19 Sep Why Organic Coffee? PLUS 5 Ways to Recycle Your Used Grounds
“COFFEE IS LIKE A HUG IN A MUG.”
There’s two things I can’t imagine starting my day without: one is brushing my teeth, and the other is COFFEE!
The aroma, the taste, the daily ritual of sipping my way though emails, and, of course, the perky side effects are just a few of the reasons coffee makes an appearance daily in my life. As a seasoned coffee drinker for at least 20 years now, something I’ll never sacrifice is the flavor and the quality of the bean I choose.
Organic blends are a must for me, and I’ll share in the upcoming paragraphs as to why. I’ve teamed up with Whole Foods Miami and their premier coffee brand, Allegro Coffee, to shed some light on why to select organic brews, the importance of quality processing in coffee beans, and as a bonus, sharing five ways to recycle your used coffee grounds to give them a greater use beyond sipping the last drop.
THE RISE OF ORGANIC COFFEE: FROM GREATER FLAVOR TO ENVIRONMENTAL + HEALTH FACTORS
Tomato. To-mah-to. Organic beans. Regular brew. There’s not much of a difference, right? Think again!
Coffee is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world, with over 12 billion pounds of coffee produced annually, according to the Equal Exchange. For many of us, what defines a coffee is based on it’s origin and strength in flavor, ranging from light to dark roast. But, actually, one of the biggest differences is actually what happens before those little beans are even sprouted.
Like many of our genetically modified fruits and vegetables out there in the market, the same has happened with our coffee bean. With the increased demand for more coffee (and faster growth cycles to increase profit margins for companies), there’s only one way to do that—and it isn’t on mother nature’s clock!
Instead, conventional coffee receives high doses of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides, leaving you with a highly process and chemically treated cup of sludge. In turn, those chemicals also pollute the farmer’s lands, and destroy our environment, letting out additional harsh chemicals feeding in the already evident climate change.
In addition to environmental damage, congenitally grown coffee need high levels of sun in order to grow. To do so, many forests are cut down to reduce shade around areas where coffee beans are grown, further destroying out natural ecosystem. Instead, organically grown coffee plants do better in the shade, which means less cutting down of our forests and more about keeping our planet green, earthy and breathing.
WHOLE FOODS PARTNER, ALLEGRO COFFEE’S APPROACH
Quality is a priority, and Allegro Coffee aims to source a variety of beans, along with the highest level of standards. Not only are all of Allegro’s blends organic (see reasons above why it’s the only kind of bean I’ll ever brew), but they also know the importance of developing a quality relationship with its farmers they sources their beans from.
If you haven’t heard of Fair Trade, it’s something to take note of. Think of a time you felt underpaid for a job. Did you really want to give it your best effort? Well, same goes in all workforces, included the coffee business. When farmers and field workers feel fairly compensated, there’s a lot more love that goes in to the harvesting of your soon-to-be-in-a-coffee-cup beans. Whole Foods and Allegro Coffee actively donate money to enable communities to thrive, stay healthy, foster education and be able to continue to provide sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.
Whole Foods acquired Allegro Coffee back in 1996, with the intention to offer it’s customer (read: ME!) the absolute best when it comes to coffee. And, I agree! My home brew of choice? Allegro Columbia Blend, and I’m also a big fan of their Costa Rica brew as well.
BEYOND THE COFFEE CUP: 5 WAYS TO RECYCLE YOUR USED GROUNDS
Now that you know the in’s and out’s of the best coffee you can purchase, here’s a few ways you can recycle those coffee grounds and get a second use to share the buzz:
1. Fertilize Acid-Loving Plants
Just like coffee “perks” you up in the morning, it can also perk up your plants too! Mix your old grounds with grass clippings, brown leaves, or dry straw for outside plants, or mix within the soils of your indoor plants to give a natural fertilizing boost. Used coffee grounds add nitrogen and potassium to the soil as well as a boost of magnesium, which all plants need to stay healthy. With the proper add of water and sunshine, you’re home garden will be flourishing!
2. Rejuvenating Facial Mask
An alternative to the more expensive chemical peels and skin exfoliators. Remember coffee has acids, right? Just as it works as a body scrub (see below), coffee makes an excellent gentle acidic facial to peel off dead layers of skin. Mix two tablespoons of used coffee grounds with an equal amount of avocado or plain greek yogurt. Add one tablespoon of honey and mix it all together, applying for 10-15 minutes, for the perfect all-natural, antioxidant facial.
3. Exfoliating Body Scrub
This one’s one of my favorite at-home recipes to make! Add used grounds to a bit of warm water or your favorite all-natural oil (I typically grab for coconut oil, which I always have around the house, or aloe lotion for nourishing dry skin). Then, scrub your skin from head to toe, removing dead skin cells.
4. Natural Abrasive
Scrub away stuck-on food from counters or dishes in the kitchen, and even mold or grime in the bathrooms. Coffee grounds aren’t as harsh (or toxic) as other household chemicals, such as bleach. To note: make sure the grounds aren’t being used on white counters or grout, as it will stain the coloring!
5. Cellulite Treatment
The cause of cellulite has many different origins, including poor diet, frequent periods of sitting, smoking, or genetic predisposition; however, your used coffee grounds can help reverse that! Use a simple mix of used coffee grounds and warm water. If you live in a cooler, dryer climate, add a tbsp of olive or coconut oil to the mix for added moisture. Use this scrub for ten minutes twice per week on any areas affected by cellulite, and look for results within a four week period with regular use.
BONUS SAVINGS BUZZ!
September 22-24, 2017, there’s a Buy 1, Get 1 FREE on all Allegro Brand Bags of Coffee at your local Whole Foods Market.
MORE: Save the Date, 9/29 celebrating National Coffee Day! Fill up with $1 cup all day at all Whole Foods Markets, with proceeds benefitting their Whole Planet Foundation.