Discover the Shade-Grown Difference

So, what does it mean when your coffee is shade-grown? It means you made a better choice.

Shade-grown coffee

Sun-grown coffee

Better for the Environment:
When coffee is grown in the shade of the tree canopy, it helps protect an entire ecosystem. In addition, shade-grown farming practices help maintain fertile soil, providing habitat for wildlife living in the rain forest.

When coffee plants are grown in the sun, farmers use the practice of clear-cutting areas of the rain forest to make way for an easier and cheaper method of growing. This method may increase yield and productivity in the short term, but these intensive methods of agriculture ultimately lead to land degradation including soil depletion, loss of plant and animal biodiversity, and frequent landslides. When coffee is grown under the shade of trees — the traditional way of growing coffee — the land becomes rich in nutrients and moisture (which the coffee plants love), the soil is more stable, and the coffee production practices are sustainable. Our coffee helps protect and preserve forests by creating economic incentive. We make the land more valuable with trees than without — ensuring that in the long-term, trees will prevail.

Better for People:
When you purchase Arbor Day Coffee, you are helping to positively change the lives of the coffee farmers and their families who call the rain forest home. We are serious about our commitment to the farms from which we source our coffee, paying fair trade prices to farmers. We believe this is the right thing to do. When farmers are free to farm their land with the shade-grown practices they have used for generations — while keeping the farms in their families — it is good for the farmers, their families, and the communities in which they live.

Better Cup of Coffee:
Arbor Day Coffee is grown under the shade of the tree canopy, resulting in a superior tasting coffee. The natural nutrients from the forest, the higher elevation at which our coffee is grown (1,400–1,600 meters), and the shade protection from the trees all combine to create coffee beans that are richer and fuller in flavor than sun-grown coffee beans.

Sign up for the Arbor Day Coffee Newsletter to receive updates, special offers, and stories from the rain forest.