FAQ

 

What is Triple Certified Organic Coffee?
Triple Certified Organic Coffee comprises three certification levels: Certified Organic, Certified Fair Trade, and Smithsonian Shade Grown “Bird-Friendly”®. 

Certified USDA Organic: Coffee is grown and processed in accordance with the USDA organic standards that do not allow the use of harmful pesticides, herbicides, or artificial fertilizers. Independent inspection & certification tracks the coffee from farm to consumer.

Certified Fair Trade: In certified Fair Trade the small independent family farmer is organized into democratically run cooperatives. Independent certification guarantees a fair price for the coffee regardless of market conditions (high or low market). Child labor is not allowed and women are paid equal to men doing the same labor. The model encourages direct relationships between the farmer and the roaster.

Certified Smithsonian Shade Grown “Bird-Friendly”®: Transactional transparency is managed through the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and local organic inspectors.  100% of coffee must meet rigorous biological biodiversity standards set by Smithsonian to maximize for bird habitat. The farmer is paid a premium to maintain forest like conditions on the farm. This certification directly links the consumer to the farmer.

How should I store my coffee?
Store your coffee in a cool dry place rather than the freezer or refrigerator. There is water vapor in the atmosphere surrounding your beans. If you put your coffee beans in the freezer, the water vapor crystallizes and expands, shattering the beans cellular structure and increasing oxidization. The refrigerator is cold enough to inhibit oxidization but the odorous environment of most refrigerators will contaminate coffee. Best vessel is an air tight glass container kept out of sunlight.

Should I grind my own beans?
The best. Freshness is everything, and whole bean coffee keeps freshest longest. But if you do not want to grind at home we do it for you and ship the next day - so very fresh too.

Do I have to use an espresso machine to make espresso?
No. Most espresso blends are formulated for brewing under pressure, which is why they taste great in an espresso machine. We think that our newest Birds & Beans roast, Kingbird espresso, tastes great however it is brewed.

What is the difference between water process decaffeination and other decaffeination methods?
Most decaffeinated coffees use a chemical process. Most roasters use chemical process decaffeination utilizing methyl chloride or ethyl acetate (cleaning solvents). Those chemicals then go into your body when you drink the coffee. Critical pressure CO2 process is yet another method of decaffeinating coffee. Birds & Beans exclusively uses a water decaffeination process. Water process decaffeination uses only natural water pressure to remove caffeine from coffee.

How much coffee should I use per cup?
We recommend using 1-2 level measuring tablespoons of coffee per six (6) ounces of hot water (195-205 Fahrenheit). Using this coffee to water ratio brews a full strength cup, to which you can add hot water if the taste is too strong. Remember, you can always make coffee weaker by adding hot water to your cup, but you can’t make it any stronger once its brewed.

What’s the best way to brew coffee?
There are lots of ways to brew coffee, some of which taste better than others. You definitely do not want to perk your coffee as this method over extracts your brew. Cone drip is fine. We like to drink French press pot coffee because its direct infusion seems to produce fuller flavor. In addition, French press pot coffee allows the dissolved coffee solids to remain in the brew, which also contributes to flavor.

Is there any coffee grown in the United States?
Yes, some coffee is grown in the Hawaiian Islands and some is grown in Puerto Rico. Every Christmas time Birds & Beans offers Maui Mountain coffee, one of the only Hawaiian coffees organically grown, as a fund raiser for Hawaiian bird conservation groups Kauai and Maui Forest Bird Recovery Projects.