Not all organic coffee brands are created the same. In order to enjoy coffee to the fullest, you must choose wisely! Nothing says ‘Good morning’ better than a cup of hot freshly brewed coffee as the mere smell of coffee alone can make one jump right out of bed.
The bitter yet flavorful taste of each sip sends tingles down one’s spine. Ahhh, coffee is indeed happiness in a cup.
We’ve made it easy for you to decide which organic coffee brand you need in your home, see the list below!
- 1 10 Best Organic Coffee Brands Reviewed in 2019(Our Editors’ Detailed Choices for 2019)
- 2 #1. Death Wish Ground Coffee
- 3 #2. Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee
- 4 #3. Jungle Costa Rican Coffee
- 5 #4. Camano Island Coffee Roasters
- 6 #5. The Jo Espresso
- 7 #6. Two Volcanoes Espresso Coffee
- 8 #7. Cafe Altura Ground Organic Coffee
- 9 #8. Coffee Bean Direct Dark Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
- 10 #9. The Bean Coffee Company
- 11 #10. Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso
- 12 What is Organic Coffee?
- 13 Why Choose Organic Coffee?
- 14 What Is Organic Growing?
- 15 Organic Coffee Processing
- 16 Roasting Organic Coffee
- 17 Environmental Benefits
- 18 Decaffeinating
- 19 Final Thoughts
10 Best Organic Coffee Brands Reviewed in 2019
(Our Editors’ Detailed Choices for 2019)
To make it easier for you to decide which product is the best, we have reviewed some of the top organic coffee brands on the market and listed them below, along with some of their notable features.
Our team went through customer reviews and learned from the opinions of other people. We noted thousands of personal experiences and scoured feedback ratings and summarized them all here.
More than the reviews, we also considered the origin of the coffee beans, organic certification, ingredients, packaging, fair trade agreement with farmers and price.
#1. Death Wish Ground Coffee
Death Wish Ground Coffee—the name alone can send shivers down your spine. Claiming to be the world’s strongest coffee, the Death Wish Ground Coffee is a USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade sourced coffee made from ultra-caffeinated dark roast beans. It is manufactured and distributed by Death Wish Coffee Co., which is located in Saratoga Springs, New York.
One glance at the black package embedded with the wicked skull and cross bones emblem, tells you just how powerful this blend truly is.
Death Wish Coffee is a coffee made from a combination of Robusta and Arabica beans, mainly sourced from Peru and India. This coffee has blends of roasted almond, dark chocolate and dark cherry. Despite its rich flavors, this coffee has zero calories. It is USDA certified organic and Fair Trade.
One pound of coffee makes at least 72 cups of coffee. The recommended ratio for brewing is 2.5 tablespoons of coffee to 6 ounces of water. The Death Wish Coffee has a six month shelf life. Each pack is neatly packaged in a double-gusseted foil bag ensuring the coffee’s optimal freshness.
We found the Death Wish Ground Coffee to be one of the strongest coffees we have ever tried. It tastes very bold without the bitterness. However. The color of the coffee is very dark and can be likened to the color of charcoal.
#2. Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee
Subtle Earth Organic Gourmet Coffee was started by Don Pablo coffee growers and roasters, an arm of the Burke Brands LL.C. It is certified organic and Non-GMO by CCOF. This coffee is made from special Honduran beans from the Marcala region. No chemicals were used on said coffee beans. The coffee cherries were used as fertilizer in lieu of insecticides. Additionally, the farmers also practice vermiculture. In this process, worms are used to break down organic food wastes to become fertilizer, and plant peppers are used as repellents. The Marcala region in Honduras is a known producer of excellent beans.
The high-altitude of the region causes the coffee beans to have a very rich and dense taste. The beans are slowly roasted in small batches in the right temperature to produce a full body deep, chocolatey flavor. It also has hints of caramel, cocoa and honey.
This coffee has four suggested brewing methods, they are namely: traditional drip machine, espresso machine, French press and hand drip method.
Subtle Earth Organic Gourmet Coffee is available as whole beans in light, dark and medium dark roast. It can be purchased as a two-pound or five-pound bag. It can also be bought as single-serve cups.
We tried the light roast. It was light, but with just the right amount of flavor for us. It would be best to drink it straight. Other customers found it too bland and preferred mixing it with other roasts to give it more body. This coffee also has low acidity. Another pro is that it is very affordable. Because of this, we rate Subtle Earth Organic Gourmet Coffee with four out of five stars.
#3. Jungle Costa Rican Coffee
Next on our list is Jungle Costa Rican Coffee. This brand of coffee blend is made from pure Arabica beans. It is made and distributed by its namesake company, which is located in Doral, Florida. The beans are mainly sourced from local growers in Costa Rica. The beans are grown in fertile volcanic soil which gives the beans a light and mild acidic taste. Each batch of beans are roasted in the right temperature and in the right amount of time and are packed in heat-sealed high barrier stand-up foil bags.
Jungle Costa Rican Coffee is certified by the USDA organic regulation and USDA National Organic Program and Handling Procedure.
The recommended brewing ratio is two tablespoons of coffee per every six (6) ounces of water.
One of the laudable qualities of this coffee is the excellent packaging. The black and sleek package with the bold lettering indeed catches attention. Meanwhile, it tastes very flavorful and true to what it advertises. We rate Jungle Costa Rican Coffee Beans with four and a half stars out of five.
#4. Camano Island Coffee Roasters
Camano Island Coffee Roasters takes pride in being an ethical and fairly traded coffee brand. The beans are grown organically, ensuring farmer and product safety. It is also grown in such a way that protects animal habitats and soil preservation. The Papua New Guinea Medium Roast blend, as its name suggests, is sourced from the Papua New Guinea Highlands. Said beans were imported from the Jamaica Blue Mountain region and first planted in Wau in the 1930s. Aside from the aforementioned, it is also USDA Certified Organic and shade grown.
This coffee blend boasts of a rich, crisp and clean finish. It also has subtle tones of chocolate, and can be bought as coffee grounds or as whole beans.
The Papua New Guinea Medium Roast of Camano Island Coffee Roasters tastes delicious! The coffee is very smooth and does not have any bitter taste. The beans are also very aromatic. However, we do wish it contained better packaging. We give the Papua New Guinea Medium Roast Camano Island Coffee Roasters four out of five stars.
#5. The Jo Espresso
Up next, we have Jo Espresso. It is a USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified coffee brand. It is made using the top 2% of all Arabica coffee in the world. It is produced by Jo Coffee Inc. and is one of the top coffee brands in Amazon. This brand has over 5,000 positive reviews and comments to date. The company is a member of several international coffee organizations such as The Roaster’s Guild, Specialty Coffee Association of America, Fair Trade USA, Rainforest Alliance and Slow Food USA.
Much to our suprise, this coffee had a very earthy and dark taste. To get the full experience, use a proper grinder and espresso machine. We give four out of five stars for Jo Espresso.
#6. Two Volcanoes Espresso Coffee
The next organic coffee brand is the Two Volcanoes Espresso Coffee Beans. This brand is made from Guatemalan coffee beans grown right at the base of Tajumulco and Tajana, two important volcanoes in Guatemala. Volcanic soil is full of minerals and nutrients which results in premier coffee beans. The blend is a combination of Robusta and Arabica beans.
This single-origin coffee dark roast espresso blend has hints of wooden and fruit flavors. It can only be bought as beans in two-pound and five-pound bags which are packed with a degassing valves.
The coffee has an amazing aroma. It is also very flavorful and the bitterness is just right. However, we found it a little too oily for our liking. Because of this we rate Two Volcanoes Espress Coffee Beans with three and a half stars.
#7. Cafe Altura Ground Organic Coffee
Café Altura was established in 1980 in Ventura, California. The beans are sourced from the district of Villa Rica – Pasco, Peru. Aside from fresh ground coffee, said company is also known for their whole bean coffee, canned coffee, instant coffee and mountain water decaf. The Café Altura Ground Organic Coffee is sold in eight flavors namely: dark roast, dark roast decaf, fair trade dark blend, fair trade classic roast, house blend, French roast, regular roast and regular roast decaf. Café Altura brands their coffee as a biodynamic coffee. It is called biodynamic because the coffee farmers take into account the biodiversity surrounding the farm.
The main emphasis of this type of farming is sustainability of the method. As the blend’s name suggests, it is organic and shade-grown.
As mentioned earlier, the beans are grown and sourced in Peru. They are planted at an altitude of 1,550 meters. The coffee bean varieties currently available are: Typica, Caturra, Catimor, Catuai and Bourbon. All are grown in clay mineral soil. After harvest, the beans are fully washed and dried in the sun. These are then roasted in an organic certified roasting facility located in Ventura, California before being packed into carefully sealed packages.
The regular roast from this brand comes out very smooth and flavorful. It also has no bitter or burnt taste. The product is also excellently presented in a very neat and nice vacuum packaging. Because of this, the Café Altura Ground Organic Coffee deserves four stars out of five.
Also Read: Best Nespresso Compatible Capsules with Rich Taste and Aroma
#8. Coffee Bean Direct Dark Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
We can’t leave out Coffee Bean Direct Ethiopian Yirgacheffe if we’re talking flavor. The company manufacturing and distributing this coffee is located in New Jersey. The coffee beans are roasted, packed and shipped from said location.
The beans are sourced from Ethiopia, and is also an organic and a fair-trade brand. Aside from the popular Ethiopian Yirgacheffe flavor, there are thirteen (13) other flavors such as City Roast Colombian Supremo, City Roast Papua New Guinea, Dark Brazilian Santos, Dark Costa Rican Tirrazu, Dark Guatemalan, Dark House Blend and Dark Sumatra Gayoland.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is a light roast, medium-acidity and smooth-body coffee. We noted hints of fruity after taste. However, we also noted a bit of a sour smell. Because of this we give Ethiopian Yirgacheffe four out of five stars.
#9. The Bean Coffee Company
The Bean Coffee Company utilizes 100% Arabica organic coffee beans certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The company was established in 2007 in Southern California.
Mocha Java by the Bean Coffee Company is a medium roast blend with a sweet finish and hint of chocolate. As mentioned earlier, it is made from arabica beans and is sold as coffee grounds and as whole beans. However, we found it to be slightly acidic and very light to be a medium roast. Because of this we give it three and a half stars out of five.
Also Read: Best Milk Frothers – Our Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide
#10. Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso
Lastly, we’ve got Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso. Guilt-free coffee at its finest. This company was found in Guatemala back in 1999 and it’s main focus has been investing into local farmers and their communities so those farmers produce the best product out of sheer joy and happiness. As they say, fair trade is not only a marketing slogan for this company, it is an integral part of its entity.
As for the taste of the coffee itself, it is as good as promised. The Sweet Espresso is a dark roast, heavy body blend. It has overtones of fruit and earth.
The beans originate from South and Central America, which give it a very strong flavor. It can be bought as coffee grounds or whole beans, and is considerably cheaper than the other brands.
Aside from Sweet Espresso, it is available in six (6) other flavors namely Bold Dark, Classic Medium, Decaf Dark, Lush Medium Dark, Mellow Medium and Super dark French. As for the Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso, we rate it with a perfect five out of five stars.
What is Organic Coffee?
In a nutshell, organic coffee is made from beans that are grown in uncontaminated soil without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Standards may differ from country to country but the difference is usually on how much of the final product came from organic sources. In the U.S.A. for example, the FDA requires 95% of the coffee to come from organic sources to be classified as “Organic Coffee” regardless of where it came from.
Why Choose Organic Coffee?
Health-wise, you can’t really go wrong with organic. Generally speaking, anything organic is healthier than nonorganic counterparts. When it comes to coffee, there is a surprisingly huge difference between regular or conventional coffee and organic coffee.
Consuming organically grown coffee is the best way we can avoid the risk of chemical poisoning and harboring various diseases, that can come from farms that use harsh pesticides and herbicides.
Although not all non-organic coffees contain toxic substances, buying certified organic coffee brands is a much better option to preserve your health and our amazing planet.
Organic coffee has more nutrients, vitamins and minerals – than does regular coffee. If you compare organic coffee to instant coffee, then you will find that there are a ton more vitamins in organic coffee than instant.
Research conducted by an international team at Newcastle University, in England, found that organic produce contained 60% less toxic compounds and linked to significantly higher levels of healthy nutrients.
The taste of organic coffee is also better since the beans are nourished, and they were grown on a well-balanced farm that cultivates coffee beans not just for appearance and taste, but also for optimal health benefits.
Organic farming ensures that our eco-system is sustained and in harmony with the environment (source). Coffee lovers are reassured that the soil and beans are kept healthy and chemical-free.
What Is Organic Growing?
Most people believe that organic crops are grown without using pesticides or fertilizers. However, both are needed to achieve the best results. The main difference is the types and/or methods used.
Most growers reverted back to the old techniques when synthetic products weren’t available. Combined with modern knowhow, using old growing methods can yield excellent results.
Organic Coffee Processing
There two ways of processing coffee beans; wet and dry.
Dry Milling – This procedure involves drying the fruits under the sun before being hulled (peeled). The beans are turned by hand or with hand tools to ensure even drying. The whole process can take up to 4 weeks, depending on the weather conditions.
Most coffee beans from Asia, Africa, Middle East, and South America use this method and the result is a rich, earthy, natural flavor that is commonly associated with organic coffee.
Wet Milling – This method uses water to extract the seeds from the cherries before it is dried. It is a costly and involved process and is not considered environmentally friendly because of the amount of water used.
However, this method produces a bright, fruity character. A lot of the bigger companies process their coffee this way. It may be expensive and tedious but it does bring out the best in the coffee.
Roasting Organic Coffee
As with the processing, roasting is also crucial for the coffee to be considered organic. There shouldn’t be any cross-contamination between organic and non-organic coffee beans. This includes the roasting drums or pots, utensil, and packaging. Of course, there shouldn’t be any artificial flavor enhancers or chemicals added at this stage.
In fact, nothing should be added to the coffee while roasting, period. Good coffee should come from the bean, not added later.
The production of organic coffee does not include the use of synthetic fertilizers. This makes the beans cleaner and ooze with aroma and flavor. The absence of chemicals sustains soil fertility through the use of organic fertilizers such as compost and coffee pulp. This process combats climate change and limits the emission of compounds in nature.
According to researchers, regular or conventional coffee is steeped in pesticides and other chemicals. The result of a study conducted by CS Monitor found that over 250 pounds of chemical fertilizers are being used to grow regular coffee. It suggests that in one cup of coffee, there could be over 1,000 chemicals present that can be linked to illnesses and health issues.
Scientific studies also found that conventional coffees are remarkably treated with insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides that are commonly used to kill any pests and double the growth of beans. This overload is not just harmful to insects, but the toxins are carried by the coffee beans that are then turned into a freshly brewed coffee.
Using chemicals in growing coffee beans poses enormous problems to nature. The outcome of this action includes pollution in the land, water, and air. Indeed, this is an alarming reality that non-organic farms follow.
For those who enjoy the coffee flavor but not the kick, there’s organic decaf. In general, there are 4 methods of taking the caffeine out, but only 2 can be considered organic; The Swiss Water process and the Carbon Dioxide method. Luckily, these two methods are the ones that also produce decafs that have the most flavor.
Swiss Water Process – This method uses hot water and activated charcoal filter to remove the caffeine from green coffee beans prior to roasting.
The beans are soaked in very hot water which then dissolves the caffeine, and consequently, the flavor oils. The water is then run through an activated charcoal filter that takes out the larger caffeine molecules, leaving the smaller flavor oil molecules behind.
Essentially, you are left with a container of coffee flavored water and flavorless beans. It makes more sense when you move on to the next batch of beans. The extract from the previous batch will be used to soak the new batch of beans. Now you can remove the caffeine without losing the flavor.
Carbon Dioxide Method – The process uses CO2 as a solvent to remove caffeine. Water-soaked beans are placed in a stainless steel extraction chamber and sealed.
Liquid CO2 is then pressurized into the beans up to 1000lbs. The liquid CO2 draws the caffeine out and absorbs it. It is then transferred to another container where the CO2 returns to its gaseous form, leaving the caffeine behind. The CO2 is collected to be used again.
While this method is very effective, it is very costly which is why it is used mainly for large quantities by manufacturers that can afford it.
There is some negative connotation that organic coffee is more expensive than supermarket brands. While there is some truth to that, the extra bit of money you pay is worth every penny.
The aforementioned best organic coffee brands were selected according to (1) origin of the coffee beans, (2) organic certification, (3) ingredients, (4) budget, (5) packaging and (6) fair trade agreement with the farmers.