Summer Ethical Coffee Tips

27c7137e8c2fee723bbd5721943a951fHopefully wherever you are the sun is finally shining and you can feel summer itching to show its face. One thing that seems to always go hand in hand with the summer months is iced coffee. 

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My favourite coffee shop in Victoria is Caffe Fantastico which roast their own ethically produced beans!

I was never truthfully a coffee drinker until recently. I worked in a coffee shop for a year when I was in high school and was always a fan of the smell, loved the process of making coffee, and generally the idea of it but just couldn’t become a consistent drinker because it was too harsh on my stomach. Then I started University and exam periods forced me to push through the stomach aches to a place where I can now fully enjoy a daily cup of  coffee. I know, quite the accomplishment. 

Along with this new-found appreciation of caffeine I’ve realized how much of an impact your coffee choices can have on the world around you. Coffee is the second most trade-able commodity in the world besides oil. New types of coffee harvesting have been created in recent years to increase production. Often these types of production include deforestation, water pollution/contamination, issues with the local ecological habitat, and much more. Coffee supply chains are often extremely unfair to those growing, cultivating, and producing coffee beans.

So what can your iced coffee do to help prevent this? Luckily there are many coffee roasters and cafes which believe in using ethically produced coffee. You can keep your eyes out for coffee which has the official Fair Trade Logo. This means that the beans have adhered to the requirements set out by the Fair Trade Organization. As well, you can look for Rainforest-Alliance certified coffee which focuses even more on reducing the negative environmental impact of coffee production. 

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If you’re lucky enough to explore new coffee shops in your free time you’ll see that patio season has its own culture going on. While you’re there, don’t be afraid to ask questions at coffee shops about where their beans come from. Most often, if the coffee shop is locally owned the owners will have a passion for where their beans come from, and if they don’t you can start a conversation about ethical coffee and the benefits of it! So far I’ve found that the more you know about your coffee the more enjoyable it is.

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The official Fair Trade logo to look for

If you don’t circulate coffee shops in person that often, you can also take to twitter to question the impact of your favourite cup of joe. You can even look up the hashtag #ethicalcoffee to find new shops and brands which have a positive impact. 

 

 

 

Here are some more articles on the impact of coffee: 

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/coffee-and-its-impact-on-people-animals-and-the-planet/ 

http://globalwa.org/issues/coffee/

https://www.organicconsumers.org/old_articles/starbucks/coffeelabor.htm

To me, iced drinks do not just taste like hot coffee with the addition of ice, they taste like warm weather and free time. I hope you get a chance to enjoy some iced coffee soon, and even use that drink as an opportunity to make a positive impact! 

And remember poppers…. to to see change, share change, be change. Much love xo.

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