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Organic Shade Grown Coffee
If you are looking for the best coffee, the best healthy organic coffee, you are probably looking for organic shade grown coffee. As the name implies, shade grown organic coffee is grown in the shade of a tree canopy. These habitats are commonly in a cloudy part of a mountain range. Coffee growers plant coffee where there are already trees or plant coffee along with a variety of shade trees. This sustainable agricultural practice results in high quality organic coffee. Birds nest in the shade trees which are the cornerstone of this healthy habitat. Many coffee farmers plant plantain or fruit trees along with their coffee. This practice provides shade for the coffee and a secondary crop or two to harvest. Look for USDA, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance certification when you want organic shade grown coffee. Unfortunately, there are many coffee farmers who simply harvest coffee that grows in the forest and sell locally because they cannot afford fees necessary to gain official USDA organic coffee certification of their product. The United States Department of Agriculture certifies organic shade grown coffee through its many offshore affiliates but the USDA does not help a small grower in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia or Ecuador to find buyers. On the other hand both UTZ and the Rainforest Alliance work with coffee farmers to help them market their products.