Dafé offers caffeine-free coffee in compostable bags
Coffee is one of our best-loved drinks, but there are big issues with unsustainable brands, packaging, plastic coffee cups and coffee pods, and the ethics of those who employ the coffee farmers. Here are some usefu resources to green up your cup of coffee!
Coffee only naturally grows under shade in rainforests and cloud forests. So avoid sun-grown coffee (this uses chemicals). Choose shade-grown coffee, which is also often called songbird-friendly coffee, as the canopy gives home to birds and other native wildlife. Bird & Wild has won a sustainable business award, and donates some profits to help preserve wild bird habitats.
A cup of coffee to help others, means looking for brands of coffee that go beyond just buying and roasting beans, and selling them for profit. For everyday coffee, one of the better brands is Clipper Organic Instant Coffee which you can find in most shops. It’s made from organically-grown Arabica coffee, and comes in a de-caff version (decaffeinated using CO2 and spring water). This was one of the first Fair Trade drinks brands in the UK. Brands that use eucalyptus compostable bags have concerns, as these trees planted en-masse for packaging are extremely flammable, and have caused huge wildfires in Portugal.
There’s no point choosing ethical coffee, if you add factory-farmed milk and refined sugar. Choose organic plant milks and natural sugars. Vegan Classic Cappuccino Mix does have glucose syrup, but it’s a choice for vegans, made with coconut oil. Place a few teaspoons in a cup with 180ml hot (not boiling) water, and stir well. Also in hazelnut and karamell.
- Change Please (UK) employs homeless people to become trained baristas. Or buy someone a Billy Chip (this can be used at cafes for homeless people to get a hot drink). Worldwide, Suspended Coffees signs up coffee shops to pre-pay a homeless person a cup of coffee.
- Redemption Roasters (London) employs prisoners as roasters and baristas, to train them up in skills, and others work in their coffee shops.
- Frontline Coffee helps emergency crews (fire, lifeboat, ambulance) and a carer’s charity. Sold in biodegradable coffee pouches.