A guide to Organic coffee

At Kiss the Hippo, environmental responsibility is right at the forefront of what we do – and we recognise that one of the most impactful ways in which we can reduce our ecological footprint as a coffee roaster is by sourcing Organic certified coffees.

What is an Organic certified coffee?

The official Organic certification process guarantees that no synthetic fertilisers or pesticides were utilised in the growing of a coffee, resulting in healthier soil and greater biodiversity on the farms in question.

Consequently, Organic production methods naturally promote decreased emissions and enhanced carbon sequestration. Currently, 58% of our green coffee bears the certified Organic label. But what about the other 42%?

What about non-certified coffee farms?

The bulk of the uncertified coffee farms we work with do implement organic and even biodynamic farming techniques, prioritising regenerative practices to nurture the land. However, these coffees originate from very small-scale farmers and cooperatives, who often find the certification process prohibitively expensive or bureaucratic.

Moreover, some producers are still in the midst of transitioning to Organic methods and have yet to complete the requisite waiting period – which typically involves five long years of soil testing.

Where does shade-grown coffee come in?

The concept of 'shade-grown coffee' is another consideration when it comes to eco-friendly production outside of the parameters of ‘Organic’.

While shade-grown coffee – coffee which thrives beneath the canopy of larger trees – may not inherently possess Organic certification, the process contributes to reforestation endeavours and fosters a diverse ecosystem. This ecosystem aids in natural pest control and nutrient provision for coffee plants.

For many producers, attaining Organic certification or implementing shade tree cultivation may prove unfeasible due to substantial labour and financial investments. So, while supporting environmentally-conscious producers remains our top priority, exclusively championing Organic and shade-grown coffee could overlook these challenges.

This is why we remain committed to collaborating first and foremost with producers who share our sustainability values, recognising their efforts to adopt more environmentally responsible production methods across the board.

Why not browse our current range of coffees, and see what tickles your tastebuds?

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