Brew Organic exists to help you discover the best organic brands and sustainable food & drink.
Each of us have a part to play in preserving the environment for future generations - the stuff we use, what we eat and drink - it's more than just a cup of coffee!
Nowadays we think before we buy anything, especially what we eat and drink.. At the very least we wonder what is in it, whether it is good for us or not, how it is grown or made and how many miles it has travelled to get to our home. Don’t get me wrong, most of us are not obsessive about the details of all these things, but there is no doubt that over recent years, we have become so much better informed about what we are buying and eating or drinking. All this information has made us smarter and more empowered consumers and has changed the shopping behaviour in many different ways.
Science in all its guises has improved our understanding of the environment and the impact on it of the food and drink we consume. We know global warming is real threat to humanity and the sustainability of sources of food and drink drive the urgency to do something about it for the future of our children and of the planet.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that now we all ask more questions about the stuff we use, what we eat and what we drink. We are much more sophisticated, empowered and responsible consumers, who avoid certain things and buy/eat/drink others, depending on the answers to those questions. We are more demanding of growers, producers and ourselves.
Water is the only drink that sneaks ahead of coffee and tea on the popularity front. Millions across the globe drink and enjoy tea and coffee every day. They even have their own local customs around how they are served - such as passing the teapot in a certain way in China. We each have a favourite, but whether it is tea or coffee, the good news is that both stood up well to the questions we asked.
Vegan, Vegetarian or neither, we can all brew organic coffee and tea. We can enjoy our brew of choice, safe in the knowledge that that it has been responsibly farmed and farmers have been able to negotiate a fair price for their crop. Thanks to using sustainable and environmental friendly farming methods, we should be able to continue to enjoy these drinks in the future. We have choices. We can choose a brand with farming methods in line with our personal philosophy, whatever that is.
Of course more can be done and we should not be complacent. Not all coffee and tea brands have a tick in the box for all these things, but the brands that do are readily available and are backed by certification. As more of us seem to be looking for environmentally friendly products and brands, more brands will come on board. So we seem to be on the right track.
One of the big concerns about coffee and tea, is that there long and complex supply chain will result in very high carbon footprints. Having looked at the figures, we find that transport, does not contribute quite as much as we thought. On the other hand, how we consume our coffee makes a much bigger impact than we could have imagined. If we consume our coffee in a cafe for example, this adds the same amount of carbon emissions as the previous stages combined. Before we press the panic button, bear in mind that this is still not as high as some other products we consume, and when you look at the footprint for each cup of black coffee we consume, four cups a day will add up to the same in a year as a 40 mile drive. So not too bad. Tea probably sneaks ahead of coffee in terms of carbon footprint, but by how much is a moot point.
Overall then, tea and coffee are not the worst products we could drink in terms of their carbon footprint and environmental impact. We can’t be too smug though as there is still work to be done, particularly on parts of the supply chain, but we too have choices to reduce some of the impact in the areas we can control.
Another shock is how much of an impact boiling more water than we need or adding milk to our favourite brews make to their carbon footprints. Milk in particular ratchets up the carbon emissions. The good news is that if we are concerned about this, we can choose to do something about it. After all Vegan’s whose diet is the lowest in terms of carbon emissions, do not drink milk. They take their coffee and tea black or use substitutes.
Our coffee and tea machines are not the worst devices we have in our kitchen and home brews are probably more environmentally friendly than drinking in a cafe. A big plus for tea and coffee is that we can choose to recycle the used grounds. Indeed there are positive benefits to our plants if we do - and you don’t get more organic than that.
So enjoy your favourite morning brew. Whether you choose to brew organic, or brew the most environmentally friendly option, or if you just simply love the taste. It is up to you to choose.
Founder, Brew Organic