The deep confession is that it’s really a three-way. I was introduced to him by my husband who heard about him from one of his female friends. She was pretty adamant that he’d be right for us and DH knew I’d be receptive.
His full name is Alex by Izzo. And oh yes, introducing him into our marriage required some sacrifice but I haven’t turned back.He’s up early and it’s true, I’ve become dependent on his fresh scent to get out the door in the morning.
A couple of years ago, a good friend of ours was moving to Seattle. She envisioned going there to become a reseller of better coffee equipment. She saw people like us who really enjoyed a strong morning brew and who’d rather have it home than going through a coffee chain drive-thru.
Over the years, I’ve read much about coffee and physical health and coffee and planetary health. Yet, I remain in love with the deep dark bitter brew. And I think it’s as much about the aromatherapy as it is the drink. The nose of those fresh ground beans greet me with an unbelievable welcome. I love coffee – not a lot of coffee but my one, 2-shot mug with soy kickstarts my day.
A few of my favorite bloggers have been writing about coffee recently. Rob, the model citizen, has given up clouds in his coffee in favor of locally grown tea. I want to be like him but I’m not there yet.
Christa offers a condemnation of the Keurig. I agree with her wholeheartedly and refuse to use the one at my office because I can’t find any information on those little plastic cups and because of the waste created.
Sherry and I share many viewpoints and she’s approached the topic in a similar manner.
I enjoy my morning coffee. If I can’t give it up, then how can I best approach it?
1. First, try to find a local roaster. I’m trying out a new one right now that I came to know through the farmer where I get my CSA.
2. Understand the words that are used in coffee marketing and consider choosing these when you shop:
Shade grown – In an effort to plant more coffee shrubs and increase their yields, many plantations have razed their trees with punitive ecological results. Prior to the boom, much of the coffee supply was grown in the shade of trees. This provided habitats for all sorts of insects and birds and allowed other plants to flourish as well. This practice tends to be better for the soil and eliminate factors like erosion. Over the long-haul, shade grown trees survive and produce for up to 50 years while others not grown in shade last only 5 – 10 years.
Organic – For coffee to be labeled organic, it must be produced in accordance with U.S. standards for organic production. It must also be certified by an agency accredited by the USDA. The certification is provided to farmers using low-impact production methods. Their coffee is grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Organic coffee farms typically have lower yields resulting in higher prices.
Fair Trade – This is a certification that was developed by Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International and licensed in the United States by Transfair USA. It denotes a market-based approach which aims to protect farmers in developing countries from fluctuating prices by ensuring their coffee base price is above their production cost. I had incorrectly assumed that this meant other things like no child labor and that fair wages are paid.
3. Compost the grounds. Stay away from the individual coffee packs that produce plastic waste.
4. If you go out for coffee, visit a locally owned shop instead of a chain. When you get there, talk with the proprietor so that you can order a variety based upon the labels above. If you need more grounds, ask them to save them for you.
5. When friends ask what they can bring you from their exotic vacations, have them bring coffee that meets these conditions. That way, it won’t travel in a separate shipment.
6. Unless you live in a space, where coffee is grown, consider not drinking it or at least cutting down. The planetary reasons are abundant.