Coffee 101: Shade Grown Coffee

Everything you need to know about quality grown coffee

You may be an avid coffee drinker, but did you know that there are different ways to grow coffee? For example, Shade Grown coffee is one of the more environmental forms of coffee farming.

Before working here, I loved coffee. I had my first coffee drink when I was a freshman in college.

Man I was hooked!

Later on, my caffeine tolerance would increase but my bank account didn’t. So I would try to brew my own coffee and espresso at home. It never was the same. I just didn’t know how to brew it correctly. But that’s a story for another time!

Remember life before Google and Siri?!

Then, I became a coffee snob the longer I lived in Long Beach because coffee shops there are these indie little hubs. After a few years, I became familiar with the terms “fair traded” and “organic.” I tried to be a conscious consumer.

Not once did I come across the words “Shade Grown coffee” until working at San Francisco Bay Coffee Company.

Let me just tell you, it is pretty cool.

If you had been to our website you may have noticed a little icon with the words “Shade Grown Coffee.” The majority of our coffee is shade grown and 100% Arabica, a word you might be familiar with if you’re an avid coffee consumer.

There are two main varieties of shade grown coffee: Arabica and Robusta species.

Robusta coffee is often used in larger coffee companies to mix with Arabica. Robusta is easier to grow at lower elevations, but the taste is poor.  Our coffee is grown at high altitude, tropical climate, and volcanic soil.

Easy to enough, right? Also, Arabica trees require moderate rainfall and partial sunlight.

This explains why Kona makes for the ideal location and environment for growing coffee trees.

Instead of planting our coffee trees on clear-cut land in the full sun, we plant our trees along forest canopy of native trees producing less soil erosion and depletion of nutrients. This provides the trees with better nutrition, therefore, better flavor and quality overall.

Shade grown trees yield fewer beans due to the limited sun exposure. Most importantly, this combination creates healthier soil, protecting native plants and animals, therefore, helping out the environment.

Here at SFBC Headquarters, we want to provide a cup of coffee that is: better for the environment, better for your wallet, and better tasting.

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