What is biodynamic coffee?

selection of biodynamic coffee brands

QUESTION: What is biodynamic coffee? I heard it mentioned on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm and I am wondering if it’s a real thing or made up. – Richard F

ANSWER: Biodynamic coffee is real! It’s basically like organic coffee, but even more extreme. Organic farming has its own rules and certifications, and biodynamic farming practices take it a bit further.

According to Wikipedia, “Biodynamic agriculture differs from many forms of organic agriculture in its spiritual, mystical, and astrological orientation. It shares a spiritual focus, as well as its view toward improving humanity, with the “nature farming” movement in Japan. Important features include the use of livestock manures to sustain plant growth (recycling of nutrients), maintenance and improvement of soil quality, and the health and well-being of crops and animals. Cover crops, green manures and crop rotations are used extensively on the farms to foster the diversity of plant and animal life, and to enhance the biological cycles and the biological activity of the soil.”

Dr. Rudolf Steiner developed the idea of biodynamic agriculture in Europe in 1924. The biodynamic method is an ethical approach of holistic agriculture in which the farm is it’s own ecosystem and creates and maintains everything it needs to stay healthy and fruitful. There are six principles of biodynamic farming: plant diversity, crop rotation, animal life, composting, homeopathic solutions and life forces.

In many ways, biodynamic and organic practices are the same. Both prohibit the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in favor of a more holistic approach that emphasizes healthy soil. Biodynamic certification meets organic standards, but then goes beyond that with additional requirements consistent with regenerative agriculture.

Biodynamic coffee production takes place on smaller farms where the big focus is healthy farm ecosystems used to produce the highest quality coffee. These coffee producers follow the highest standards to produce the best coffee.

We purchased four different ones available in the United States, and here’s what we thought.

First, I tried out the Deep Valley brand biodynamic coffee pictured above, and it was good. Although it was a medium roast, it had a very earthy and bold flavor. Of the three brands I’ve tried, it was by far the “strongest” and boldest tasting. This made it my least favorite of the four I tried. If you like bolder, intense flavor it might be the opposite for you though.

holistic roaster biodynamic coffee beans

Holistic Roasters out of California offers three different biodynamic coffees in varying roasts or light, medium and French roasts. I tried the Rise and Shine medium roast pictured above since medium roast is my preferred roast. This coffee is truly terrific. Not only was it my favorite biodynamic coffee, but it also is my current favorite medium roast period. I ordered more bags and it is my new regular coffee.

zenbunni biodynamic coffee beans

Zenbunni offers a biodynamic coffee called Biodynamic Coffee of the Cosmos, in a medium roast. It seems less expensive at first glance, but that’s only for 10 ounces of coffee. Zenbunni was also a very good coffee, but not quite as good as the Holistic Roasters to me.

cafe altura biodynamic coffee

Cafe Altura offers a Certified Biodynamic Medium Roast coffee grown in Peru, even less expensive than Zenbunni but also for only 10 ounces. Although I found the Cafe Altura to be good, I ranked it just under the Zenbunni, but above the Deep Valley.

Learn More About Biodynamic Coffee

Biodynamic coffee brands on Amazon (an affiliate link)

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/dec/06/biodynamic-coffee-in-brazil

https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2018/11/13/Trend-alert-biodynamic-farming-spreads-to-coffee

Cafe Altura offers a Certified Biodynamic Medium Roast coffee grown in Peru, even less expensive than Zenbunni but also for only 10 ounces. Although I found the Cafe Altura to be good, I ranked it just under the Zenbunni, but above the Deep Valley.

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