When it comes to your morning cup of Joe, choosing organic coffee benefits more than just the environment. Because it contains no chemicals, additives, or synthetic pesticides, you can sip easy knowing you aren't putting any harmful toxins into your body. Additionally, research has shown that organic coffee may have higher antioxidant levels. If you are a serious coffee drinker or a coffee fanatic, you must give organic ground coffee a try.
To help you navigate the growing number of organic products on the market, we're breaking down everything you need to know about organic ground coffee. Plus, we're highlighting our picks for the best ground coffees that are organic certified, and some are also fair trade. From everything from dark roast to hazelnut-flavored, there's an environmentally-friendly option for every palette.
What's the difference between organic coffee and conventional coffee?
Though organic coffee and conventional coffee are, there are a few key distinctions between the two. By understanding how organic and conventional products differ, you can make more educated choices about the foods you choose to purchase and consume.
For a coffee product to earn the coveted USDA certified organic stamp of approval, it must be grown and processed according to strict federal guidelines. It is made without synthetic pesticides, chemicals, additives, and GMOs. As a result, the coffee is better for the environment and the farmers that grow it. As an added bonus, it tastes better too!
On the other hand, conventional coffee growers do not need to adhere to these federal regulations. Many use harmful pesticides during the growing process and add fillers and artificial flavoring to the final product.
Is organic coffee better for the environment?
In general, organic coffee is better for the environment than conventional varieties. Because there are no chemical fertilizers and synthetic pesticides used during the growing process, there's no pesticide and fertilizer runoff that negatively impacts local water quality and surrounding wetland ecosystems. Similarly, this lack of chemicals improves the health of coffee workers, who would otherwise have touched and breathed in these toxins.
More than 25 million people around the world depend on coffee production for their livelihood. It's the economic foundation of many Latin American, Asian, and African countries. In addition to a USDA certified organic seal, there are a handful of other coffee certifications and specifications to look out for:
- Fair Trade Certified— If you're concerned with the ethical impact of your coffee, it's equally as important to look for fair trade certifications. This ensures the product meets international standards for fair labor and equitable international trade.
- Rainforest Alliance Certified— This certification promotes adequate living and working conditions for coffee growers, promotes growing conditions that create a healthy rainforest ecosystem, and supports a respectful relationship between coffee farmers, local communities, and global coffee companies.
- Shade Grown— Eco-friendly coffee growers use shade trees to naturally protect coffee plants from sun overexposure and eliminate the need for chemical pesticides. These prime conditions add extra nutrients to the soil, resulting in higher-quality, better-tasting coffee beans.
Is organic Ground coffee better for your health?
Not only are organic ground coffees better for the environment, but they've also been shown to be better for your health. Unlike conventional coffees, which often include chemicals and filler ingredients, organic coffees only contain 100% pure coffee: no pesticide residue, no artificial flavors, and no synthetic preservatives.
Additionally, there are little to no regulations regarding chemical and pesticide use in developing countries like Colombia, Brazil, Ethiopia, and Indonesia, which produce a majority of the world's coffee supply. In fact, some of the chemicals used have been banned in American and European agriculture.
Thanks to their optimal growing conditions, organic coffee, especially shade-grown varieties, has been shown to contain higher levels of antioxidants like hydroxycinnamic acids and polyphenols. A 2019 study found organic light and medium roasts to contain higher antioxidants levels than conventional dark roasts. The next time you visit the grocery store, pick up some organic certified whole bean coffee or pre-ground coffee.
10 Best Ground Coffees That Is Organic Certified
Now that you understand exactly what organic coffee is and how it differs from conventional varieties, it's time to highlight a few of the best ground coffees and ground coffee brands that are organic certified on the market. We recommend choosing pre-ground beans that save time and streamline your coffee routine. With the proper air-tight storage container, they'll taste just as fresh as whole beans.
Best Balanced Ground Coffee
At its core, making your morning cup of coffee is a self-care ritual. For a few minutes each morning, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a warm beverage before tackling the chaos of your day. There's no better coffee for finding a moment of peace than Equal Exchange's Organic Mind, Body & Soul blend.
The blend contains both medium and Vienna roasts, resulting in a velvety texture and smooth taste. Its flavor offers hints of walnut, brown sugar, and dark chocolate, while its aroma is filled with notes of butterscotch, vanilla, and almond. In addition to being organic, the ground coffee blend is also Fair Trade and Kosher.
- Grown by small farmers in Latin American, Africa, and Asia
- Collected at Farmer Co-ops
- Roasted at Equal exchange
- Fairtrade, USDA organic certified, certified kosher
Best Coffee With Adaptogens
These days, who doesn't need a little support when it comes to reducing stress? With Four Sigmatic's Adaptogen Coffee, you can lower your stress level and avoid coffee's dreaded afternoon crash. Unlike regular coffee, this adaptogen grind contains ashwagandha, a powerful herb known for its relaxing effects.
Sigmatic's Adaptogen Coffee is made using Fair Trade, organic, single-origin Arabica beans ready to brew right out of the bag. The medium roast coffee has a well-rounded flavor profile with a medium acidity level and body. Its caramel aroma is so mouthwatering you'll completely forget about the powerful adaptogens inside.
- It is blended with 4 adaptogens: tulsi, ashwagandha, eleuthero, and wildcrafted Chaga.
- USDA organic certified, fair-trade certified
- Mushrooms are harvested from the wild forest or their own farms.
- They are organically grown in Colombia.
Best Flavored Coffee
Conventional flavored coffee grounds are filled with artificial flavors and unnecessary additives, so if you prefer flavored coffees, it's time to go organic. Thrive Market's Organic Hazelnut Coffee has the nutty flavor and sweet aroma you crave without the artificial ingredients.
The hazelnut blend starts with high-quality Arabica beans sourced directly from farmers. It's then roasted in small batches for freshness and to add the delicious hazelnut flavor. The toasty aroma and sweet tasting notes pair well with a splash of milk or cream.
This coffee is only available through Thrive Market.
- USDA organic certified, ethically sourced, and sustainably farmed.
- Sourced direct from farmers
- Roasted in small batches
- Sweet aroma and nutty-tasting ground coffee
Best Breakfast Blend
Newman's Own is known for affordable, high-quality products that donate 100% of profits to charity. Their Breakfast Blend Ground Coffee features a one-of-a-kind blend of medium-roasted Central American beans and dark-roasted Indonesian beans. You can sip easy knowing it's made from 100% organic Arabica coffee.
- Roasted in Central American
- USDA organic certified and Fairtrade certified
Best Highly Caffeinated Ground Coffee
If you're looking for coffee that packs a caffeine punch, you can't beat "the world's strongest coffee," Death Wish Ground Coffee Dark Roast coffee. It's crafted from a blend of slow-roasted Arabica and Robusta beans to have double the strength of your average cup without any additives or additional caffeine.
Unlike other high-caffeine coffees, Death Wish Coffee is a Fair Trade-certified dark roast that doesn't have a high acidity level or bitter aftertaste. Instead, it has a smooth feel with notes of cherry and chocolate.
- Small batch roasted
- High caffeine content
- USDA organic certified, fair trade coffee beans
Best Medium Roast Ground Coffee
Allegro Cafe's organic La Duena Roast is sourced from 100% women-owned farms in Latin America, creating equal opportunities within a male-dominated coffee industry. The medium roast is perfectly balanced with hints of sweet chocolate. In addition to being organic, the coffee is also certified Fair Trade and Non-GMO Project verified.
- USDA organic certified, Non-GMO verified, and fair trade certified
- Women own farms from Latin America
Best Coffee with Smoky Flavor
If you're a fan of super dark roasts, you'll love the Organic French Roast from Peet's Coffee. For their deepest roast ever, the San Francisco-based coffee roaster used high-altitude beans sourced from Guatemala and Colombia. The unique growing conditions result in heartier beans that retain their rich, full-bodied, and complex flavor profile throughout the roasting process.
- From Latin American
- USDA Organic Certified
Best Ground Coffee with Nicaragua Flavors
Tiny Footprint Coffee is on a mission to create an ethical and sustainable global coffee industry. They source their beans, like those used in their delicious Dark Roast, from family-owned farms that are members of PRODECOOP. The coffee cooperative strives to improve coffee producers' quality of life while creating the highest quality organic coffee possible for their customers.
Their dark roast is filled with traditional Nicaraguan flavor notes of apricot, fig, and spice that blend perfectly with the smoky dark roast. It's made from a blend of Catuai, Caturra, Bourbon, and Typica beans that are organic, Fair Trade, and kosher. Tiny Footprint Coffee packages the ground beans in 100% compostable paper bags to further reduce their environmental impact.
- USDA organic certified, fair trade certified
- Organic shade-grown Arabica coffee
- World's first carbon-negative coffee: For every pound that is sold, the brand donates a portion of the proceeds to fund reforestation in Ecuador's Mindo cloud forest
Best Store Brand Organic Ground Coffee
Store brand coffee has earned a bad reputation over the years, leaving many shoppers hesitant to try affordable generic brand organic coffee. Unlike other store brands, 365 by Whole Foods focuses on quality and sustainability. Their Vienna Roast Ground Coffee is sourced from smallholder farmers in the Pacific Rim Islands. It's rich, chocolatey, and perfect for coffee-lovers that prefer a bold flavor profile.
- USDA organic certified and fair trade certified
- Harvest from smallholder farmers in the Pacific Rim Islands and Latin America.
Best Decaf Ground Coffee
Looking for delicious organic coffee without all the caffeine? Try Jo Coffee's No Fun Jo decaf ground coffee. It's made from a blend of medium and dark roast beans using the Swiss Water roasting method for a mouthwatering chocolatey scent and a full body with flavor notes of blueberry. Not only is Jo Coffee certified organic, but it's also Fair Trade certified and kosher.
- USDA organic certified, fair trade certified, Kosher certified
- Swiss water process decaf
- Certified coffee brewer: provide the proper water temperature, brewing time, and ability to brew within SCA Golden Cup recommendations.