For us at Nature’s Path, a ‘better breakfast’ starts with being organic. But while you munch away on a tasty organic breakfast of say, pumpkin flax granola, have you considered the rest of your breafkast?
To find out why choosing organic coffee is important - and what else makes for a healthy, sustainable cup of coffee - we interviewed Mickey McLoed, Co-founder, President and CEO of Salt Spring Coffee.
With a vision to be the “leading edge of coffee in quality, sustainability…founded in people and the community”, we know they were the right people to tell us what to look for in our coffee cup.
For the full interview, and to learn even more about coffee, read below.
Q: What is it about a really good cup of coffee that you love?
It really starts with the origin of the coffee and how well it’s grown and processed in the country of origin, the roasting and the preparation. I really love the processs [of making coffee], it’s a ritual I’ve been doing for a long time. It’s kind of like making a good meal – the process of going to the market, and preparing the meal – for me it’s kind of the same with coffee.
Q: Why is it important to look for organic coffee?
Organic coffee is as important as organic food. It’s really about the effect it has on the environment – and on the farmers. Unfortunately in many coffee-growing regions, regulations aren’t as stringent as they might be in North America or Europe. It’s a bigger picture concerning the farmers and the environment.
Q: What’s the difference between buying whole beans – to grind at home, and using pre-ground coffee?
As soon as you roast the coffee bean it starts to break down. On our bags there’s a special valve that allows the gases to get out so that it stays fresh. As soon as you grind the coffee, more oxygen can get at it breaking it down even more. The closer you can grind it to brewing it – the better. Then you get the ultimate cup of coffee.
I think that people now understand why [to buy organic] - It’s not just a fad – it’s for good reason.
Q: What about decaf coffee? What’s important to look for when buying decaf?
Look for Swiss water press coffee. There will be a ‘swiss water press’ logo on the bag.
Q: How is ‘fair to farmer’ coffee different from conventional coffee?
Our Fair to Farmer program works to acknowledge and support coffee growers, farmers and communities. The program really ties together the important web of sustainability with people and the importance of organic.
Q: Why did you create Salt Spring Coffee?
It was for a love of coffee. I was introduced to better coffee early on in life, and I always had a sense of concern for people, the environment, and when we started investigating what goes into producing coffee, we realized that it touches the lives of so many people. It seemed like a good opportunity to spread the word about organic farming. It also fit the values that my wife and I have – we built a business around caring for people and the planet.
We interviewed Mickey at the Salt Spring Coffee roasting facility, where they have a huge world map - the size of a full wall. He showed us on the map where they source their beans from (Northern Sumatra, Rwanda, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru and more) saying: “it’s about relationships – they support us, we support them”.
That sounds like a good cup of coffee to us.