controversial topic as well. While they are effective in controlling pests, pesticides also come with a number of risks to human health and the environment. Pesticides can contaminate water supplies, harm wildlife, and cause health problems in people who are exposed to them.
Organic coffee is a more sustainable choice for the environment – and for the coffee growers themselves, who would otherwise be exposed to these harmful chemicals.
Organic Coffee Is Better For Health
The use of pesticides and other chemicals in conventional coffee production can also have an adverse effect on the health of coffee growers. Many of these substances are toxic and can cause a range of health problems, including cancer.
Organic coffee is probably a little better for your own health as well, though there isn’t a ton of research on the effects of conventional vs. organic coffee on consumers.
A 2019 study showed that organic coffee has a higher amount of antioxidants than conventional coffee, which could mean that it has some health benefits.
Organic coffee is also more likely to be free of chemical residues, which can cause health problems in the long term.
It’s worth it to note that the coffee beans we brew at home come from inside the fruit of the coffee plant, so the beans aren’t sprayed directly, and they go through a rigorous washing and roasting process which removes many residues and toxins.
Still, I prefer to drink organic coffee to reduce my exposure to toxins when possible.
And the effects of the synthetic chemicals used in coffee production are still a concern for the people in the communities where these chemicals are used, and since a lot of coffee is grown in developing countries where there isn’t great access to healthcare, the health risks posed to coffee workers are an important issue.
Does Organic Coffee Taste Better?
Finally, we get to the question of whether or not organic coffee tastes better. This is a tough question to answer, as it’s subjective.
Some people believe that organic coffee tastes better because there are no chemicals or pesticides used in its production. Others say that the taste is simply different, but not necessarily better.
What do you think? The best way to find out if organic coffee tastes better is to try a cup and get a taste for yourself.
Is Organic Coffee Better For Your Stomach?
Organic coffee is not necessarily better for your stomach, but there are a number of brands that make low acid organic coffee that is easier to digest. If you have stomach problems and find that regular coffee upsets your stomach, try switching to an organic low acid brand. Our favorite is from Lifeboost Coffee.
What Are The Benefits of Organic Coffee?
There are a number of benefits to drinking organic coffee. Here are some of the most important ones:
Organic coffee is better for the environment, as it doesn’t use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
Organic coffee is healthier for coffee growers, as it doesn’t expose them to harmful chemicals.
Organic coffee is less likely to be contaminated with toxins.
Organic coffee has more antioxidants, as shown in a 2019 study.
Organic coffee often tastes better and has a richer flavor.
Should You Buy Organic Coffee?
There are a number of benefits to drinking organic coffee, and it’s up to you to decide if the benefits are worth the extra cost.
If you’re interested in doing your part to help the environment, buying organic coffee is a great way to do that. And if you’re worried about the health risks posed by conventional coffee production, organic coffee is a good choice.
The bottom line? It’s up to you whether or not to buy organic coffee – but now that you know all about the benefits, you can make an informed decision.
If you’re ready to give organic coffee a try, head over to our post about the best organic coffee brands. We’ve tested and reviewed a number of the top brands, so you can be sure you’re getting a great cup of organic coffee.
Organic coffee is better for the environment, better for people, and has more antioxidants than conventional coffee, so if you’re looking for a delicious and healthy coffee option, organic is the way to go.