Going Beyond the Beans: Socially Responsible Coffee

This idea of social responsibility is an important one, but its best practices can be sometimes hard to navigate. To help, I have applied the idea to my favorite beverage – coffee. Below are 5 easy ways to start socially responsible coffee habits today.

Steps towards Socially Responsible Coffee

Group of Coffee Cups. Join the Socially Responsible Coffee Community
Join the Socially Responsible Coffee Community

Learn: What is Socially Responsible Coffee?

Socially responsible coffee is coffee that is either made, sold, or enjoyed with the greater good in mind. The goal is that the product in some way helps improve the social, economic, or environmental aspects of our world in some way. 

Take the brand Cafe Justica for example. I came across this brand on my own journey towards socially responsible coffee habits. This coffee brand is produced by a Guatemalan Cooperative. This cooperative is a group that small farmers can join, and sell their coffee under. Its establishment helps small farmers survive in the time of big-time coffee plantations. With such a great mission of helping others and an amazing product, they prove that responsibility can also be delicious!

Check out other socially responsible brands here.

Be: Brand Conscious

Some coffee brands go a bit further than others when it comes to being socially responsible. Some are organic, others label themselves as fairtrade while some do both. 

If you’re not sure what to look for, make sure the label on your coffee has these keywords: Fairtrade, Organic, Non-GMO.

Fairtrade, NonGMO Project and USDA Organic Symbols. All used on socially responsible products.
Responsible coffee symbols to look for

Use: Less waste

Whether you enjoy your coffee at home or on the go, there are many ways to reduce waste and still enjoy a great cup of coffee. If you make your coffee at home, try purchasing coffee pods that are not one-time-use plastic. Brands like Cuisinart now make reusable coffee filters and Keruig coffee makers can also be used with a reusable coffee pod.

Reusable Coffee Pod from Keurig, a socially responsible solution.
Reusable coffee pods cut down on waste

If you are drinking coffee on the go, try bringing along a reusable mug to your coffee shop. This will cut down on waste, and some stores will even give you a discount for bringing your own refillable cup.

Local coffee shop in Guatemala

Shop: Local

Local coffee shops are more likely to source sustainable coffee than big name brands. Plus, shopping locally also supports the community and the businesses around you.

You may think that neighborhood coffee stores only offer super-rich old fashioned coffee, but you can get mocha-cocoa-chia-chip-venti-latte, or whatever you may order from your favorite big-name coffee chain locally too. 

Visit a coffee farm in Central America

Go: Beyond the Beans

If you want to take your coffee consumption one step further, go see the coffee-making process for yourself. When you travel to destinations such as  Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala, you can take a coffee tour to enrich your local cultural experience. Seeing the process firsthand will help you gain a deeper understanding of coffee is grown, harvested, roasted, and packaged. For such a tiny little bean, the process of coffee making is actually really intensive! 

Socially Responsible Coffee Farm
Socially responsible coffee farm in Guatemala

It’s All About Balance

I can personally admit that the journey towards socially responsible habits is one that maybe a slow start, but that’s okay. The most important thing to remember is that even if you start small, you can still be a part of the bigger impact.

I myself started my socially responsible coffee journey just by picking up a reusable mug. Did I remember it without fail every time I went to the coffee shop? No way. However the longer I used it, the more it became a part of my routine.

Reusable coffee mug from Trouvaille

So even if you just pick one of these easy ways to start off your own journey, you are still making a difference!

~By Jordan Dunn, Marketing and Communications Intern at Go Eat Give. Jordan is a Public Relations and Communications Marketing Major at Siena College in Upstate NY. She has a passion for writing, traveling, and advocacy.

Tours that give back

EcoExperiencias is not just a tour operator in El Salvador. It is a family run tour company that has a mission to give back to the community it serves. Similar to our belief at Go Eat Give, EcoExperiencias thrives to show tourists the real aspects of the country, engage them with the local people, and not leave any impact on the environment.

Continue reading “Tours that give back”

El Salvadorian Pupusa

Pupusa is a traditional El Salvadorian dish made with a thick corn tortilla stuffed with fillings of pork (chicharrón) , mashed refried beans, cheese (queso), onions, mushrooms or chillies. The two most commonly found pupusas are the pupusa de queso (cheese) and more popular pupusa revuelta with mixed ingredients of cheese, beans, and chicharrón. Pupusas are served hot off the griddle with curtido, a pickled salad of shredded carrots, onion and cabbage, and homemade tomato sauce. Continue reading “El Salvadorian Pupusa”

Coffee getaway

If you are looking for cool air, warm sun, lush greenery and an insight to coffee making, El Carmen Estate in El Salvador offers you all that. Located in the Eastern part of the country known as Ilamatepec, the estate lies in the heart of a stunningly beautiful coffee forest, at 1300 meters above sea level. El Carmen is located on the banks of Concepcion de Ataco, in the district of Ahuachapán, which is close to Guatemala border. It was founded in 1930 by Mr. Agustin Alfaro Moran and has been maintained through four generations.  Continue reading “Coffee getaway”

The art and labor of making coffee

When you take that sip of fresh cup of coffee in the morning, do you ever stop to wonder where it came from? Sure, you may have bought a premium bag of Columbian or Sumatra roasts from your neighborhood grocery store or cafe, but do you know how coffee is grown and processed, the labor that is involved, or how it is treated? Continue reading “The art and labor of making coffee”