The Certified Organic label/descriptive term signifies that a coffee is grown without herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic chemical fertilizers. To guarantee this organic status the coffee is typically certified by the proper international agency and/or other third-party agency.
Benefits of Certified Organic Coffee
Due to the higher costs involved with organic certification of coffee, and also the lower yields, certified organic coffee usually costs more than non-certified (e.g., non-organic) coffee, though many consumers appreciate the benefits not only to their own health but also to the health of the coffee farmers and to the environment.
Certification of Organic Coffee
For coffee to be certified by the United States Department of Agriculture it must be grown using at least 95% organic fertilizers and without the use of chemical pesticides.
After three consecutive coffee crops are harvested the coffee farmer may request an inspection by a USDA-certified agency to certify the coffee farm and the coffee beans as USDA Certified Organic Coffee.
Certified Organic Coffee and Espresso Brewing Tips
For tips on brewing the perfect cup of Certified Organic coffee see our section on Coffee Brewing. You can also read detailed coffee flavor profiles of gourmet coffee and instructions on preparing Espresso Drink Recipes.