Update: Better Coffee Beans, Better Coconut

by Claudius J West

Cup of coffee beansThis morning, I had my first cup of the right kind of coffee: wet-milled, shade-grown, bird-friendly, fair-trade, organic beans “grown on the eastern slopes of the Northern Andean Forest.”

Birds & Beans, the seller of the beans, promise they won’t roast the beans more than three days before shipping them. I don’t know if that makes them better tasting, but I like the way they operate.

When it comes to coffee, I’m a neophytic nincompoop, but even I can tell there is something special about these beans. They smell strangely good, even before grinding them. And they are shiny and glossy, something I’ve never seen before—is it their magical aura I’m seeing?

As for the taste, I’d say this is the closest I’ve come to actually enjoying the taste of coffee. But then, I do something strange to my coffee that modifies the taste, for good or ill I’m not sure, which is to add a few tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil.

Why the coconut oil?

Since reading Bruce Fife’s The Coconut Oil Miracle a few years ago, I have been a staunch fan of coconut oil. Along with olive oil, coconut oil is the best skin moisturizer I know of. As a sexual lubricant, it reigns supreme, although it should not be used with latex condoms as it tends to dissolve the condom.

I am currently ingesting 3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in my morning coffee. If that sounds unappetizing to you, perhaps it would help to think of the coconut as a different kind of cream. After all, cream is fatty acid; coconut oil is a fatty acid.

There are copious claims for the beneficial powers of coconut oil that I won’t be getting into, just now. Suffice it to say, the claim that interests me most is that eating 3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil daily can help shed unwanted body fat. I’ll let you know how that works out.

Birds and beans logo adustedBack to the beans.

Here’s something I didn’t know until I read the back of the Birds & Beans bag:

“Every year many birds we know and love that spend summers in North America fly all the way to Latin America only to find winter habitats destroyed by sun-grown coffee farming. This is devastating to their ecosystem and threatens their very survival.”

With “bird friendly” coffee you are “supporting farm families who grow their coffee organically under rustic shade canopy, ensuring that the birds of North America don’t disappear.”

Not all coffee that is labeled “shade grown” is the “rustic canopy” type that the birds need. Just like you’d expect, sellers game the system to gain the “shade grown” label so that you are deceived into thinking you’re getting a premium product and helping the birds. That’s why you should look for the Bird Friendly seal of certification from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. Hey, it’s the Smithsonian—if you gotta trust somebody, they seem like the right organization to trust. They apply standards the farmers have to meet before they qualify for the Bird Friendly seal.


Whatever brand you buy, this is the seal you want on it.

Sure, it costs more than grocery store coffee (about $6 a pound), but that’s a lot less than many Starbuck offerings.

Since I’m buying the premium stuff anyway, it doesn’t cost me a penny more to get the coffee with the Bird Friendly seal on it. I believe that doing so realie-o, trulio-o helps save birds.

(If you’d like to see a minimum of twenty-seven migratory birds that will be affected by your coffee purchase, go to this Birds & Beans webpage.)





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