3 of the Best Shade Grown Coffee Brands

Peruvian Coffee Beans

By Annerella (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Shade-grown coffee is a unique form of coffee plants grown under a canopy of trees.  Coffee is a small undergrowth tree or shrub that grows on forest trees.  The Best Shade Grown Coffee grows just this way provide Eco-friendly benefits and often are a higher quality product.

Coffee beans grown in shade tend to develop more complex flavors, as they take longer too ripe and are less exposed to pathogen infection.

Calling out to every coffee junkie!

Here you will learn more about the benefits and unique tastes of coffee beans grown in shades around the world.

Do You Want the BEST Shade Grown Coffee?


Different Shade-Cropping Levels

When it comes to coffee, shade matters more as enhances the flavor quality in your cup.  There has always been a debate on the comparison between shade-grown and full-sun plantation coffee.

So, what is the big deal about coffee grown under shade?

The term shade-grown coffee makes us imagine a forest ecosystem where coffee is planted, and farmers happen to walk around and pick these beautifully ripped coffee beans.

This rare occasion might still happen, but for most of the cases, there is a plan, executed with the multi-cropping system.

In fact, almost 25 percent of the entire world’s coffee land is cultivated under shade, 35 percent under partial shade, and around 40 percent under full-sun exposure.

Cup of coffee with beans

By Petr Kratochvil [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Categories of Shade Grown Coffee

Depending upon the complexity of vegetation, the height of canopy, and other factors, there are five main categories of coffee grown in the shade.

Rustic Shade Grown Coffee

Rustic coffee grows in forests with little alteration to the vegetation by small family farms.

They receive a shade cover of around 70-100%.  And, the wide diversity of the vegetation results in great and richer flavors.

Poly-Culture Shade Grown Coffee

Coffee Beans

By Jeff Kubina (Coffee Beans) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This type of coffee is grown under native forest trees along with planted trees, which may include fruits, vegetables, and even medicinal plants.

They receive shade of 60 to 90%.

Multi-Cropping Shade Grown Coffee

In this case, more trees are removed to make free land for extensive shade-grown coffee cultivation.

Mostly farmers plant timber and fruit trees, and they more often use fertilizers and pesticides due to lack of vegetation cover.

They receive shade of 30% to 60%.

Mono-Culture Shade Grown Coffee 

Here the coffee plants only receive 10% to 30% shade and grow under one or two tree species, which farmers prune heavily.

Full Sun Plantation Shade Grown Coffee

Due to lack of canopy trees or fewer tree plantations, this coffee grows under full sunlight and receives 0 to 10% shade.

Diverse Global Habitat of Shade-Grown Coffee

Coffee grows in the shade all around the world, and here are some interesting facts about its global footprint:

  • Coffee in Latin America, Asia, and Africa comes from the high diversity of shade trees.
  • Taller shade tends to have more birds and better uniform shade.
  • In Mexico, around 40% to 56% of forest ants are found in farms growing coffee under shade.
  • In Southern Mexico, you can find 180 species of birds in the coffee plantation.
  • Coffee under shade systems often plants epiphytes like orchids and bromeliads. These enhance bird diversity and are home for thousands of insects as food for the birds.
  • Farms with more shade increased 19% in the fertility.
  • 42% less soil moisture in sun coffee farm as compared to shade coffee farms.
Coffee seeds green Shimoga India

By Harsha K R from Bangalore, India (Coffee Seeds) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ecological Benefits of Shade-Grown Coffee

Apart from giving your cup a shot of intense flavors, you will find multiple benefits of coffee grown under shade for our environment:

  • Wildlife thrives on vegetation and thousands of migratory birds that take refuge in the canopies.
  • Such coffee fields are a great boost to our ecosystem, which has a diverse range of pollinators. They increase the yield of neighboring crops and encourage the breeding of honeybees.
  • The water around the dense vegetation helps in purification of the air and improves the quality of the water.
  • There are fewer landslides that occur by the mountains and hurricane-prone areas, which keeps the chunks of farmland from eroding.
  • Due to intense farming, the soil tends to lose its natural fertility and moisture. By cultivating crops under shade, the soil maintains its nutrients and they replenish over time.
Reserve coffee farm in Colombia (4604557800)

By U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 3 Featured Shade-Grown Coffee Products

Why shade-grown coffee is better?

After reading this article, now you know many incredible reasons for cultivating coffee beans under shade.  And, you better understand the benefits that the best shade grown coffee beans can provide.

If you’re looking for the best shade grown coffee on the market, then these three options should be at the top of your list.

1. Java Planet – Guatemalan USDA Organic Coffee Beans

The folks from Java Planet have an extensive range of exotic, foreign land coffee beans with rich flavors that will give your world a shade-grown, organic intensity.

Java Planet – Guatemalan USDA Organic Coffee Beans are just one such bean that source from the mountains in Guatemala.

Java Planet only selects the finest and aromatic Gourmet Organic Arabica Coffee Beans.  They then roast in small batches to capture the flavors.  And, then they deliver them straight to coffee lovers around the world.

Only the grade “A” organic coffee beans make it to the roasting.

The smooth and flavored taste is achieved due to the lack of pesticides, and shade-grown effect.

Organic coffee is the healthiest option for every coffee addict and Java Planet small batch roasting technique, ensures you get all the flavors without the bitterness.

2. Klatch Coffee – Uganda Chema Sipi Falls

Every year, new crops bring out a balanced and smooth cup at your table.

Klatch Coffee with its Uganda Chema Sipi Falls collection is set out to bring the sweetness of Uganda coffee along with zesty flavors of apple, lemon, and cocoa to your coffee collection.

The creamy, chocolaty body along with subtle malic acidic taste makes a coffee you can drink all day long.

This coffee is sourced from family-owned farms in the Bugisu region, near the slopes of Mount Elgon in Kapchorwa district of Uganda.

In 1999, the government established the Sipi Falls Coffee project.  This strengthened the coffee production in the area, which gave farmers a substantial income.

Inspired by the scenic landmark, this Uganda Chema Sipi Falls Klatch Coffee is one of a kind and is a dream come true for every coffee lover.

The locals believe God lives on Mt Elgon.  And, when happy, God showers rain on their scenic gardens on the mountainside and coffee plantations.

3. Camano Island – Papua New Guinea Coffee Roast

This perfect medium Camano Island Coffee is one of the boldest roasted organic coffee beans in the market.

Grown without the use of pesticides and harmful chemicals, this organic coffee grows under dense canopy trees.  These agricultural features give Camano Island Papua New Guinea Coffee beans a much less acidic taste.

The sweet and medium roasting taste gives every cup a clean finish, which will wake you up with the greatest savory flavors.

These top 1% Arabica Beans grow in the Papua New Guinea Highlands.  These Highlands are popular for exporting their quality beans since 1930.

The clean and crisp taste of the coffee, along with the rich aroma and unique blend gives every cup a drool-worthy salute.

Every coffee lover will enjoy perfect roasting and balanced components, in hot water of straight with milk.

Summary for the Best Shade Grown Coffee Brands

If you’re a true fanatic of the energy-boosting drinks, then pick your favorite shade-grown coffee and indulge in sheer perfection with every cup.

We’ve learned about Rustic, Poly-Culture, Multi-Cropping and Mono-Culture methods for cultivating the best shade grown coffee.

We’ve also learned about diverse global habitats and ecological benefits of shade grown coffee.

Do You Want the BEST Shade Grown Coffee?


But, most of all we’ve learned what goes into making the Best Shade Grown Coffee beans in the world.


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