Best Organic Coffee: The Top 7 Brand Of The Year

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter
Best Organic Coffee Beans

Best Organic Coffee: Discovering the perfect organic coffee entails finding a harmonious blend of various desirable qualities within a single aromatic cup. However, the definition of “better coffee” can vary widely. Are we referring to superior taste, fairer compensation for growers, or environmental sustainability?

In this piece, I aim to delve into the organic coffee sector, shedding light on its intricacies, and sharing seven organic coffee brands that have impressed me this year. Avoid falling prey to mere marketing slogans promoting organic products. Stay with me, and I’ll guide you in the right direction.

How I Evaluated the Best Organic Coffee

The quality of coffee is inherently subjective, varying according to personal preferences. Thus, while I personally sampled and savored each coffee mentioned here, I also made it a point to share them with a diverse group of individuals—friends, family, and colleagues—each possessing a unique set of tastes and coffee-drinking experiences.

For my personal assessments, I brewed each coffee using a consistent recipe and a high-quality drip machine. This method facilitated a direct comparison of flavor profiles, mirroring the brewing practices of most coffee enthusiasts. When sharing the coffee with others, I employed various brewing techniques tailored to accentuate the unique qualities of each bean. This included methods such as French press, Moka pot, and espresso for darker roasts, and pour-over and Aeropress for lighter roasts.

Furthermore, I meticulously verified the organic certification of every coffee on this list by directly contacting the respective companies.

The Top 7 Organic Coffee Brands of the Year

Which organic coffee reigns supreme? Here are the standout organic brews I’ve tasted this year, showcasing a diverse array of flavor profiles and roast variations. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect bean to satisfy your palate, be sure to peruse the buying guide provided below.

1.Best Organic Coffee: Lifeboost Organic Coffee

Roast Level: Light, Medium, and Dark
Tasting Notes: Varies
Origin(s): Nicaragua

Lifeboost Coffee emerged from the vision of physician Dr. Charles Livingstone, who aimed to produce healthy, clean coffee benefiting consumers, producers, and the environment. This commitment entails organic cultivation, shade-grown practices, sustainable farming methods, and the absence of mold, mycotoxins, and numerous other contaminants.

Having sampled numerous Lifeboost coffees over the years, I’ve consistently been impressed. However, the one that keeps drawing me back is the Embolden Dark Roast.

Despite being labeled as dark, it tends more towards medium-dark, lacking the oily sheen on the beans and eschewing the bitter or smoky notes typically associated with Italian or French roasts.

This coffee is a crowd-pleaser, boasting a medium body and subtle chocolatey sweetness. I prefer brewing it with my espresso machine, where its robust flavor enhances lattes or cappuccinos splendidly.

One notable feature of Lifeboost Embolden is its remarkably low acidity, a rarity for high-elevation Central American beans. It’s the go-to choice even for my aunt, who typically experiences stomach discomfort from most brews.

Available as whole bean coffee, ground coffee, or in K-Cups pods for Keurig brewers.

2.Best Organic Coffee: Tony’s Coffee Cafe Carmelita

Roast Level: Medium
Tasting Notes: Caramel, cocoa, raw sugar
Origin(s): n/a

Best Organic Coffee: This year’s second-place contender is Cafe Carmelita, Tony’s Coffee’s top-selling organic blend. Tony’s Coffee, the recipient of Roast Magazine’s esteemed Roaster of the Year award in 2021, presents Cafe Carmelita as a standout choice.

Cafe Carmelita proved to be the most adaptable coffee I encountered, resonating widely among tasters. Whether brewed as espresso, pour-over, French press, or drip coffee, each cup offered a unique and delightful experience, boasting sweet undertones of caramel, chocolate, and spices.

A surprising revelation among the Home Grounds team was its exceptional performance in iced coffee. In this form, it exuded remarkable smoothness and, with a touch of cream, evoked reminiscent flavors of Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream. This might just become my quintessential summer coffee!

Tony’s Coffee has been a pioneer in prioritizing sustainable coffee practices. The brand achieved carbon neutrality as of 2023, and Cafe Carmelita beans bear certifications for Fair Trade and Organic standards. Drinking this coffee not only tantalizes your taste buds but also leaves you feeling virtuous for supporting various worthy causes.

3. Best Organic Coffee: Kicking Horse Coffee Three Sisters

Roast Level: Medium
Tasting Notes: Cocoa, stone fruit, sweet tobacco
Origin(s): Indonesia, Central & South America

Being Canadian myself, I’ve been indulging in Kicking Horse Coffee since its inception. Roasted in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, not far from my own abode, I can assure you I’m not swayed by bias—everyone who tasted this coffee was enamored by it.

Kicking Horse is renowned for its approachable blends, primarily featuring popular medium and dark roast beans that yield smooth coffee with delightful hints of chocolate, nuts, and fruit. In essence, it’s a brand you can rely on for consistently crowd-pleasing and budget-friendly brews.

Best Organic Coffee: Now, let me expound on why Three Sisters holds a special place in my heart. It’s an unconventional post-roast blend; a concoction of light, medium, and dark beans mingled within the same bag, resulting in a brew akin to a medium roast coffee but with an unparalleled complexity. It’s both comforting and exhilarating. With each sip, I can discern the vibrant fruit flavors characteristic of Latin American beans juxtaposed with the deeper, earthier tones from the Indonesian beans. As one eloquent taster described it, “It’s a party in my mouth.”

4. Best Organic Coffee: Volcanica Organically Grown Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

Roast Level: Medium
Tasting Notes: Earth, Hazelnut, Cocoa
Origin(s): Mexico

While the majority of the world’s best organic coffee beans hails from Latin America, particularly Mexico and Peru, if you’re captivated by the intricate and succulent flavors of Ethiopian brews, Volcanica’s best-selling organic single-origin Yirgacheffe will undoubtedly captivate your senses.

Light roast coffees often stir debate among coffee enthusiasts, but these beans from the renowned Yirgacheffe growing region defy the norm. Everyone I shared this coffee with, including my father—a devoted aficionado of traditional dark roasts—found delight in its flavor. What sets this coffee apart is its broad appeal; while it retains some of the bright acidity characteristic of high-altitude Ethiopian beans, its prevailing taste is sweet and luscious. Upon sipping, I was greeted by fruity notes of blueberries and blackberries, with a subtle undertone of lemony citrus lingering in the background.

For the optimal tasting experience, I recommend preparing this coffee using methods such as pour-over or slow-drip cold brew, which allow its complexity to fully unfold. I’d advise against swift, pressure-based extraction techniques like espresso or Moka pot unless you possess the expertise of a seasoned barista; the risk of ending up with an overly tart brew is quite high.

5. Best Organic Coffee: Peet’s Yosemite Dos Sierras Organic

Roast Level: Medium-dark
Tasting Notes: Apricot, toasted almond, milk chocolate
Origin(s): Colombia

I’ve emphasized it before, and I’ll reiterate it now: when in doubt, opting for a single-origin Colombian medium roast from a reputable brand guarantees a delightful coffee experience.

Peet’s Yosemite Dos Sierras Organic, with its rich medium-dark roast, garnered unanimous praise from all tasters, irrespective of their preconceived preferences. Its brightness and juiciness cater to Third Wave light roast aficionados, while its chocolatey and balanced profile appeals to more traditional coffee drinkers. Furthermore, its affordability adds to its allure.

The well-balanced nature of Peet’s Yosemite Dos Sierras Organic renders it highly versatile in brewing. Whether brewed using an espresso machine, Moka pot, or French press, it showcases a heavy body, creamy mouthfeel, and pronounced chocolate notes. Equally delightful is its preparation through a slow pour-over dripper, which accentuates its nuanced fruity character.

Each bag of Yosemite Dos Sierras is roasted to order and promptly shipped on the day of roasting. It proudly bears certifications for Organic, Bird Friendly, and Rainforest Alliance compliance. Moreover, for every bag sold, Peet’s pledges a portion of the proceeds to the Yosemite National Conservancy.

6. Best Organic Coffee: Sumatra Gayo Highlands

Roast Level: Dark
Tasting Notes: Bittersweet chocolate, caramel, plum pie, toasted walnut
Origin(s): Sumatra

Best Organic Coffee: Whenever I crave a robust, intense dark roast coffee, my go-to choice is always Sumatran beans. The wet-hulling processing technique prevalent in the region perfectly complements a deep roast, resulting in a full-bodied coffee that boasts richness, earthiness, and minimal acidity.

Although organic coffee farming remains relatively uncommon in Sumatra, my excitement peaked upon discovering this exceptional specialty coffee from Gimme!—one of my preferred artisan roasteries.

What truly impressed me was the intricacy of flavors extracted when brewing this coffee using a drip machine. Dark roasts often tend to be monotonous, yet Gimme! beans revealed a delightful array of bittersweet chocolate, sugary caramel, plums, and toasted walnuts.

However, it’s undeniable that this coffee yearns to be savored as an espresso. I recently treated my colleagues to a batch of Americanos topped with a luscious crema, and their rave reviews confirmed its exceptional quality.

7. Best Organic Coffee: Fabula Decaf Coffee

Roast Level: Medium
Tasting Notes: Dark chocolate, nutty
Origin(s): Mexico

Back in the day, decaf coffee was often viewed as inferior, even inspiring those iconic “death before decaf” t-shirts. However, I’m delighted to report that times have changed!

Artisan roasters like Fabula Coffee treat their decaf beans with the same reverence as their caffeinated counterparts, and the results speak for themselves.

I was thoroughly impressed by this coffee. In a sly experiment, I deliberately refrained from mentioning its caffeine-free status when serving it to others, and not a single person detected any difference. Instead, I received a cascade of compliments such as “bold,” “flavorful,” “robust,” and “fudgy.” Not a single mention of burnt or bland—two telltale signs of subpar decaf.

Fabula’s Decaf is a single-origin organic coffee sourced from Mexico and decaffeinated using the Swiss Water process. Though labeled as a medium roast, I found it leaning towards the darker end of the spectrum. It boasts a rich, full-bodied profile with bold flavors of dark chocolate and nuts. Its remarkable smoothness and subtle sweetness, coupled with minimal acidity, led me to envision it as the quintessential post-dinner indulgence.

What’s the Top Organic Instant Coffee?

I debated including instant coffee on this roster since it typically doesn’t measure up to freshly ground beans. Yet, there are occasions, such as camping or traveling, where the convenience of instant brews reigns supreme. Thankfully, the market now offers several brands delivering delightful instant coffee experiences.

For those seeking classic coffee powder, Mount Hagen Instant Coffee or Whole Foods 365 Instant Coffee are excellent options. If you’re open to exploring unique blends, Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee combines the goodness of lion’s mane and chaga mushrooms, offering an earthy dark roast flavor without any mushroom aftertaste, thankfully!

However, my top pick for “instant” coffee is the single-serving coffee sachets from Purity Coffee. These sachets provide fresher flavor compared to traditional freeze-dried powders, all while retaining the same convenient “just add water” simplicity.

What to Consider When Purchasing Organic Coffee Brands?

What exactly is organic coffee? Is there a significant difference between organic and regular coffee? At first glance, one might assume that organic coffee simply refers to beans grown without the use of pesticides. However, the reality is a bit more complex.

While the cultivation process is indeed crucial, it’s just one aspect of the broader picture. Equally important is the origin of the coffee, as well as the methods employed in its processing and distribution. Delve deeper into the intricacies of organic coffee by continuing to read below.

Variation in Organic Standards

Organic certification standards vary globally, adding complexity to understanding organic labeling regulations within a specific country. In the United States, for instance, the USDA organic certification is only applicable if the crop adheres to US organic guidelines, regardless of its origin.

Now, picture yourself as a coffee farmer navigating these regulations. Not only must you comply with your country’s organic standards, but also with those of any country you intend to sell to.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s focus on the widely recognized USDA organic standards. When dealing with other organic labels, it’s prudent to apply similar principles according to your own country or region’s regulations.

What’s Required?

Best Organic Coffee: In the US, selling coffee with the organic label necessitates certification, unless annual sales amount to $5,000 or less. To qualify for USDA Organic labeling, coffee must be cultivated without synthetic substances, commonly found in fertilizers and pesticides, as well as GMOs. However, only 95% of the beans need to meet these criteria.

Note: It’s essential to understand that organic certification doesn’t inherently ensure ethical practices. Factors such as labor standards and environmentally sustainable growing conditions aren’t encompassed within the certification process.

Can the Organic Label Always Be Trusted?

The USDA rigorously upholds its standards, ensuring that all organic labeling is sanctioned by a certified agent. Violating these regulations can lead to hefty fines of up to $11,000 per violation.

However, international trade introduces complexities for the USDA. If you’re uncertain about the authenticity of an organic label, you’re not entirely at a loss. Conducting your own research is feasible if you’re skeptical.

The USDA’s national list of approved substances for organic farming serves as a valuable resource for inquiries. Additionally, you can reach out to the National Organic Program department of the USDA or directly contact the farm in question.

The Details of Organic Cultivation

Organic farming is commonly understood as a method that excludes synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. However, there are nuances globally regarding the duration of time land must remain free of chemicals for a crop to qualify as organic. Some countries stipulate a waiting period of 3 to 5 years to allow residues to dissipate from the soil, while others prioritize the treatment of the specific crop.

Contrary to popular belief, organic crops do receive fertilizers and pesticides, albeit of natural origin. To nurture crop health, organic plants are provided with a nutritional boost using natural fertilizers like chicken manure, coffee pulp, or compost.

Pest management poses a greater challenge. In modern coffee production, plants are often cultivated in open sunlight to maximize yield, rendering them susceptible to pests. Organic growers typically adhere to traditional methods, partially shading their plants. This practice fosters the flourishing of natural insect and bird populations, which prey on pests that threaten the crop.

Organic Processing Procedures

During processing, producers must exercise caution to prevent contamination of the beans, whether through wet or dry processing. This encompasses aspects such as the bags used by harvesters during picking and the sacks utilized for packing the processed beans.

Dry processing emerges as the simplest organic processing method. In contrast, wet processing, while effective, prolongs the process unless chemical additives are employed to expedite it. Additionally, wet processing consumes significant amounts of water, thereby impacting the environment, as does the disposal of resulting by-products.

Organic Roasting Practices

To qualify as organic, coffee must undergo roasting in equipment exclusively dedicated to organic beans. Using roasters previously employed for non-organic beans risks transferring chemical residues into the organic batch during roasting.

An organic roaster refrains from incorporating any chemicals or additives during the roasting process. Consequently, organic arabica beans emerge from the roasting process as pure and untainted as they entered.

Organic Decaffeination Methods

Three primary decaffeination techniques exist, but only the Swiss Water Process and Carbon Dioxide Process meet organic standards. On a positive note, these methods are hailed as the best for preserving flavor, ensuring that adhering to organic principles doesn’t compromise taste quality.

Advantages of Brewing with Organic Beans

Beyond being a trendy choice at the moment…

Organic Coffee Benefits the Environment

Coffee ranks among the most heavily sprayed crops globally, making organic cultivation immensely beneficial to the environment for several reasons:

Organic farming eliminates the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, safeguarding local flora and fauna, fostering biodiversity, and enhancing soil vitality.
The production of chemical pesticides and fertilizers consumes significant resources, thus minimizing their usage results in a smaller carbon footprint. Organic farms contribute to mitigating environmental impact.

The majority of organically grown coffee thrives in shaded environments. In contrast, sun-grown coffee necessitates deforestation, leading to habitat destruction for resident wildlife and soil nutrient depletion.It’s crucial to acknowledge that many farmers, especially those in impoverished regions, employ sustainable farming methods but lack the means to undergo organic certification. While an organic certification ensures environmentally friendly practices, the absence of such certification doesn’t necessarily imply the opposite. Therefore, conducting thorough research is worthwhile.

Is Organic Coffee Truly Healthier?

Best Organic Coffee Beans: Many individuals opt for organic coffee over conventional varieties due to perceived health benefits. But does organic coffee genuinely offer superior health advantages? To uncover the truth, I delved into scientific literature, seeking unbiased answers rather than those propagated by organic brands. Surprisingly, there’s a paucity of research on this topic.

One study revealed that non-organic coffee beans contained higher levels of nutrients like iron, copper, and zinc. However, it noted that these compounds were more effectively extracted from organic beans.

In 2020, another study indicated that organic coffee boasts higher antioxidant content, a finding attributed to healthier soil conditions in which organic coffee is cultivated. Nevertheless, the study emphasized that brewing method exerts a more substantial influence on antioxidant levels than the beans’ cultivation method.

Importantly, there’s no evidence suggesting that conventional coffee, post-processing and roasting, harbors chemical residues in quantities detrimental to human health.

That being said, there are no adverse health implications associated with brewing organic coffee at home. Moreover, you’ll derive mental satisfaction from contributing to environmental well-being!

The Final Word

Best Organic Coffee: Organic coffee was once a niche market, where chemical-free options commanded a premium. However, it has now become mainstream, with numerous coffee companies offering organic blends and single origins. While this shift is beneficial for the environment, it does pose a challenge in selecting the best beans.

To address this dilemma, I took on the noble task of sampling a plethora of organic coffees—a task I must confess, was hardly a burden. Among the brands, Lifeboost consistently stood out. Their array of organic, health-conscious coffees consistently delivered richness, flavor, and smoothness, with the Embolden Dark Roast emerging as a particular highlight.