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Every day, coffee devotees sip 2.5 billion cups. Whether it’s an espresso on a cobbled sidewalk in Italy, a bitter cup in balmy Indonesia or a creamy latte in Sydney, coffee is enjoyed across the world in all its incarnations.

5 Tips for Ethical Coffee Consumption in Sydney

 


As delicious and pleasurable as it is, however, our coffee consumption is far less pleasurable for the planet and for many of the farmers who produce it. Deforestation, packaging waste, poor working conditions and the environmental toll of transporting these prized beans across the globe are among the greatest costs we pay for our morning fix. Not to mention the looming threat of climate change on coffee production.

Benny's Boardroom strongly advocates for ethical consumerism, and as we're aware coffee devotees are unlikely to surrender coffee anytime soon (and we don't blame them), we've put together this article to show how we can minimise our environmental impacts and promote fair trade. And we've even included some of Sydney's cafe gems.

 



If you're making coffee at home, here are some ideas for positive impact.

1. Drink organic: When you buy organic coffee, you're supporting farmers who grow coffee without toxic chemicals, and who grow their coffee plants in such a way that they foster healthy ecosystems where plants and the animals native to the area thrive in their own homes.

What's more, the kinds of toxins that would otherwise be used are often produced in factories that pollute surrounding ecosystems themselves.

2. Fair trade coffee: Buying fair trade coffee is your chance to honour the hard work of the farmers who raise your coffee beans from the soil. Check our Rainforest Alliance, Transfair and Oxfam.

3. Compost your coffee grounds: This small gesture is a simple way to give back to the earth, literally. Sprinkling coffee grounds on your garden beds is also an effective way to fertilise without those harmful pesticides.



4. Go local: You may not be able to grow coffee in your backyard, but you can drink coffee sourced from regions that will require the least transport from the farm to your corner cafe.

For example, in North America, you can drink South American coffee. In Europe, look for Ethiopian beans. Indonesia's proximity to Australia makes it an obvious choice for supply, but you may be surprised to know that coffee is being grown in areas as close to Sydney as Byron Bay.

When you buy local, also consider steering clear of the huge corporations that mass-produce coffee, often with little consideration for their environmental and social impacts.

5. Get the gear: A small investment in a long lasting mug or keep cup, a reusable filter and buying coffee grounds in bulk, instead of pods or packages coffee bags pays off in just a few cups.



Stepping out onto the street now, sit down at a café where you can drink from a reusable mug or carry your trusty keep cup to minimise waste.

Recently, many cafes across Sydney have started rewarded conscious coffee drinkers with discounts on their take-away coffees if they bring their own cup.

Here are just a few:

Long shot cafe – Beecroft

German Butchery Deli & Cafe - Bexley North

BangBang Espresso – Surry Hills

Bar Contessa – Balmain

Black Star Pastry – Newtown

Fleetwood Macchiato – Erskineville

Lemonia – Annandale

The Copper Mill – Alexandria

The Royal – Darlinghurst

The Shortlist Espresso Bar – Darlington

Toby’s Estate – Chippendale

Town Hall Café – Sydney CBD

Two Chaps – Marrickville

 

To wrap up, here are a few of our favourite cafes dedicated to the coffee experience, pushing the boundaries with specialty coffees:

Single Origin Roasters – Surry Hills

Mecca Espresso – Ultimo

Sample Coffee Pro Shop – St Peter’s

White Horse Coffee – Sutherland


Sophie Hardcastle is a twenty-two-year-old author and artist based in Sydney. Sophie has a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Sydney College of the Arts. Her memoir Running like China was released in September 2015, and her debut novel, Breathing Under Water was released in July 2016. Hachette publishes both of Sophie’s books. In addition to her books, Sophie has written for various magazine publications, including ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar and Surfing World and has also written for theatre.

Sophie Hardcastle