Organic and Fair Trade Coffee
Organic products are all the rage these days, and now this trend has even impacted the coffee market. Many coffee brands now fall into this category, but what does it actually mean?
Organic coffee beans are beans that have been grown naturally, without the use of herbicides and pesticides. The coffee has been produced by the techniques and standards of organic farming. The term organic can also extend to include the farms, which engage in socially practices like composting, recycling, and other socially conscious activities.
The United States has 3 requirements in order for a coffee product to be sold as organic:
It must have been grown on land that hasn’t used any herbicides or pesticides in a minimum of the last 3 years
There must be a buffer between the nearest traditional crop and the organic crop
There must be a system to prevent erosion, nutrient loss in soil, and pest control
“Fair Trade” is one more certification used to define coffee products that are socially responsible. The concept behind Fair Trade coffee is that the products are purchased from those that grow them for a higher than the standard price to encourage healthier working conditions and wages for the producers. The Fair Trade Certification standards include:
Safe, fair, child-labor free working conditions
Products should be directly purchased from the farmer, eliminating profits for a “middle man”
Transparent, Democratic organizations where farmers and workers can invest revenue freely are supported
Revenue from Fair Trade sales should be invested in community improvement like healthcare and scholarships
Organic and Fair Trade coffee products have become wildly popular and readily available almost anywhere. Some choice Organic and Fair Trade products from our wide selection include:
Timothy’s Nicaraguan Organic K-Cups – an extra bold blend of high quality Arabica beans
Bigelow Organic Green Tea K-Cups – grown by socially responsible farmers and individually packed so each cup is as delicious as the first
Farm Coffee Sumatra Gayo Land Organic Wholebeans – deep, earthy, heavily bodied, and remarkably smooth
Wolfgang Puck’s Sorrento Fair Trade K-Cups – a flavorful and gentle medium bodied blend
Miss Ellie’s Original Fair Trade Portion Packs – a smooth delicious blend with a unique flavor and aroma
Great tasting coffee doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment or farming communities. Here is to socially responsible coffee that we can enjoy guilt-free!
Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to your morning cup of Joe. Whether you like to drink it black or with creamer, iced or with an espresso shot, everyone can agree that coffee is better with a little flavor!
No wonder the flavored coffee industry is booming. Even Starbucks has joined the trend, and their “Natural Fusions” Vanilla, Caramel, and Cinnamon coffee blends will be hitting the shelves in June with 11-ounce packages.
Here at Coffee.org, our patrons also love the flavored coffee trend. Some of our top selling products are Hazelnut, French Vanilla, and Cinnamon. We carry everything from flavored coffee grounds to flavored wholebeans to flavored K-Cups, so you don’t even have to go to the grocery store to get the coffee shop flavors you love. And, our decaffeinated offerings also come in an array of flavors, so you don’t have to miss out on taste while enjoying a decaf cup.
Best of all, our flavored coffees are calories free, so you can enjoy this treat all summer long without worrying about your beach bod!
Some flavored coffee products from Coffee.org include:
Farm Coffee Hazelnut Flavored Wholebeans – Medium roasted blend of mild coffee with the rich nutty taste of gourmet Hazelnut.
French Vanilla Flavored | 2 lb. Wholebeans – Rich with a sweeter flavor, French Vanilla Flavored tastes great with breakfast or as a dessert coffee.
Wolfgang Puck Jamaica Me Crazy Coffee Pods- are a light, flavored coffee with the essence of the islands.
Timothy’s Coffee Kahlua K-Cups – combine the delicious notes of rum, vanilla and caramel, wrapped in roasted coffee flavor from hand-picked Arabica beans.
Timothy’s Coffee German Chocolate K-Cups – unique sweetness of a creamy German frosting that blends caramel and vanilla with toasted coconut.
Starbucks Sumatra Coffee Grounds – Tropical garden coffee fragrance that offers notes of clove and cardamom. In the cup it expresses cedar, port wine, earth, and moss.
Tell us, what’s your favorite flavor?
The Bean Grown ‘Round the World
How Coffee Goes From the Crop to the Cup
All coffee comes from the broad tropical belt that surrounds the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Beyond that, all of the plants vary immensely. Close to 80 billion bags of coffee are exported around the world yearly. The coffee crop is harvested in more than 70 countries, some of which depend heavily on their coffee trees for prosperity and welfare.
Africa is the birthplace of coffee, and the continent produces some of the world’s finest coffees. In many of its countries, though, socioeconomic and political tribulations make coffee production a complicated task. Kenya produces top-quality coffee known for its fruity flavors from high acidity, which is in high demand in gourmet coffee trade.
Central America boasts coffees that are widely and justly renowned for their full aroma, body, and flavor. The best coffees of this region typically are from San Jose and its nearby towns, which produce turquoise beans at high altitudes with a tangy acidity, one of the more desirable traits of a cup of coffee.
In South America, Brazildominates the region as the world’s largest coffee producer, claiming approximately one-third of the total global production of coffee, though the coffee itself is typically of poor to average quality. The huge plantation space in Brazil lends itself to the crops being stripped or machine-harvested rather than picked.
The areas of the South Pacific and Southeast Asia contain some of the most innovative coffee producing countries like Hawaii, which has been growing coffee since 1818, and is known for its Kona coffee, with a nutty and sometimes spicy aroma and flavor.
So, the next time you pour yourself a cup of Joe, you can give some thought to the amazing journey your coffee takes from the crop to the cup!
Health Benefits of Coffee
We all want to live long, healthy lives, yet sometimes the temptation to eat junk food or skip the gym is too hard to resist. Fortunately, there are some things which taste good and are also good for us…such as coffee!
Yes, your morning cup of Joe isn’t only delicious; it also can help promote physical health. Numerous studies have researched the amazing powers of coffee, and here is just a sample of the most powerful findings:
Various studies have shown that coffee drinkers at midlife had a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life compared with those drinking little to no coffee, with lowest risk being found in people who drank 3 – 5 cups of coffee per day.
In Scotland, caffeine has been used to treat asthma since at least 1860. In a study of 72,000 Italian Coffee drinkers, the risk of asthma fell by 28% when three or more cups of coffee were consumed every day. A second study on 20,000 Americans found that risk of asthma fell significantly by 30% and risk of wheeze fell by 13% when regular coffee drinkers were compared with non-coffee drinkers.
Scientists in a prospective investigation found that men who drank the most coffee had a 60 percent lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer than men who drank none. Researchers from Lund University and Malmo University in Sweden have found that, depending on which variant of a certain gene a woman has, a coffee consumption rate of at least 2-3 cups per day can either reduce the total risk or delay the onset of breast cancer.
Hawaiian study conducted over a 30 year period and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that of 8,000 Japanese/American men, those who drank 3-4 cups of coffee per day were 5 times less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. A large study consisting of 29,000 Finnish subjects found a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease among habitual coffee drinkers.
Along with these amazing findings, coffee has also been shown to help treat headaches, lower risk of diabetes and gallstone disease, and even significantly lower one’s risk for developing heart disease. While the medical community isn’t exactly sure how coffee promotes so many health benefits, they do know that coffee is rich in antioxidants and that the caffeine works to promote healthy blood flow by preventing the constriction of blood vessels.
Of course, moderation is key, so don’t overdo it! Be sure to spread out your coffee throughout the day so that you don’t run the risk of increasing your blood pressure or getting the jitters. You can also broaden your horizons by trying decaf coffee or black tea (which is also rich in antioxidants).
I often get asked what it is like to be a part of a family business. The answer is: wonderful, amazing, and always entertaining!
When I went to college and received a B.A. in history, I never imagined that I would one day end up in the coffee business. Instead, I helped my husband with the accounting and office management at his company. However, once I became a mother, working full-time became very difficult. Like all the working mothers out there, I hated being away from my baby all day, but at the same time, I needed to supplement my husband’s income to help support our family.
It was during this difficult time that my family offered me a job at Coffee.org, which was still a very new website venture. The timing couldn’t have been better, and I couldn’t wait to become a part of this exciting opportunity. However, there was one problem-the headquarters of Coffee.org was an hour away from our home. A daily two-hour commute was trying at first, but we made it work. Much of that is thanks to Mimi Teeter, the amazing woman who looks after my daughter Lynnlee. Knowing that Lynnlee is in safe hands is crucial for my success as a businesswoman. If I was worried about my daughter’s happiness or well-being, I wouldn’t be able to focus on my job and perform at my best.
Eventually, my husband and I decided that a two-hour commute was too much for our baby, so we set up living space at my father’s house in Fort Smith. And, yes, my husband makes the commute everyday now. We don’t spend a night apart because we are very family-oriented and feel that it is best if we are all three together, whether it’s at our home in northwest Arkansas or my dad’s house in Fort Smith.
During this time, I climbed up the ladder at coffee.org from customer service to full-time accountant. Ask me anything about numbers and I will have the answer. Work is definitely strenuous and sometimes I feel like I don’t even have time to sit down. Just because it’s a family business doesn’t mean we get time to slack off! In fact, we are generally under more pressure and scrutiny because we all want this business to succeed beyond our wildest dreams.
All the tips I can give for people that work with family is 1. You must get along 2. You must be willing to work extremely hard 3. If you think it is going to be easy, you are most likely mistaken. Everyone in our family works hard to make Coffee.org a success, including my mother, brother, and 2 aunts.
Of course, we still keep a healthy balance and manage to squeeze in plenty of family time. Once I pick my baby girl up it is all family time for the Thomas family. I LOVE to cook…I normally prepare our weekly meals on the weekends because I don’t have time to cook during the week, and every Monday night we eat with the grandparents. Once Lynnlee is in bed Derrick and I talk about our day, we discuss what went on in my office and what went on in his, and then it’s off to bed. Derrick is a very hard worker and is the best husband and father anyone could ever dream of.
I feel so blessed that I get to spend everyday working with the people I care most about, especially since we are building such a wonderful business. Providing top-notch service and quality products takes time and effort, but the hard work is worth the pride and satisfaction we feel at the end of a long week.
“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
~ Clarence Budington Kelland
Father’s Day is just around the corner, and it is time to start thinking about what to get that special man in your life. However, you know that if you ask your dad or your children’s dad what is on his wish list, he will likely say “I have everything I need.” At least that’s how it is with the dads in the McClure family! Luckily, the women in the family know better (like always).
There a number of great gifts on Coffee.org that can suit any budget. Whether your dad is a cup-a-day kind of guy, or someone who enjoys piping hot coffee throughout the day, we have something for everyone.
Keurig: This K-cup brewing machine is the most convenient thing you’ll ever use. You can enjoy over 80 different types of coffees and teas without having to worry about the messy clean up of coffee grounds. You dad can enjoy a perfectly blended and delicious cup of coffee in 30 seconds or less. If your dad runs on the morning cup of java, then there’s no better gift for him this Father’s Day. $149.95
Coffee Cake: If your dad has a bit of a sweet tooth, then Miss Ellie’s Coffee Cake is the best of both worlds. This is one of the biggest sellers on the entire website, and once you try it, you won’t be able to stop enjoying it. Each bite combines the crumbly cinnamon sugar crust with the sweetness of fresh pound cake. $24.99
K-Cups: Your dad will need a fresh supply of all his favorite flavors of coffee for his brand new machine. We even sell variety packs so your dad will never tire of the same flavor. Gloria Jean K-cup variety packs feature butter toffee, French vanilla supreme, Swiss chocolate almond and mudslide. Coffee People offer bolder coffees, and the variety pack includes black tiger, jet fuel, coffee people organic and wake-up call coffee. $11.99
Coffee Mug: Travel mugs are the perfect way for dad to enjoy his coffee on the go. Our mugs are dishwasher safe and perfect for sipping that morning Joe. $5.99
And, if you are hosting a Father’s Day brunch for your family, order one of Miss Ellie’s cinnamon coffee cakes to truly make the day complete. Here is to all the dads out there, including ours! We love you, Dad!
Emmie & Ellie
Which Coffee is Right For Me?
Not all coffee is created equal. From dark roast to light roast to original blend to hazelnut, deciphering coffee labels can be a bit confusing. Here is your survival guide when shopping for the perfect cup of Joe:
Know your roast. We have all heard the terms ‘dark roast,’ ‘light roast,’ and ‘medium roast,’ but few people outside of the coffee industry know what these terms really mean. Despite what you might think, dark roast coffee does not get its name because it has a high level of caffeine content. (Many people think that a dark roast has higher caffeine content than a light roast…however, the opposite is often true!) This is because the longer a coffee bean is roasted, the more caffeine it loses. As the bean roasts, it becomes darker, which is why some coffee has a light brown color but other coffee has an almost muddy hue.
So which roast is right for you? Light roasts have more of an aftertaste and offer subtle flavors not found in darker roasts. However, dark roasts are still the most popular brand, likely due to stores like Starbucks that have popularized these brands. If you frequently drink coffee from such stores, you might have developed a preference for darker roasts. But don’t be afraid to step outside the box and try something new, such as a light to medium roast like Miss Ellie’s Gourmet Coffee Original Blend.
Choosing the right flavored coffee. Flavored coffees have become very popular lately. Flavors are usually in liquid form and they are added to the beans after roasting. Coffees now come in just about every flavor you could wish for, from pumpkin spice to blueberry to cinnamon to chocolate to the ever-present hazelnut. Some coffee aficionados cringe when they see the rows and rows of flavored coffee at the grocery store, believing that coffee should simply be three things-hot, black, and strong. However, here at Coffee.org, we believe that variety is the spice of life!
Experimenting with a fresh flavor is a nice twist on the regular cup of Joe, not to mention, it’s a very low calorie way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Some of our personal favorites include K-Cups Timothy’s in the Caramel Vanilla and Sugar Bush Maple flavors and Miss Ellie’s White Chocolate Coffee.
Whether you drink it dark or light, black or with cream, flavored or au naturale, you can’t go wrong with a great cup of coffee. Cheers!
Emmie & Ellie