Shade grown coffee …
preserves habitats for migratory birds on coffee farms, also letting beans mature more slowly and creating richer flavors
Shade grown coffee is cultivated by allowing the presence of other beneficial plants and trees to remain, shading the coffee plants with a canopy of leaves and branches. Unlike this more traditional method, many larger coffee farms clear all vegetation except for the coffee plants, eliminating important habitats for animals, especially songbirds, and typically requiring more chemical inputs. Coffees that are organic and shade grown can also qualify for Bird Friendly Certification.
* Taste. As the coffee beans mature more slowly in the shade, natural sugars increase and enhance the flavor of the coffee.
* Healthier. Shade grown coffee is most often organically grown, free of chemical use.
* Promotes healthy environment. The shade trees filter carbon dioxide and aid in soil moisture retention which minimizes erosion.
* Provides bird habitat and greater biodiversity. Migrating bird populations have been in rapid decline since the introduction of “sun” coffee and the consequent destruction of rainforest for more coffee plantations. As many as 150 species of birds have been identified on shade coffee farms.
* Helps sustain rainforests. Coffee plantations which are chemically dependent suffer from soil depletion and increased erosion. Rainforest is stripped to provide fresh growing ground. Shade coffee farms are, for the most part, organic and sustainable.