If you're a regular Coffeeness reader, you might already know about my coffee beans for fully automatic machines. They've been available in Europe for some time now, and the feedback I've received has been overwhelmingly positive.
If you’re a regular Coffeeness reader, you might already know about my coffee beans for fully automatic machines. They’ve been available in Europe for some time now, and the feedback I’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive.
My mission was not only to develop the best fairtrade coffee beans for super automatic espresso machines. I was also determined to offer an equitable and environmentally friendly specialty product.
I’m incredibly excited about being able to offer my coffee beans to North American readers, so I thought I’d share a little information about how I sourced them. What’s more, I’ll talk about what makes sustainable coffee and whether or not that’s actually even possible.
Table of Contents
What Does Sustainable Even Mean?
The word “sustainable” gets tossed around like confetti these days. I mean, we know that we want a product to be sustainable, but what does that concept actually mean? Plus, can we really be sure something is sustainable just because it has a stamp or a label telling us not to worry?
Here’s the thing, in today’s world, true sustainability seems like a pipe dream. When something is completely sustainable, the system whose resources we’re consuming can sustain that consumption without suffering permanent damage.
Not only that, the resources can regenerate in X amount of time then go through another cycle.
However, no system exists in isolation. So, this resource-related zero sum game must also work for all connected systems. Realistically, sustainability is constantly surfing on the edge of over-exploitation.
Can Coffee Be Sustainable?
Setting out on my quest to develop the best fairtrade coffee beans for automatic espresso machines, I had little idea of the hurdles that lay ahead. All I knew was that I wanted a fair deal for everyone involved, including the farmers, roasters and customers.
As I investigated the question of whether coffee can be sustainable, I identified a few major challenges:
- Ecological challenges. This comes down to how well managed a coffee farm might be. Even when no chemicals or pesticides are used, a monocultural coffee farm can have devastating effects on its immediate environment. Not only that, huge amounts of water are needed for cultivation and processing.
- Social challenges. There are just so many folks making a living from coffee production, including pickers, farmers and truck drivers. Let’s not forget roasters and baggers … heck, even the people making the bags. Can we be sure that everyone is paid fairly and treated well?
- Economic challenges. Coffee is big business, and major players have aggressively driven down prices. This has a direct impact on social and economic circumstances at source, resulting in poorer living conditions and less sustainable farming practices.
- Logistical challenges. Getting coffee from source to market usually involves great distances and all kinds of logistical challenges.
- Ideological challenges. This point often gets lost in any discussion about sustainability. However, it’s important that we shift our view of coffee being a staple toward a more sustainable idea of coffee being a luxury product. This will help change perceptions of what we should expect to pay for coffee beans and the impact of mass-market coffee consumption.
From the above, you’ll see that creating a truly equitable coffee system is an overwhelming task. So, can coffee actually be sustainable? I’d say probably not until it can be grown as well in Oregon as El Salvador and we’re all talking about how much we love Scottish Arabica.
Ultimately, the best we can do is to address each of the challenges individually, and attempt to minimize the negative impacts involved.
How We Sourced Coffeeness Coffee Beans
Once I came to terms with the challenges involved in sourcing coffee beans that I could feel good about, I decided to identify what I wanted:
- Organically produced coffee. Responsible use of water, land and resources. From the farm to the roastery.
- Fairly traded coffee. Fair prices paid to the producers, fair wages for the farmers and a fair price for the consumer.
- Socially acceptable coffee. No exploitation, no child labor, safe working conditions and good living conditions.
- Future-oriented coffee. Supporting research that can develop improvements in high quality coffee production.
- Relationship coffee. Direct relationships with farmers, with the aim of cultivating long-term and profitable partnerships.
- Precious coffee. Helping change the view of coffee as a bulk commodity. Shifting perspectives toward seeing coffee as an artisanal product.
- Conscious coffee. Helping consumers understand the negative impacts of purchasing mass market coffee.
At this point I should mention that I wasn’t interested in all the popular eco-labels and certifications like Bird-Friendly or Certified Organic. Unfortunately, meeting the standards required to display these labels is unrealistic for most small coffee farmers.
With that in mind, I was happy to partner with Backyard Coffee, a German roaster based in Frankfurt. As it happens, these guys have developed their own Environmental, Sustainable, Fair (ESF) seal of approval.
All the coffee they source is produced using environmentally friendly and organic methods. Plus, they put as much emphasis as possible on creating long-lasting and sustainable relationships. Everyone gets paid fairly and the customer gets high-quality coffee at a fair price.
In partnership with Backyard Coffee, we were able to source and begin importing green coffee from Fazenda Ouro De Minas in Brazil. For this, we rely on the on-site expertise of another partner, a local cooperative called Ocafi.
Thanks to Ocafi’s presence, we can be confident of complete transparency, with no middlemen involved. What’s more, all the money we pay goes directly to the farmer.
Conclusion: The Best Fairtrade Coffee Beans for Automatic Espresso Machines
Over the years, the Coffeeness community has made it clear what it wants from the best coffee beans for automatic espresso machines:
- Direct trade.
- Fair prices for the farmer and fair prices for you.
- Perfect for espresso, coffee, latte macchiato and cappuccino at the touch of a button.
- Will work as well in a Jura coffee maker as a DeLonghi Dinamica Plus.
As I mentioned earlier, the response to Coffee for Fully Automatic Machines by Coffeeness in Europe has been overwhelmingly positive. That’s why I’m so thrilled to see how my North American readers will like it.
In fact, I’m confident I’ve developed the very best fairtrade coffee beans for super automatic espresso machines. So, make sure to fill out the form if you’d like to find out more!
I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think about Coffee for Fully Automatic Machines by Coffeeness. Keep the questions and comments coming!