Shade-grown coffee: we bet you’ve seen that phrase before. But what does it actually mean? And why is it important?
The simple answer is that it’s coffee grown under the shade of other plants.
The more complex answer is that it can mean many things, since producers implement it in different ways. One farmer may plant their crops in an existing forest, while another may decide to plant specific trees next to their coffee crops, either to take advantage of the effect of the tree on the coffee or to sell the fruit those trees produce.
So why do this? And is it always a good idea? Well, this short and sweet video breaks down the pros and cons of using shade.
Looking for a little more detail on how it can affect your coffee? This video goes straight to Santander, Colombia, a district where shade is crucial.
Ultimately, when it comes to growing coffee, the whole ecosystem is important. There are many different ways to produce our favourite drink, but an important aspect of a farmer’s job is deciding how best to use and adapt the environment around them – and part of that is considering shade.
Feature photo credit: Colombian Coffee Hub
Please note: Perfect Daily Grind does not own the rights to these videos and cannot be held accountable for their content.