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The Best Organic Whole Bean Coffee Brands

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 5/24/2011

Organic coffee is much better for the Earth than conventionally grown coffee. However, it can be rather expensive. Find out what organic whole bean coffee brands are the best before you spend your hard-earned money.

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    Facts about Organic and Fair Trade Coffee

    Organic coffee is coffee that has been grown without any artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Organic coffee is often much more expensive than conventionally grown coffee. There are also organic coffee brands that are about the same price or less than ordinary coffee. Paying a higher price for organic coffee doesn't guarantee that you'll get a superior product. Some of the least expensive brands of organically grown whole bean coffee are the best in terms of taste and aroma. Organic coffee can be purchased in bags and in bulk. It's also more likely than conventionally grown coffee to be Fair Trade. Buying Fair Trade coffee ensures that coffee manufacturers get a fair price for their product and helps to provide assistance to small coffee farmers.

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    Marques de Paiva Organic Whole Bean Coffee

    Marques de Paiva sells a medium roast whole bean organic coffee. This organic coffee, grown in Brazil, comes in 10 oz and 40 oz sizes. There is also a decaffeinated organic coffee which comes in the 40 oz size. Marques de Paiva organic coffee is packaged in silver bags which protect the flavor of the coffee beans. The flavor of this organic coffee is very complex. This mild organic coffee retains its flavor even when diluted with milk or cream. Even though it's quite inexpensive, Marques de Paiva organic coffee can compete against much pricier brands. One of the best things about Mareques de Paiva organic coffee is that it's available at stores such as Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.

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    Whole Foods Organic Whole Bean Coffee

    Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value organic whole bean coffee is an incredible bargain. The only disadvantage about this organic coffee is that it comes in a transparent bag, which doesn't protect the coffee as well as a foil bag. Whole Foods also features Allegro Coffee Company organic coffee, which comes in Breakfast Blend and Espresso Sierra varieties. If you like your coffee black the Breakfast Blend organic coffee is your best bet. Organic Espresso Sierra coffee is best if you're making a latte or cappuccino. Allegro Coffee is a licensed, certified Fair Trade roaster. Whole Foods markets these coffees with its Whole Trade Guarantee, which assures that producers get more money for their products, helps to provide better wages for workers and promotes sound environmental practices.

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    Starbucks Organic Whole Bean Coffee

    Starbucks brand organic coffee comes in two varieties. Serena Organic Blend coffee is a medium roast coffee blended from Latin American and East African coffee beans. Organic Shade Grown Mexico coffee is a medium roast coffee produced by Chiapas farmers near the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve in southern Mexico. Organic Shade Grown Mexico coffee is a light, mild coffee whereas Serena Organic Blend coffee has a bolder, more complex flavor. Both varieties of Starbucks organic coffee come in 1 pound bags and are available for purchase in grocery stores, certain Starbucks locations and online. Starbucks organic coffee is somewhat more expensive than other brands. Starbucks organic coffees are not specifically Fair Trade Certified. However, Starbucks is one of the largest buyers of Fair Trade Certified coffee overall. The company has been purchasing Fair Trade Certified coffee since 2000, and in 2008 they expanded their program to support small coffee farmers.

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    Tips for Brewing Organic Whole Bean Coffee

    When you're brewing organic whole bean coffee, it's best to always grind the coffee beans immediately before brewing them. If possible, use a mill grinder, which creates more evenly sized coffee grounds. When you're finished grinding the organic coffee beans, wrap them up securely in the bag, pushing out any excess air, to prevent them from losing flavor. Also, make sure that your coffee pot is clean. For best results, rinse the coffee pot and filter holder with hot water prior to brewing the organic coffee. Always use filtered or distilled water to brew organic coffee. Use 1 or 2 tablespoons of organic coffee grounds for each 6 ounces of water. Use a natural, unbleached coffee filter. Drink the organic coffee as soon as possible after brewing. Use organic milk, cream or sugar if possible. Never rebrew or reheat organic coffee.

    These are just a few of the best organic whole bean coffee brands and varieties that are currently available on the market. For more information about certified organic coffees, visit the Organic Trade Association website.

    Sources:

    "Fair Trade Coffee" http://www.globalexchange.org/economy/coffee

    "Starbucks and Fair Trade: Fair prices, a better quality of life." http://www.starbucks.com/sharedplanet/ethicalInternal.aspx?story=fairTrade