Why coffee? Our Story.
In a world where there are thousands of coffee suppliers and sellers, we are often asked why we chose to get involved in coffee. Aren’t there already hundreds of brands selling organic coffee?
While yes, there are a lot of higher-quality coffee options on the market, we saw the potential for
something even better.
The History of Coffee
Humans have been consuming coffee for centuries. There are many rumors and stories that tell
the tale of coffee’s discovery, but the most favored legend is one of an Ethiopian goat herder
named Kaldi, in about 800 AD...
Health Benefits of Coffee
One of coffee's many benefits is its high nutrient profile of riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), magnesium, potassium, and various phenolic compounds (or antioxidants). Some of our favorite benefits from consuming high quality coffee are:
Not All Coffee Is Created Equal - it’s all about the quality:
Some of the most nutrient-dense foods a human can consume have gotten a bad reputation
from the Big Food/Big Pharma industries. Meat, dairy, eggs – any animal products, honestly –
are at the top of the list. However, it’s never about the food itself, it’s about the quality.
Why whole bean coffee? For freshness, flavor and adjustability for your brewing method.
Why does quality matter so much for coffee? Isn’t all coffee the same?
Some of the most nutrient-dense foods a human can consume have gotten a bad reputation from the Big Food/Big Pharma industries. Meat, dairy, eggs – any animal products, honestly – are at the top of the list. However, it’s never about the food itself, it’s about the quality.
Dairy, for example, is not inherently bad. Dairy is actually a true superfood, and one of the single most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It’s one of the only “perfect” foods - as a glass of whole milk, for example, has the perfect ratio of protein, carbs, and fat, and also contains some of the most important minerals and vitamins. However, there’s a caveat - it all comes down to the quality of the dairy.
We fully agree that factory farmed dairy is not only an extremely unhealthy food, but unethical
as well. The animals are fed the lowest-quality GMO and non organic grains (which they’re
bodies are not designed to process), they are injected with growth hormones, and live in
unnatural environments. The milk quality reflects the animal’s life and health quality.
High quality raw, grass-fed, organic, pasture-raised milk from ethically-treated cows cannot even be compared to the factory farmed dairy products sold in stores. This is why a blanket statement such as “dairy is bad” can never be made. The caveat is quality, as it is with any other product.
The same goes for coffee. Coffee has been labeled as unhealthy by many “health” groups, some doctors, and medical media. But not all coffee should be lumped together, just how all animal products should not be lumped together.
You could go to your local chain grocery store and pick up a non-organic bag or plastic canister
of coffee from a generic brand. This coffee may look and taste like coffee, just like the cheapest off-brand milk is going to look and taste like milk.
However, this conventional coffee is going to provide very limited (if any) nutritional benefits, and consuming it regularly can become harmful for the coffee drinker.
Why? Non-organic coffee is one of the most heavily-sprayed crops in the entire world. That means with every cup of coffee you’re drinking, you’re also getting a cup full of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, such as glyphosate – the active ingredient in the herbicide, RoundUp.
Mold and heavy metals are two other harmful contaminants found in low-quality coffee. Read our next two FAQs to learn more about why mold and heavy metals shouldn’t be in your coffee.
Why is it so important to drink mold-free coffee?
Mold can grow on coffee beans during various stages of production - from cultivation and harvesting, to processing and storage. We roast our beans at an FDA-approved facility that regularly checks for mold and the conditions that would allow mold to grow. The facility also
completes quality inspections of the beans before they are roasted. Due to the importance we place on ensuring mold and mycotoxins are not present in our coffee, we have it third-party tested after roasting, to ensure it is indeed mold and mycotoxin free and low in heavy metals. Our coffee is also roasted on the day that it ships to you, so that it doesn’t sit in a warehouse or grocery store shelf, which would give it an opportunity to develop mold after roasting.
The mold genus most commonly found in coffee is called Aspergillus. Some species within this
genus can produce mycotoxins, including Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A. Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by molds, and some can be harmful when ingested in large quantities.
These mycotoxins can be harmful to health when ingested, as they have been associated with various health concerns, including potential negative impacts on the thyroid gland.
Mycotoxins produced by molds like Aspergillus are known to have toxic effects on the liver and can interfere with various physiological processes. Aflatoxins, for example, can be hepatotoxic (harmful to the liver) and this impacts how thyroid hormones are converted in the liver.
By prioritizing mold-free coffee and maintaining good coffee storage and brewing practices, you can enjoy a safer, more flavorful coffee experience. Unfortunately, the coffee for sale at the store has likely been sitting on the shelves for a long period of time, creating the perfect atmosphere for mold to grow. Not only that - most coffee companies do not talk about the quality of their beans, when they were roasted, where they were roasted, or mention anything about their coffee’s mold, mycotoxin, or heavy metal status.
Consuming mold-contaminated coffee can lead to various health issues, including respiratory problems, allergies, and even mycotoxin poisoning. Could your health issues be related to your
daily cup of coffee, without you knowing it?
Why do heavy metals matter?
Heavy metals in coffee matter, because regular consumption of heavy metals can pose health
risks. Heavy metals can also displace important minerals in the body, as they take over space in
the cell where minerals should be.
Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements that are found in the earth's crust. These metals
can make their way into coffee through various pathways, including soil contamination, the
water used for irrigation, and the processing and packaging of coffee beans. The presence of
heavy metals in coffee is a concern for several reasons:
Health Risks: some heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, and mercury, are known to be toxic
to humans, even at low concentrations. Chronic exposure to these metals can lead to various
health problems, including neurological issues, kidney damage, and cancer.
Bioaccumulation: Coffee plants can absorb heavy metals from the soil and water they are grown
in. Over time, these metals can accumulate in the beans, and when consumed, they may
accumulate in the human body. This is especially concerning for individuals who regularly
Flavor and Quality: high levels of heavy metals in coffee beans can also negatively impact the
taste and quality of the coffee. Metallic or off-flavors may be present, and the overall sensory
experience can be compromised.
Our coffee is sourced from a region in Peru specifically known for their coffee quality and outstanding farming practices. Our coffee producers and roasters have rigorous quality standards that ensure that our coffee is free from excessive heavy metal contamination. We decided to take it a step even further, and had our coffee third-party tested for heavy metals.
In summary, heavy metals in coffee can be a concern for health and quality reasons. However,
with proper sourcing, quality control, and adherence to safety regulations, the risks associated
with heavy metals in coffee can be minimized. It's essential to be informed about the source of
your coffee and choose coffee from reputable sources that prioritize safety and quality.
Does coffee have any negative impacts or side effects?
This all depends on the quality of your coffee, as well as the timing of when you consume your
We’d say that non-organic coffee, coffee contaminated with mold/mycotoxins, and coffee that
contains high levels of heavy metals is more likely to have negative impacts and cause harm
over time. However, the negative reactions experienced while drinking this coffee are likely from
the contaminants - not the coffee itself.
Timing of drinking coffee is also critically important. We strongly do not advise drinking coffee on an empty stomach, as a breakfast or meal replacement, or without having a solid, well-balanced meal beforehand (not just a snack, or just paired with a sugary treat and nothing else).
Consuming coffee at the wrong times and in the wrong context is where we see people have the
most negative reactions, such as getting shaky, experiencing heart palpitations, feelings of
anxiety, stomach issues, and more. This is because drinking coffee on an empty stomach increases your metabolic rate. Functionalap.com perfectly explains this in more detail:
Coffee is a potent metabolic stimulator and must be viewed as such. The caffeine in coffee is
powerful and can act like the thyroid hormone to increase your metabolic rate and the oxidation
of sugar, making it a health-protective food. Coffee also has supportive nutrients in the form of B
vitamins and magnesium and is a welcome companion to meat-containing meals for adults
since it helps inhibit iron absorption.
These characteristics make coffee a useful tool in your health toolbox provided that you’re taking the right steps to maximize effectiveness.
Symptoms to expect when you do coffee right are calmness, focus, motivation, warmth, and stable energy. Coffee done wrong leads to anxiety, shakiness, sweating, feeling wired, inability to focus, and sometimes cold extremities.
The metabolic stimulation from coffee ingestion increases the metabolism, which is very good, if
the metabolic support is adequate. Metabolic stimulators must be matched with adequate metabolic support, especially adequate blood glucose. The common symptom of feeling anxious or shaky after coffee consumption is from a lack of nutritional support, which causes low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
When you drink coffee, the glucose in the bloodstream is used as the caffeine stimulates the body’s metabolism. Coffee is like stepping on the gas pedal in your car. When the fuel system delivers fuel to the engine in adequate amounts, the engine performs well and the car takes off in relation to the intensity of the pressure on the pedal. However, if the fuel system is faulty in some fashion, the engine sputters and is sluggish. For us, the inadequate support from our “fuel
system” shows up as unfavorable symptoms as the stress response is activated.
Problems with coffee begin when our body cannot provide enough fuel for cells given the level of stimulation. If too much stimulation occurs, a stress alarm is signaled that mobilizes resources to provide energy to your cells. Your body is saying, “we’ve got lots of stimulation going on here; we need to mobilize resources right now.”
The stress alarm’s basic function is to raise blood sugar. This involves the release of glycogen from the liver under the direction of adrenaline and glucagon, and the conversion of the body’s protein (skin, muscles, thymus gland) into glucose using the liver’s help. Cortisol directs this conversion of protein into glucose. The liver is intimately involved in blood sugar regulation.
In summary, you need to have fuel in the tank necessary to match the press of your metabolic gas pedal from coffee, otherwise you may experience these side effects, which can easily be mitigated or prevented altogether.
I can’t handle coffee well but I really enjoy it. Do you think I could handle yours and work on my resilience to coffee?
“The first basic rule is to have coffee with a meal. This delays entry of the caffeine into the
bloodstream providing a time release type effect. A meal consists of a protein and fat from an animal and carbohydrate from a plant.
Secondly, add sugar or honey and milk, or sugar or honey and cream to the coffee as an additional buffer against low blood sugar. These step ensures that you are providing the fuel necessary to match the press of your metabolic gas pedal. The amounts of each added ingredient will vary from person to person and comes with practice. Amounts can change over time and in relation to your mental or physical demands.
Thirdly, do not have coffee on an empty stomach or immediately upon waking. At these times, you likely do not have the support needed to match the stimulation. You want to avoid activating the stress systems, not encourage their activation through inappropriate choices. For those who wake and aren’t feeling hungry but have the habit of having coffee prior to eating anything, this practice tends to prolong the effects of blood-sugar relating stress hormones which preferably you want to decrease, and not increase, upon rising.
Lastly, be aware that the hotter the coffee is the more stimulating it tends to be. If you’re susceptible to low blood sugar from drinking hot coffee, follow the aforementioned rules in conjunction with drinking cooler coffee.
Each person seems to have his/her cut-off time in regard to consuming coffee without affecting his/her sleep, experiment with what works for you. Annika and I like to cut off coffee by 2pm. Your “coffee tolerance” can be used as a barometer to measure health progression or lack thereof. If you improve your tolerance to coffee, you’re likely headed in the right direction nutritionally. If this doesn’t happen, it could be time to reassess your strategies. When your coffee tolerance is poor, it might say that the liver is suffering and is not storing glycogen very well and can’t back you up efficiently (by releasing glycogen) when there is excessive stimulation from coffee. It could also be a signal that you’re not following one or more of the rules listed in the previous section of this blog. Hypothyroidism increases susceptibility to low blood sugar because of the effects of thyroid hormone on the liver. Hypothyroid individuals can have coffee intolerance symptoms for this reason and sometimes need to show extra caution when drinking coffee. Broda Barnes’ book “Hypoglycemia: It’s Not Your Mind, It’s Your Liver” is an excellent resource to explore this topic further.
Going the extra mile is sometimes necessary for those that are really susceptible to over stimulation from coffee. One such step is adding a little coffee to milk/sugar instead of adding milk/sugar to coffee. As you improve, you will be able to handle more coffee and progressively be less dependent upon support — you will be able to press harder on the metabolic gas pedal. Another option is sipping a little coffee with support throughout the day so you get a little stimulation without it being excessive.
Improved tolerance to coffee may also be accompanied by improvement in other things like sleep quality, energy levels, digestion, cravings, time to fatigue, calmness, and duration that you can comfortably go between meals.
As the metabolic rate rises from consistent coffee consumption, the need for all nutrient increases so a sensible diet should consist of foodstuff that offer dense nutrition with few digestive inhibitors (such as ripe fruits, milk, eggs, shellfish, beef liver) rather than nutrient
deficient foods (such as pasta, bread, cereals, packaged foods) or hard to digest foods (like raw
vegetables, beans, nuts, and legumes).”
Coffee tolerance is a sign of health and that you are consuming coffee correctly. Not medical advice. If coffee is bothersome to you then avoid it while you are working on your health and metabolism.
Have you seen coffee cause acne or make acne worse?
If you’re struggling with acne or skin issues, you’ve probably heard thousands of health accounts/professionals talk about how coffee can make acne worse, and that it should be removed from your diet if you want to heal your skin. While we can’t answer for everyone, because every single person is different, we have very, very rarely seen anyone in our practice or in our membership have a true issue with coffee itself causing acne. As long as the coffee is high quality. Coffee should actually be something that helps with acne - it is full of minerals, supports the liver and metabolism, and has a long list of health benefits.
However, if you are having an issue with coffee and believe it is making your skin condition or acne worse, it is likely due to the cortisol increasing properties of coffee. Because coffee can increase cortisol production if it is not consumed appropriately, or if someone with a very damaged metabolism living in stressful conditions is consuming it, it can make it seem that coffee is the culprit behind your skin issues.
This is because cortisol can increase the amount of oil produced by your sebaceous glands, which can make acne worse in an already stressed out body. So again, it is not the coffee itself causing the problem, it’s the imbalance in the body that needs to be addressed in order for coffee to be tolerated well.
Can I use this coffee for a coffee enema?
Absolutely! We wouldn’t sell coffee that we would not be comfortable using in a coffee enema.
Coffee enema coffee should be the same high quality as the coffee you drink.
We are comfortable using our coffee for coffee enemas for the same reasons we’re comfortable
selling and drinking it - it’s organic, low in heavy metals, mold/mycotoxin free, and fresh-roasted.
Just be sure to use the caffeinated coffee for coffee enemas. The biggest benefit from coffee
enemas comes from the caffeine in the coffee.
Also, remember this is not medical advice. Consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before
attempting a coffee enema.
Can I mix my caffeinated beans with the decaffeinated beans?
Absolutely! There is no harm in mixing regular and decaf! You can combine them in whatever
ratio you choose, to get the caffeine amount you prefer in the final result.
Why is swiss water processed decaf so important if you’re drinking decaffeinated coffee?
In the Swiss Water Process of decaffeinating coffee, water is used as a solvent to remove caffeine from organic coffee beans. This process is entirely chemical-free and relies on osmosis and solubility to decaffeinate the beans. The caffeine-laden water is passed through a charcoal filter, and the resulting flavor-rich water is used to decaffeinate a new batch of beans. It is environmentally sustainable, as the water is reused and the caffeine is separated. The Swiss Water Process for decaffeination is also highly effective, and results in a 99.9% caffeine-free coffee.
Unlike some other decaffeination methods that use chemical solvents like methylene chloride or ethyl acetate, the Swiss Water Process is a completely chemical-free process.
The Swiss Water Process is also known for preserving the original flavor and aroma of the coffee to a higher degree compared to other decaffeination methods that utilize chemicals. The process aims to minimize the loss of the coffee's natural characteristics, which can result in a more flavorful cup of decaf coffee. No caffeine, same great taste!
Why does your coffee come in so many sizes and how long will each size last me if Idrink one cup of coffee every day?
We offer a variety of coffee sizes to support everyone's individual needs and consumption.
It is hard to determine how long your coffee will last, because it depends on your brewing method and how much coffee you’re drinking every day.
On average, if you’re consuming one cup of coffee per day, a 12 ounce bag should last approximately 15-20 days, a 2lb bag should last approximately 30-45 days, and a 5lb bag approximately 60 days.
Why is it important for coffee to be roasted on the same day it ships?
For freshness and flavor! The longer a bag sits on the shelf, the more likely it will develop mold and absorb oxygen (causing staleness). Most store-bought coffee has been sitting on a shelf for months.
Why don’t you roast your own beans?
We found a wonderful, family-owned, small batch, hand-roaster to do it for us! Our beans have
been intentionally sourced from Peru, and sent to our partners FDA registered roasting facility to
roast and ship out. Our current business model doesn’t include our own FDA-registered facility,
but who knows! Maybe it will someday in the future. For now, we are thrilled to partner with such an excellent roaster that we trust and value.
How should I store my beans?
For best results, we recommend storing your coffee beans in a cool dry place, and in an airtight container. Avoid exposing the beans to light, heat, or humidity, as these conditions can promote mold growth.
Also, make sure to maintain your coffee-making supplies by cleaning your coffee grinder and brewing equipment regularly to prevent the buildup of old coffee residue, which can also harbor mold.
How are the beans tested?
- Mycotoxins (Aflatoxins & Fumonisins)
- Heavy Metals (Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury)
- Every 6 Months for Mold & Mycotoxins
- Yearly (or any time a major change to the sourcing occurs) for Heavy Metals
We only sell coffee products who have lab results that are absent for the above analytes or results are within expected ranges for food products, based on available FDA and WHO guidance.
ABOUT OUR ROASTER + THE PROCESS
- Family owned
- Small batch, hand roasted
- Roasted to order
- Single origin and fair trade
- All of our coffee is specialty grade and ethically traded with a focus on relationships and
respect for the farm and the farmer.
- Farmers cooperative
- Every retail bag we sell is fully recyclable and all of our packing and shipping materials
are curbside recyclable.
- An FDA complaint roaster which means they have to monitor for Mold and also the
conditions that would allow mold to grow from farm to delivery