A kinder way to caffeinate
Chances are most of us reading this have heard the term “vegan”. We may have met someone who identifies as “vegan” or food or even clothing products that are marketed as “vegan” or “vegan-friendly”. But some may be wondering what exactly "vegan" means and what the benefits of “going vegan" are exactly?
Well, today we are going to take a deep and refreshing dive into the world of vegan coffee. If the term “vegan coffee” sounds surprising and/or intriguing, please keep reading. You are in for a real treat, and don't forget to check out our many vegan options for coffee, too!
What is vegan coffee?
For all intents and purposes, “vegan” is defined as someone or something that does not consume anything made from animals, or by animal labor. This can include the obvious like a steak or leather and range to the seemingly more subtle like honey or milk, even wool. If a product comes from or causes pain or suffering to animals or people, then it is by definition NOT vegan!
So now that we have grasped what “vegan” means let’s start with a challenging fact, not all coffees are vegan-friendly even if they’re all technically vegan!
Coffee comes from coffee cherries that grow on bushes. No animals are usually intentionally or directly harmed when it comes to cultivating and processing coffee. That is with the distinct exception of civet coffee, where animals are in fact directly harmed.
But unfortunately, besides civet coffee, a large deal of coffee production around the globe does end up hurting animals, ecosystems, and people.
For example, there are Coffee beans that are grown with harmful chemical pesticides. These pesticides and other chemicals not only kill native insect populations but also have negative effects on birds and other animals that might normally prey on these same insects and “pests”. The chemicals also run off or leech into the soil or water and do even more damage to the land, plants, and all the aquatic ecosystems. That water will also eventually become rain and rain down residual chemicals.
These pesticides alone do tons of damage to natural ecosystems but coffee as an industry wreaks even more havoc in the form of deforestation. Too many coffee farms clear staggering amounts of forest and wildlands for cultivation that further harm animals by destroying their habitats. This is especially tragic as coffee cultivation can be performed without clearing huge swathes of land.
Besides having to live with chemically tainted water and soil, the people around coffee also suffer. More often than not coffee is sold at such a low price that they leave their farmers in poverty and do not align with vegan values. Industrial farming is largely exploitative and takes advantage of workers who are essentially doing slave labor with little pay or rest.
This is where the beauty of third-wave coffee in general and specialty coffee like here at Blue Goose, in particular, come into play. By seeking out more conscious coffee one can find a balance between an excellent cuppa at home and a happier, healthier, and safer world at large. But if the aforementioned things like the use of chemical pesticides and the like mean “non-vegan” coffee, then what would constitute “vegan coffee” exactly?
More conscious coffee
Vegan coffee includes biodiversity-rich coffee growing that doesn’t impact wildlife. So Certified Bird-Friendly coffee like some of our pods are would fall into the vegan camp. That is because the coffee cultivation methods used do not disrupt bird habitats, bird migration, or the birds' diets for example. Earning the Certified Bird Friendly badge is one of the most difficult of certifications and also one of the most important.
Shade-grown coffee is another way to make coffee more vegan-friendly. This method allows birds and other animals to maintain their habitats, for starters. With the birds and other animals present, the plants do not need pesticides as the other animals simply eat them!
As for fertilizers, these are also obsolete because the soil around the other plants and trees is exceptionally rich and nutritious for coffee plants. Farms such as these are also more fairly compensated and receive lots of financial and other support from their coffee clientele. This means the farmers and their households can earn a higher wage, live in an environment that is not tainted by chemical fertilizers or pesticides, and can hear the lovely sounds of birds chirping because there are plenty of wild and native trees around!
Is Cafe au lait, okay?
What about coffee lovers who like to add milk or cream to their coffee? Unfortunately, dairy products are non-vegan as they require labor from the cows. Not to mention what dairy cows in general may go through during their lifetime in the dairy industry.
However, we know some coffee lovers out there enjoy putting milk in their coffee. That is why we have taken a look at some keen milk alternatives for those who would like to switch from animal-based milk to healthier, greener, and more sustainable options.
You aren’t alone, too! Since 2019 nearly 1/4th of Brits have been enjoying plant-based rather than animal-based milk. Not only that but more than half of British adults had made plant-based milk one of their purchases, perhaps for a vegan cappuccino? Now let’s see some vegan and vegan-friendly alternatives to cow's milk:
Vegan coffee addresses these issues to bring the world more conscious coffee. So if you are already vegan or are interested in adding some more vegan options to your diet and consumption habits, please peruse our catalog of superb vegan and vegan-friendly coffee choices here at Blue Goose Coffee which also includes Bird Friendly as well as Shade Grown coffees.
Bird Friendly coffee is one of the most rigorous certifications to attain and ensures coffee that helps bird habitats and migratory patterns. Shade Grown coffee mitigates deforestation and the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers by instead growing plants among other trees. We seek out specialty coffee that is organic and sourced from farms where the hard-working farmers are paid fair and liveable wages so they and their communities can flourish.
Happy vegan brewing, the planet will thank you!