Whether you buy your coffee at a big-box grocery store like Kroger, a smaller, natural foods-focused market like Whole Foods, or your local coffee shop, you’ve probably seen the label “USDA Organic” on some of the bags available on the shelf. Maybe you have a vague idea that buying organic is healthier than buying non-organic, but you have no idea how that applies to your daily cuppa joe.

We’re here to help. Here’s what it means for coffee to be USDA certified organic, and why you might consider making a permanent switch to organic coffee in your insulated travel mug.

What Does Organic Mean?

First, let’s start by defining organic. According to our friends at Merriam-Webster, organic means ” of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.”

That’s a mouthful, right? We can simplify that further. In general, buying something “organic” means that almost no chemicals were used in the growing, harvesting, and production of the crop. If chemicals were used, they came from a list of approved substances that are considered organic. Thanks to these regulations, soil and water aren’t harmed in the production of organic crops, making organic products better for the environment.

So, What’s In My Organic Coffee?

Just the good stuff! For a product to get the organic seal of approval from the USDA, it has to be at least 95% organic. Coffee farmers are also required to avoid using prohibited substances on their land for at least three years before getting the USDA Organic seal; that means no synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers.

Does Organic Coffee Taste Better Than Regular Coffee?

Many people think so. Lots of coffee experts believe that when coffee is produced using organic methods, the beans taste much better and have a richer flavor. Their reasoning is simple: natural production methods should produce a higher quality bean. Plus, consumers value knowing that their beans were harvested thoughtfully and with regard to the environment. That peace of mind gives coffee lovers a little more satisfaction when sipping out of their insulated travel mugs.


What do you think? Do you prefer to buy organic coffee over non-organic coffee? Let us know what you’ve discovered in the comments!

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