Smithsonian Certified Shade Grown Coffee

Juice 'n JavaSmithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC), shade grown organic coffee certification is held by our Triple Certified organic coffee products. Smithsonian certified shade grown organic coffee is certified to be organically and shade grown under conditions that are ecologically sustainable for migratory birds and their habitat.


Bird Friendly, Shade grown coffee is simply the best tasting coffee because it is grown using traditional Arabica bean rootstock. It is grown without chemical herbicides, pesticides, artificial fertilizers or with minimal inputs. These chemicals are largely unnecessary because shade grown organic coffee is sustainable coffee. The tremendous biodiversity of the coffee plantation provides an environment where the use of these harmful products are not needed. The biodiversity of the plantation provides the nutrients and natural pest controls needed by the coffee trees. Shade grown organic coffee produces fewer cherries and ripens slower than “sun technified coffee”. This allows a concentration of nutrients in shade coffee relative to sun technified coffee.


We, at juice ‘n java, offer several Double Certified and Specialty Conventional varieties of Nonsmithsonian Certified Shade Grown coffees. The lack of a Shade Grown certification could be for several reasons. Farms which cannot devote time and money to achieve a Shade Grown certified status do not diminish their coffee’s quality. Many of the farms we get coffee from are Shade Grown qualified but lack the resources to secure certification.


Shade grown coffee plantations provide habitat for over 150 species of North American Songbirds. They also provide a diversified economic basis for small family farmers. Shade grown coffee provides the best possible scenario for a sustainable coffee future.


Sun technified coffee plantations are, by comparison, “a biological desert”. Sun technified coffee plantations using hybrid commercial rootstocks, herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers are extremely exploitive of the environment and the people who live and work in and around the plantations.


For more information about shade grown coffee including photos and growing conditions, please visit Sustainable Harvest or Coffee & Cuisine.



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