Coffee is good for you. Right? Not necessarily...

You see, despite coffee’s uplifting and rich flavor, all the ways it appears to positively affect your health, and the delightful aroma that’s enough to have you jumping out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning...

The truth is, not all coffee is created equal—especially when it comes to your health.

And for all the gifts of good coffee, commercial coffeewhich makes up approximately 97% of the world’s supplyis more like waking up to a big lump of coal.

The majority of coffee on grocery store shelves is mass-produced, low-quality, depleted of beneficial antioxidants, and doused with enough synthetic chemicals to make the Marlboro Man blush.

This leaves you a stale, uninspiring brew with a laundry list of negative issues to your health, the farmers who grow it, and the environment.

But fret not, friends! Just because “Big Coffee” makes the Naughty List doesn’t mean you need to ditch your favorite morning ritual.

If you care about the taste, health benefits, and environmental impacts of something you likely drink every day, you just might want to consider switching to a new brew.

In this article, you’ll learn about the problems with commercial coffee and how you can ensure your morning drink of choice isn’t a major Grinch to you and the planet.


The Problems With Conventional Coffee

Did you know coffee is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world? [1]

At least that’s the case with the majority of commercial coffee, where the primary goal is to minimize costs and maximize yield.

See, coffee is traditionally a shade crop, meaning it’s intolerant to direct sunlight and thrives in areas with abundant tree cover. Not only do the trees provide natural protection from the sun, but their foliage also adds precious nutrients back into the soil.

But while growing in these trees is great for the health of the coffee and surrounding ecosystem, it’s less conducive to a high yield, as growers simply can’t plant the same amount of crops. [2]

This presents issues for an industry that’s responsible for supplying more than 2 billion cups of coffee a day.

As a result, most coffee is grown in high density on huge swaths of shadeless land.

Unfortunately, in the absence of those glorious trees, coffee plants are subject to less favorable soil conditions, as well as overexposure to the sun.

This necessitates serious chemical intervention in the form of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides in order to compensate for the unfavorable conditions.

Growing coffee in this way doesn’t just lead to a stale, low-quality, flavorless brew. It also has negative impacts on the environment, the coffee growers, and your health.

Commercial coffee practices can lead to:

  • Consumer exposure to toxic chemicals [3]
  • Increased soil erosion, pesticide run-off, and ecological impacts [4]
  • Unsafe conditions for coffee growers and surrounding communities [5]

Ready for the good news? More conscious coffee choices already exist.


Why You Should Opt For Organic Coffee

By making the switch to organic coffee, you’re ensuring that your favorite morning brew is healthier for you, the people that grow it, and the environment.

Organic coffee is typically grown in ideal environments, allowing farmers to use natural fertilization, water conservation, and pest and weed control methodswithout having to rely on harsh chemicals. 

Instead of stripping the land, organic coffee practices actually reinforce a healthier natural environment for the plants, the growers, and the surrounding ecosystem. [4]

And if that’s not enough to incentivize your switch, here a few more organic coffee benefits:

  • Ethically Sourced: The workers on organic coffee farms typically enjoy safer working conditions, ethical treatment, and fair wages.
  • Healthier Choice: Organic coffee has lower levels of pesticides and other synthetic chemicals, making it a healthier choice for you and your family. 
  • Better Taste: Beans grown in biodiverse, nutrient-dense soil results in a more rich, fresh flavor.

Simply put, choosing organic coffee is better for you, the farmers, and the Earth.

But at Kion, we’re die-hard coffee lovers. And simply opting for better isn’t enough.

We want the best.

So we went on a mission to craft a coffee that helps you elevate your daily grind to a whole new level.


Kion Coffee: Organic Coffee That’s a Step Above the Rest

We created our coffee with your health—and taste buds—in mind.

The Best Beans

Not only is Kion Coffee USDA Certified Organic, but it’s also “specialty grade” placing it in the top 3% of coffees worldwide.

Specialty grade ensures the highest, most consistent bean quality, and is also as transparent as you can get. The cooperative where our beans are sourced, the date of the harvest, and the varietal of the beans are all traceable.

For perspective, commercial coffee is like blending together a bunch of grapes from different countries, dying it red, fermenting it to make alcohol, and calling it “Red Wine.” 

Specialty coffee, on the other hand, is like drinking a vintage wine from a single estate in Tuscany.

Roasted for Health

And since we’re just as concerned with the health of our coffee as we are the taste, Kion Coffee beans are tested by an accredited global organization to ensure they are free of toxins that can harm your health, including:

  • Yeast
  • Pesticides
  • Mold and mycotoxins (specifically Ochratoxin A and Aflatoxin)

Once we know that our beans are pure and free of contaminants, attention switches to the roasting process where each batch is roasted by experts using the world’s most efficient and environmentally-friendly “smokeless” roaster.

The result is a coffee that we scientifically refer to as “perfection.” 

Okay, maybe that’s not very scientific.

In all seriousness, Kion Coffee is roasted to a medium level to preserve both naturally occurring antioxidants and reduce the formation of acrylamides: potentially carcinogenic chemicals that form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes, such as frying, roasting, and baking. [6][7]

Unbeatable Taste

Then our roastmasters personally taste every batch of Kion Coffee, making sure each is just as delightful as the last.

For you coffee nerds, you can expect a balanced, very clean flavor with a smooth, rich medium body. You’ll notice hints of sweet apple, marzipan, and baking spices. As the cup cools, a nice dark chocolate character emerges.

After it passes the taste test, the coffee is packaged and sealed in nitrogen-flushed bags to prevent oxygen from harming the delicate oils and nutrients in our beans.

The result is a consistently delicious, clean coffee shipped right to your doorstep. Talk about it feeling like Christmas morning!


Ki Points on Organic Coffee

As you can see, there are a number of reasons to ditch the dirt water known as conventional coffee and opt for a more conscious cup.

So let’s review the Ki Points:

  • Conventionally-grown coffee, which accounts for about 97% of the commercial coffee supply, can have harmful effects on your health, the farmers who grow it, and the environment.
  • This is primarily due to the industry’s reliance on large amounts of land and significant use of synthetic chemicals  to maximize yield and reduce costs.
  • Over time, these practices can lead to issues like soil erosion and toxic chemical exposure for the consumer, the farmers, and the surrounding communities.
  • Fortunately, these issues can be easily avoided by choosing to drink organic coffee, which is grown using natural, chemical-free farming methods.
  • Simply choosing to drink organic coffee is a great step to ensure your favorite morning beverage is pesticide-free and environmentally-friendly.
  • But if you’re looking to enjoy the gift of truly unbeatable coffee, look for Specialty Grade, toxin-free, medium roasted coffee…

Kinda like you’ll find in every bag of Kion Coffee.

Cheers!

References

[1] Spear, Stephanie. “Why You Should Drink Organic Coffee.” EcoWatch. August 04, 2014. Accessed 29 October 2020, https://www.ecowatch.com/why-you-should-drink-organic-coffee-1881940567.html.

[2] Perfecto, Ivette, et al. “Shade Coffee: A Disappearing Refuge for Biodiversity: Shade coffee plantations can contain as much biodiversity as forest habitats.” BioScience, Volume 46, Issue 8, September 1996, pp. 598–608., https://doi.org/10.2307/1312989.

[3] Sakamoto, Katsushi, et al. “Behavior of pesticides in coffee beans during the roasting process.” Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic, 2012 Vol. 53, No. 5, pp. 233-236., doi: 10.3358/shokueishi.53.233.

[4] Velmourougane, Kulandaivelu. “Impact of Organic and Conventional Systems of Coffee Farming on Soil Properties and Culturable Microbial Diversity.” Scientifica (Cairo), Vol. 2016, doi: 10.1155/2016/3604026.

[5] Nicolopoulou-Stamati, Polyxeni, et al.Chemical Pesticides and Human Health: The Urgent Need for a New Concept in Agriculture.” Frontiers in Public Health, July 2016, doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00148.

[6] Gorecki, Marciej, et al. “The Antioxidant Content of Coffee and Its In Vitro Activity as an Effect of Its Production Method and Roasting and Brewing Time.” Antioxidants, 2020 Vol. 9, Issue 4, p. 308., doi: 10.3390/antiox9040308

[7] “Survey Data on Acrylamide in Food.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Accessed 29 October 2020, https://www.fda.gov/food/chemicals/survey-data-acrylamide-food.

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