Some people frequently say “food is food!”, as if all food is the same sh*t, different pile. Unfortunately for them, it is coming to most of our attention now that all food certainly is not equal. Likewise, if you’re a coffee drinker, it is critical to realize that the physiological effects you’ll experience (whether you know it or not) very much depend on the quality of the coffee beans that the coffee you drink is derived from.
Characteristics of Quality Coffee Beans
1. They are shade grown. Shade grown plantations (the natural and traditional way to grow coffee bean plants) promote biodiversity and environmental sustainability much more than full-sun fields, largely due to the natural, protective ecosystem surrounding the beans. Because shade grown coffee shrubs yeild fewer coffee cherries at a slower pace than conventional coffee shrubs, the flavor is more concentrated and the nutrition is more dense, leaving the consumer with a much more worthwhile investment, both short-and long-term.
2. They are organic. Even shade grown does not mean free from sprayed chemicals at every stage of the production process. Even if the beans are shade grown, the end-product coffee will be a much heavier toxin burden if treated with chemicals at any point in the process from planting to perking. Ensure to choose organic; even if there is no organic certification, contact the seller to see what he or she can guarantee. Some smaller companies, especially, may surprise you.
3. They are freshly ground. As with vegetable and fruit juicing, most antioxidative properties are lost as outer layer of the bean is destroyed (i.e. as the bean is ground). Regardless of how much time you don’t think you have, the benefits for grinding your own beans FAR outweigh the “benefits” of using pre-ground beans for convenience’s sake. If you’re already going the less convenient route of seeking out shade grown, organic beans, grind those wonderful beans yourself. Even if you grind enough for three days at a time, freezing whatever you don’t use immediately, you will still be capturing at least some of the healthy essence coffee has.
Some other players in the best cups of coffee are raw, organic honey to sweeten; organic, Ceylon cinnamon brewed in with the beans to spice; raw, grass-fed butter to froth. You can even add in some organic vanilla powder, raw chocolate or cacao powder, or organic peppermint extract to liven up your cup. After all of this, it will be very obvious to you, and anyone around you, that your coffee is not anyone else’s coffee!