Commercial grade coffee is the most commonly used grade of coffee worldwide. In fact, up to 95% of the world’s coffee production is still commercial grade.
In this article we’ll share the reasons why choosing to drink commercial grade coffee can be dangerous for your health and the environment.
First up, it’s good to understand exactly what we mean by ‘commercial grade’ to really understand the benefits of choosing alternative options to brighten up your morning brew.
Commercial grade coffee is coffee produced for ‘mass production’. A good example is Instant coffee, which accounts for approximately 25% of all retail brewed coffee consumed worldwide.
It first gained popularity in World War 1 as part of soldier’s rations. Understandably, a great energy enhancing low-cost product to keep the soldier’s morale high (literally).
What are the Downsides to Commercial grade coffee?
1. You don’t know what you are drinking
It’s important to understand the traceability of a product. Why? Because knowing what you are adding to your body is really important for your health.
2. Farmer Welfare
Slave labour is rife among commodity grade coffee farmers. Without organic or speciality coffee supporting a minimum wage. It’s unfortunately profitable over people when it comes to commercial grade coffee.
3. Robusta / Flavour
Using low quality product returns low quality coffee. Most Commercial grade coffee uses the lower grade of coffee called Robusta. It’s easier to harvest using machinery which is why it’s used so widely. If you take a sip of a coffee and it appears to be bitter or poor flavour, there’s a good chance it’s commercial grade Robusta coffee.
4. Your Health
We cover the health dangers of commercial grade coffee further in this article but, it can really impact your health if you don’t take the coffee you drink seriously. Poor farming methods, unnatural treatments and poor storage can all have an impact on your health for the long term.
Why is commercial grade coffee bad for my health?
Unfortunately, there are some dangerous side effects to drinking commercial grade coffee. Many of which get brushed under the carpet and are not commonly discussed. As people become more health conscious in 2021 and beyond, we felt it was important to share these points.
Because the sole driver behind commercial grade coffee is money. Companies will do whatever they can to ensure production volumes are always rising or maintaining. With a natural seasonal product this isn’t always achievable. So the solution they take is to spray the crops with pesticides to avoid things like insect damage to plants.
The issue with this is that pesticides are said to have carcinogenic properties promoting diseases like cancer.
What coffee should I be drinking then?
Drinking healthy coffee is an important factor to consider. There are two main alternatives to buying commercial grade coffee which have a positive impact for a number of reasons which we’ll cover.
Organic Coffee – the definition of organic coffee means it’s produced without the aid of artificial chemicals or substances. For example, additives, pesticides or herbicides. There are many negative side effects to things like pesticides which we outline below.
Speciality Coffee – is the term given to the highest grade of coffee available. Typically presented as a single origin or single estate to showcase the individual characteristics of that coffee’s profile. In recent years, it’s earned its own term which encapsulates both quality and ethical sourcing.
Compared to organic coffee, this grade of coffee is based of a point scoring system and a coffee can only be categorised as speciality when it scores above 80+ in a tasting review. Speciality coffee therefore incurs a greater raw cost for the product.
What’s the difference between speciality grade and organic?
These two coffee terms communicate that you are drinking quality coffee sourced from the top 5% of coffee farms worldwide. How? Well, coffee purchased from either of these sources means the coffee roaster or buyer means they’ve paid a fair and ethical price for the green coffee.
There are plenty of places to buy speciality organic coffee online. You can choose from various roasters to find the best coffee in the UK. Just make sure you look out for speciality grade or organic coffee to make sure you’re drinking coffee that has been sourced correctly like the methods we discuss In this article.
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