If you’re a bird lover, and you’re in the market for a type of coffee that doesn’t harm important migratory bird habitats, you come across a lot of labels and terms. There’s the Organic label, shade grown, and Bird Friendly among others.
All of these classifications regulate important factors that impact the habitats of migratory birds, but the Bird Friendly label has the very highest standards. In my opinion, it’s the very best sort of coffee you can buy from a bird conservation standpoint.
If you’re interested in learning more about shade-grown coffee, and the importance of the Bird Friendly label, check out my article, What’s the Difference? Shade Grown Coffee vs. Bird Friendly Coffee. It’s pretty short, so go ahead and give it a read if you want more information.
This article is about some of the best Bird Friendly coffee you can order online, so, for now, I’m going to get right into it! All of the following coffee recommendations are certified Bird Friendly.
This first one is for those of you who prefer your coffee in single serving capsules. It’s not what I normally use though, so the rest of this article is focused on bags of coffee.
One of the coolest things about these little coffee pods is that they’re apparently compostable! I know quite a few people are becoming concerned with the use of single-purpose plastics and the harmful effect that they have on the environment, and single-use coffee pods are a prime offender.
This product almost completely negates that problem, the bag itself isn’t compostable, but each single-use coffee pod is. The downside is that you won’t be able to compost it in a home compost pile, the pod requires the temperatures that commercial compost piles reach in order to degrade. If you throw the pods in the trash, they will degrade over time on their own, unlike plastic pods.
The pods are compatible with OriginalLine Nespresso machines, but not VertuoLine machines. As for the flavor, most of the reviews were very positive, saying that the coffee had great flavor and tasted even better than standard Nespresso pods.
Things to Watch Out For
These pods did have a few mixed reviews. Some people found that the pods didn’t fit exactly tight in their machines and they had to fiddle with it a bit to get it to work. A few people couldn’t get it to work in their machines at all.
A few people were unhappy with the flavor, but I feel like that’s a pretty subjective criticism so take it with a grain of salt.
Overall, the majority of the reviews for the Cap’Mundo pods were very positive, although there were a few more negative reviews for this product than there are in most of the products I recommend, That’s why it’s at the bottom of the list!
It does seem like a great bird-friendly choice if you regularly use coffee pods!
My next pick is for those of you brave souls who prefer your coffee decaffeinated. We have here a lovely organic, bird-friendly Peruvian decaf coffee with subtle notes of almond, sweet cream, and chocolate. If you’ve resigned yourself to decaf coffees that have a thin, one-dimensional flavor, then I think you’re going to be blown away by this coffee!
Many reviewers claimed that the flavor was so complex and rich that you’d never guess it was decaf. A few people even raved about the wonderful smell of the coffee before they even opened the package.
This particular coffee comes in a medium roast, so there shouldn’t be much bitterness. You can buy this one in a 12oz, 2lb, or 5lb bag and it’s available in whole bean as well as pre-ground.
Things to Watch Out For.
With this one there isn’t too much to watch out for, there were only four negative reviews on Amazon and they were all because the reviewers didn’t like the taste. With coffee or any consumable really, taste is always going to be subjective.
This coffee won’t be for everyone, but I do think that this brand, Fresh Roasted Coffee, is one of the best Bird Friendly brands you’ll find for decaf coffee anywhere. If you don’t like Peruvian coffee, this brand also carries decaf Mexican coffee that’s certified organic but doesn’t carry a Bird Safe label.
This brand is a little bit of a wild card because it doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon! Normally I tend to steer clear of recommending a product that doesn’t have very many reviews. I do this because I ‘m trying to maintain a relatively objective stance when I review a product.
Just because I like something, or just because one reviewer absolutely hated something, doesn’t mean that people on average will have the same reaction. Taste is something that’s so extremely subjective that it’s impossible to find one thing that everyone likes. As people, we’re just too diverse, so we have to take a risk sometimes and try new things. After all, how will you know if you never try?
That’s sort of the philosophy I decided to take when it comes to Thanksgiving Coffee’s Songbird Nicaraguan blend. As far as customer reviews go, I have a handful of people claiming that SongBird was the smoothest, most delicious coffee they’ve ever tasted. Even though that’s an extremely small sample size, the rave reviews are certainly enough to get me interested.
In a case like this, when I’m lacking very many customer reviews, I’ll turn toward professional reviews. Usually, I find that professional reviews tend to be more critical on average than a consumer review. That made it a present surprise to find that most professional coffee reviewers absolutely love SongBird coffee!
All the professional reviews I found couldn’t stop going on about the complex layers of flavor, the satiny mouthfeel, and the sweet finish. Even if you’re not the sort of person who likes to go into the tasting notes of your coffee, that’s bound to be an amazing coffee experience.
So, on the backs of these positive reviews, I feel comfortable urging you to give it a try. It’s pretty cost-effective too, so taking a chance on this coffee certainly won’t break the bank!
Things to watch out for.
Like I said earlier, due to the lack of customer reviews, I can’t really give you much to watch out for with this coffee. It’s a little bit of a gamble, but if you do give SongBird coffee a try, please come back to this article and leave a comment letting us know how you liked it. Help the rest of us be more informed consumers in the future!
1. Java Planet
Java Planet is my personal choice for the best ever Bird-Friendly certified, shade-grown, organic, whole-bean Arabica coffee. The coffee is handpicked and roosted in small batches so that the beans can be closely monitored for quality control purposes, and believe me, that attention to detail really pays off!
While the SongBird coffee from the previous entry boasted a smooth, sweet finish, Java planet tends toward the nutty with hints of rich dark chocolate. It’s the flavor that I personally prefer in my coffee, dark and complex.
While I was reviewing Java Planet coffee I came across a claim that I hadn’t come across very often, and that was that Java Planet coffee was low-acidity and less likely than your average coffee to cause heartburn and acid reflux. I dug a little bit deeper into the reviews and although I have two Java Planet coffees to recommend to you, only one stands out as the best if you’re looking for a low acid coffee.
The Columbian coffee, which you can find right here, is the choice for you if you’re looking for a darker coffee with a little bit more of a bite to it. But if you’re looking for a coffee that’s less likely to give you heartburn, then I’d definitely recommend the smoother, more lightly roasted Guatemalan coffee, which you can find right here.
Things to watch out for.
Although the Colombian is defiantly the more darkly roasted of the two, there were a few people (5 out of 140) who found even the Guatemalan to be too darkly roasted for them. This is where peoples’ individual tastes come into play. There is never going to be a perfect coffee for everyone, and part of the joy of coffee is trying new varieties and discovering your own preferences.
One reviewer mentioned that the quality of the coffee was inconsistent, and that was probably true. One of the hazards, and one of the beauties, of sustainably produced coffee, is that no two batches will ever be the same.
This isn’t coffee grown on a huge monoculture coffee plantation that destroys the native habitats of birds. It’s not packaged in a large industrial factory, mixed and processed to the point that every package is a testament to homogenized blandness.
The beauty of this coffee is that no two packages will ever be the same. Each new batch is an adventure into the thousands of variables that went into making this coffee a unique experience. Was it particularly rainy that year? Was that particular patch of soil near berry bush, or a nut tree?
These things and a hundred others go into making each cup of Java Planet a unique experience, and for me, that’s worth it every time.
These coffees come from different areas. They have different flavor profiles and characteristics, but they share one very important thing in common. These coffees follow a rigorous set of standards to provide a high-quality product that doesn’t come at the expense of migratory birds.
Extinction events among birds are only rising. Historically birds who live exclusively on islands were in the most danger of extinction, generally to invasive species that destroyed native wildlife. Now, deforestation is becoming the most pressing danger to bird species, especially in the climates that coffee grows best in.
There are more reasons to choose Bird-Friendly, shade-grown coffee, and if you’d like to learn more please read this article right here.
Have you already tried shade-grown or bird-friendly coffee? Let me know how you liked it down in the commets!