About Coffee & Conservation

Coffee is probably one of the most poorly understood food products in the world, especially considering how ubiquitous it is in our lives — Geoff Watts, coffee buyer, Intelligentsia.

The purpose of Coffee & Conservation is to provide information about the connection between coffee and the environment — especially bird habitat.

The huge worldwide surge in demand for coffee has resulted in a shift from traditional, sustainable coffee growing methods (with coffee plants grown in the shade of a diverse understory) to intense monocultures that require large inputs of fertilizer and pesticides which bring about a loss in biodiversity and quickly deplete the land.  In the Western Hemisphere, traditional coffee plantations harbor a wide variety of birds, and they are crucial as wintering habitat to dozens of species of birds that breed in North America but winter in the tropics.

Worldwide, habitat destruction is the leading cause of bird population declines.  The link between poverty and environmental degradation is inescapable.  Making sure that coffee farmers receive a living wage is one way to help preserve habitat — both by encouraging sustainable coffee farming methods that produce the highest quality coffee, and by empowering farmers economically and reducing their need to exploit the environment for survival.

The U.S. is one of the the largest consumers of coffee in the world. Coffee drinkers have the potential to make a huge impact on the environment and economies of coffee growing nations. If we understand the stakes, we can make a significant difference, and enjoy our favorite beverage at the same time!

What you will find here: news, research, and analysis related to coffee growing, biodiversity in coffeelands, and coffee sustainability issues; information about and evaluations of certification; how to find and understand the environmental sustainability of coffee companies, roasters, and individual coffees; reviews of coffees and products with a strong connection to C&C’s mission, and much more! Please see this page for more info on requests for reviews or ads.

What you won’t find here: Gushing, superficial reviews of anything; regurgitated press releases with no background, context, or critical analysis; bullshit in general.

About the Author

C&C is written by Julie Craves, an ornithologist and ecologist for over 25 years at the University of Michigan. My research has focused on migratory birds in North America, and I have traveled to several coffee-producing countries and visited a number of coffee farms. I have extensive experience writing and editing peer-reviewed as well as popular press articles.

You can read more about me and the motivation behind Coffee & Conservation in this interview at the Nature Blog Network.


Contact information

If you’d like to ask a question or make suggestion, leave a comment on a post or send a message to:

coffeehabitat AT gmail DOT com but…

…Please be aware C&C does not accept guest posts,  funny videos, links to unrelated websites or any similar link bait, or ads that are not closely tied to the theme of this site. Likewise, this site does not review local coffee shops, promote Kickstarter or similar campaigns, or publish biographies or interviews of people in the industry except under exceptional circumstances. Coffee reviews have been suspended. If you have a suggestion or request for a post, please be familiar with the site and its focus first.

Copyright notice

The contents of this web site, including the images, archives and RSS feeds, are copyrighted. Material cannot be used for commercial purposes. Short excerpts (<150 words) may be used non-commercially only with attribution that includes a link back to this site AND text stating that the material originally appeared at Coffee & Conservation. Any other use, or use of other media, requires written permission.

If you refer to this website in documents or other material, please cite my work. Examples:

Website overall (this site is not “CoffeeHabitat”!)
Craves, J.A. 2005-2021. Coffee & Conservation. Available online at <https://www.coffeehabitat.com> Accessed 3 Feb 2021.

Single post
Craves, J.A. 2007. A quick look at differing shade criteria. Coffee & Conservation. Available online at <https://www.coffeehabitat.com/2007/07/quick-look-at-d/> Accessed 3 Feb 2021.

Revised on March 6, 2021