There are however many different types of coffee crops that grow under different conditions and which use different procedures of harvesting. Thus one can think of two different types of coffee that include the shade grown or organic coffee and the traditional coffee that is grown in direct sunlight.
These two different types of coffees are completely opposite as far as their production methods are concerned. There was a time when coffee was only grown in the shade and it was much like the present day organic coffee that we drink today. Coffee, when grown beneath trees means that the trees provide a home to birds and thus are a way of controlling pests.It is not usual for most kinds of coffee to grow properly under direct sunlight and grow at their best when under shade. Shade grown coffee or organic coffee are used to benefiting from the falling of leaves that are instrumental in mulching the soil and helping in retaining moisture.
About thirty five years ago there was very little if any fertilizer or pesticides used and thus organic coffee was synonymous with healthy production. Then, in the nineteen seventies a number of new varieties of coffee began to appear and new farming methods of producing coffee became known which meant production of more coffee beans, slower rate of harvesting and also use of direct sunlight to grow the crops. Ultimately, the growing of non-organic coffee meant that farmers began to cut down on trees so that they could make plantation rows and in the United States alone it meant almost two million acres of land being dedicated to both organic as well as non-organic coffee growth. Only those farmers that were too poor to use fertilizers as well as pesticides continued producing organic coffee.
There is little doubt that organic coffee does cost somewhat more, but the transition from organic to the ‘sun coffee’ has also meant that the environment has to be sacrificed. With erosion of soil and the depletion of nutrients, more chemical fertilizers are being sprayed into the ground and there has also been the removal of rainforest land just so that non-organic coffee can be grown. This has led to just a few countries remaining that are still producing organic coffee and these countries include Ethiopia, Panama, El Salvador and Mexico. The bigger producers of coffee such as Costa Rica and Brazil are now producing sun coffee.
In the end, organic coffee does mean a leave a better and cleaner environment that does produce a better coffee as far as health and a clean environment are concerned.