The Best Coffee Beans to Buy—in More Ways Than One

WORLDWIDE, coffee drinkers consume some 2 billion cups of coffee every day; Americans alone drink close to 150 billion cups a year. According to the Water Footprint Network, which measures fresh water used to produce consumer goods, each cup of coffee requires the equivalent of a 16-minute shower to produce, farm to cup. No wonder so many bags of beans now say as much about how the coffee was raised as they do about how it tastes.

According to Giles Gibbons, CEO of U.K.-based consultancy Good Business, “Sustainable coffee is booming because you know what you are getting…from farms proud of their methods and dedicated to preserving their land by not eroding topsoil, limiting water consumption and using natural alternatives to pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers.”