As you know, a morning without coffee is really no morning at all. There is no way to get to lunch, and the subsequent afternoon, and finally that favorite time of day I like to call time to get off work, without having begun the day with a small* mug of delicious local brew with my good buddies Batdorf & Bronson (also known as Dancing Goats), the coffee roasters.
*Small like a 7-11 Big Gulp is small.
Sometimes Batdorf and Bronson’s prices are through the roof —- which means that I have to climb onto my roof and sell each individual shingle in order to afford a 12 ounce bag—-but spending the extra roof shingle for a company like this is well worth the price. Batdorf & Bronson’s coffee is fair-trade certified, which means that in exchange for a super-size morning cup of coffee, my colleagues and clients are presented with a tolerable Troi who is both awake and amiable in general demeaner, which is a pretty fair trade if you ask me. Fair-trade coffee also supports a better life for farmers by adhering to strict criteria regarding price, environmental sustainability, fair labor conditions, and trade, among others. A fair price, particularly, ensures small coffee farmers are earning wages that exceed the cost of production, eliminating the cycle of poverty and debt.
Batdorf & Bronson’s coffee beans are also shade grown, meaning that their beans have been protected from sunlight, reducing their risk of melanoma. Maverick beans that sneak out of their shade grown home in their quest for a good suntan are required to wear a good-quality UVA/UVB sunscreen of at least SPF 30. In addition to having good skin, shade grown beans are grown, as their name suggests, in the shade of trees. These nitrogen-fixing trees enhance the soil and the growth of plant life as well as provide a natural habitat for birds that is not readily available in more recent hybrid coffee bean varieties that grow in direct sunlight. Birds in shade-grown coffee environments offer natural insect control by way of frequent foraging, reducing or entirely eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.
In contrast to shade-grown beans, the newer, sun-friendly hybrids require chemical fertilizers and pesticides, resulting in soil erosion, water runoff, and soil depletion and necessitating the need to clear rainforest for new planting soil. Not only is this an unsustainable practice, but many bird populations have been declining as a consequence of the shedding of shade-growing practices.
My good friends Batdorf & Bronson have also been purchasing 100% of their electricity from renewable resources since 2000. I much prefer my energy unrenewable (I hoard coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power whenever I can get my hands on them, for no reason in particular), however, Batdorf & Bronson seem to think they’re doing the environment a favor, and any company that produces such tasty coffee can’t be completely wrong about its energy practices.
If you’re likeminded in your search for coffee that you can feel good about drinking, click here to see some fair-trade certified coffee options. If you’re a fan of Peet’s Coffee, try their fair trade blend.
Happy Coffee Drinking!