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​Organic Coffee: Is It Just the Taste Difference?

Posted by on May 15, 2015

Let me get your taste buds jumping and your mouth watering. Have you ever thought you knew what something tasted like, but then you had the experience of tasting the same thing and it was so heavenly that you were spoiled for life? That happened when I traveled to Hawaii and tasted pineapple (it felt like for the first time). Then there’s that plump, juicy tomato fresh picked off the vine; or oranges and grapefruit fresh off the trees in your own backyard. You get the idea. Well, what about freshly brewed organic coffee each morning? Is there a taste difference, and is it just the taste that makes the difference?

The Difference between Regular Coffee Beans and Organic Coffee Beans

The way coffee is grown makes a HUGE difference not only in the taste, but more importantly in how healthy it is for you – and the environment. The way other produce foods are grown of course also makes a difference, but not as all-reaching a difference as coffee growing does.

Most coffee plants do not tolerate direct sunlight well. Because of that, most coffee growers, until around 1970, grew coffee on shaded plantations. Organic coffee was grown on these plantations since they were often grown at high altitudes under fruit and nut trees. The fruit and nuts that would fall from the trees would act as a compost to add nutrients to the soil and regenerate it.

In the early 1970s, due to high consumer demand, full sun coffee plants were developed. Since the plants were no longer planted under trees, chemical fertilizers and insecticides were used. Obviously, this new method of growing coffee not only has affected the taste, but has also proven to be a danger to surrounding water supplies and wildlife, including birds and farm workers themselves.

The Return to Organic Coffee Growing

Beginning in the 1980s, there has been an increasing interest in healthier, organic foods. This has proved to be a positive development in the return to organic coffee plantations.

In 1990, a man named Tim Sheehan developed the Ruta Maya Coffee Company in Austin, Texas that would start working with small, family-owned organic coffee farmers in Latin America. He has been able to cut out the middleman so that these farmers can make a higher profit on their beans. The beans are then brought to Texas where they are processed into an organic coffee of exceptional richness and flavor.

As stated on the Ruta Maya website:

“The perfect altitude paired with the amazing richness of the land and the knowledge of traditional Maya farmers produce a perfect coffee bean. Every organic bean is handpicked and processed for shipping in the Highlands of Chiapas.” So, the next time your mouth waters for a great cup of coffee, think healthy and optimal flavor with organic coffee. It does make a difference. A HUGE difference.