Photo: Courtesy Kauai Coffee

4 Ways to Become a More Conscious Coffee Consumer

At Kauai Coffee, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword.

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. An estimated 400 billion-plus cups of it are consumed annually, with nearly 400 million cups downed in the United States every day.

And the upward trend in coffee consumption doesn’t show any signs of slowing. The National Coffee Association found that the average growth rate for the sale of coffee and other hot beverages has held steady at 6.4% over the past five years. At the same time, farmable land with conditions suitable for coffee growing is expected to decrease by as much as 50% by the year 2050.

For coffee lovers everywhere, that means there has never been a better time to become a more conscious coffee connoisseur. Here are a few ways you can protect your favorite beverage and the people who grow it and serve it, and support sustainability efforts across the entire coffee industry.

Buy Sustainably Farmed Coffee

Sustainability is a widely used term today, but with all of its definitions, it can be confusing to know what sustainability means when it comes to the coffee in your cup.

At Kauai Coffee, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword. Kauai Coffee is committed to growing coffee in a way that conserves natural resources and provides a safe, healthy and positive work environment for everyone involved in its production.

Its coffee is grown using efficient drip irrigation, which saves water. The company also produces nearly 4 million pounds of coffee cherry compost each year that is applied on the farm as a soil nutrient. And its use of cover crops not only reduces weeds but the need for herbicides as well.

Know Your Certifications

When you buy coffee from a local shop or grocery, look for products that display a company’s commitment to sustainability and the environment on the package. That’s another way to be a conscious coffee connoisseur.

Kauai Coffee is the first and only coffee grown in Hawaii to be triple certified by leading sustainability advocates. Harvest begins in September, and when its newest coffee hits shelves in 2020, you’ll see the following badges on the packaging. Here is what they mean:

Fair Trade Certified: Goods that are Fair Trade Certified are from companies that provide safe working conditions and sustainable livelihoods while protecting the environment and giving back to the communities where coffee is cultivated.

Rainforest Alliance Certified: The Rainforest Alliance certified seal stands for efficient farm management that reduces soil erosion, water use, pollution and waste while also protecting wildlife and reducing threats to the environment and human health.

Non GMO Project: The Non GMO Project verification program is North America’s most rigorous third-party verification for non-GMO foods and products.

Trace Your Supply Chain

For most coffee products, the supply chain is incredibly complex. From farming and harvesting to processing, roasting and distributing, your coffee may be handled by numerous companies throughout the supply chain. Because of this complexity, it’s hard to know if each step your coffee takes before it hits your cup contributes positively to global sustainability efforts. Food chain traceability and knowing where your coffee comes from is essential to being a conscientious coffee drinker.

Kauai Coffee is an authentic Hawaiian coffee estate, which means every step of making coffee, from growth to packaging, happens on its watch. The company can trace the coffee in each bag to when and where it came from on its 3,000-acre farm. Here is how it happens:

• Harvesters log the field number and variety for each truckload of coffee cherry brought into the factory.

• Once a truckload is pulped and ready to be dried, the field number and variety are logged with each dryer batch.

• Once dried, parchment coffee is unloaded into crates which are weighed and tagged with the date, dryer batch number, field number and variety.

• In the dry milling process, approximately 60 crates of parchment coffee are loaded at a time and assigned a process number.

• After dry milling, green coffee is packaged into 100-pound burlap bags and assigned a batch number along with the date, field number and variety.

• All green coffee is inspected by the state Department of Agriculture and assigned a state lot number, which is then stamped on each burlap bag.

• Green beans are brought to the roast plant and lot numbers, variety and quantities are verified and added to a daily log before roasting.

• Kauai Coffee packaging bags are tracked by serial numbers or assigned lot numbers, and the database information is printed on the bottom of the bag.

Buy Local and be an Advocate for Change

Even if you don’t live in Hawaii, when you purchase 100% Kauai Coffee from kauaicoffee.com, you are supporting a local community and economy.

Learn more at kauaicoffee.com.