Drinking coffee that has been certified as “Bird-Friendly” is a great way to support birds.
But, it can be hard to find bird-friendly coffee brands that meet the strict standards set forth by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center of the National Zoo. Smithsonian only offers the “Bird-Friendly” certification to coffee products that meet their growing requirements. To qualify, a coffee bean MUST be grown in the shade in a mix of foliage cover, tree height, and biodiversity that creates a quality habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Below you will find 7 coffee brands certified as “Bird-Friendly.”
And the best part about the coffee listed below is that they are delicious to drink. The reason for the outstanding taste is that bird-friendly coffee is grown in the shade, which allows the beans to grow and mature naturally. And while it takes longer than sun-grown coffee, the bean develops more evenly and becomes more saturated with oils and sugars, which leads to an incredibly flavorful coffee.
To ensure a coffee product is bird-friendly, look for this label.
Unfortunately, you may see phrases such as “bird-friendly” or “shade-grown” used as marketing terms. But only coffee brands with the above label have actually been certified!
Here are 7 of the BEST bird-friendly coffee brands:
#1. Java Planet
Interestingly, as I’m writing this article about the best bird-friendly coffee brands, I am drinking coffee from Java Planet. Specifically, it’s their Guatemala Single Origin, and it’s fantastic!
Please note that ALL of their coffee is organic, and many of their brews also come from beans grown on bird-friendly farms. Just a warning that the once you get used to the taste and flavor of their coffee, it’s hard to drink anything else! My wife tells me that I’m now a “coffee snob.” 🙂
Here are a few of my favorite bird-friendly roasts from Java Planet. If you decide to purchase, use code BIRDWATCHINGHQ to receive 10% off your order!
Started in 2009, Birds and Beans is a coffee brand intensely focused on helping birds and reversing their decline. Every single one of the coffee products they sell is not only 100% Bird-Friendly but also Fair Trade and organic.
I love their incredible mission. And every time you purchase coffee, Birds and Beans donates 5% of the sale to their conservation partners.
And how can you not love the names of their bird-friendly coffees? Each product is named after a neotropical bird that migrates and uses bird-friendly coffee farms. Some examples include the American Redstart Light Roast and the Scarlet Tanager Dark Roast.
And for those who don’t like to grind coffee beans, Birds & Beans offers ground coffee too! And they grind the beans the day before shipping, so it’s still incredibly fresh. 🙂
#3. Caffe Ibis
Caffee Ibis is truly a coffee company with a purpose. Its focus is on Triple Certified, Organic, Fair Trade, and Smithsonian Shade Grown “Bird-Friendly” coffee from around the world.
Their coffee is incredibly flavorful, which is a testament to their husband and wife founders. They started Caffe Ibis in 1985 when no one was talking about specialty organic coffee yet because they wanted more control over quality.
Be aware that not every one of their coffee products is certified as “Bird-Friendly.” To see a current list of their offerings, click HERE. Interestingly, you can also see a list of bird species you are helping with your purchase, which is organized by the coffee’s country of origin!
This bird-friendly coffee is a partnership between the American Birding Association (ABA) and Thanksgiving Coffee. What’s great is money is donated to the ABA every time you purchase coffee. Specifically, $1.50 per 12 oz. package and $5.00 per 5-pound bag is donated, and the money goes directly to helping inspire people to enjoy and protect wild birds!
And while the mission is important, the coffee also tastes fantastic! My favorite is the “Songbird Nicaraguan Medium Roast” and I purchase it regularly.
It’s not surprising that Thanksgiving Coffee would partner with the ABA. Thanksgiving Coffee is a wonderful company that produces flavorful brews AND gives tremendous support to its coffee farmers while trying to leave as light of an environmental footprint as possible.
For the past 30 years, Dean’s Beans has been trying to show that a for-profit business can make a lasting, positive impact on the world. Their model is to show tremendous amounts of respect to the planet, their farmers, their employees, and the consumer.
ALL of their coffees are shade-grown, but only some of them have bird-friendly certification. You can click here to see them.
What’s also interesting is almost 80% of the energy they use to roast their coffee beans comes via solar energy from their solar panels!
#6. Birds and Beans (Canada)
First, please know that this is a DIFFERENT Birds and Beans than the other Birds and Beans coffee company featured above (#1). And while they share the same name, they sell their bird-friendly products to different countries!
This Birds and Beans ONLY sells in Canada!
They have been in business for over 20 years and ONLY sell organic, shade-grown, bird-friendly coffee. Their products are fantastic as they are continually trying to improve the tastes and flavors.
But, if you live in the United States and want to try some of their amazing coffee, let me tell you a secret.
Birds and Beans supplies the beans for the National Audubon Society’s Bird-Friendly Coffee! Take a look at the different roasts here. Not only will you LOVE the coffee, but part of your purchase will go towards two incredible supporters of birds.
#7. Bird & Wild (Europe)
Based in the United Kingdom, Bird & Wild ONLY offers organic bird-friendly coffee. And the best part is that 6% of sales are donated to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the largest nature conservation charity in the United Kingdom.
And just like all bird-friendly coffee brands, the beans are grown in the shade, which allows more natural flavors and sugars to develop. This means that the coffee is incredibly flavorful and smooth to drink.
Bird & Wild offers free shipping to the United Kingdom on orders above a certain value. In addition, they offer shipping to many other countries, with the cost depending on the order size and distance. You can purchase directly from their website or on Amazon. You may want to try both places to see which option offers the best price on shipping.
Your dollars matter – please help to save birds and forests.
Currently, roughly 37,000 acres of coffee farms have been certified as bird-friendly in 11 countries. This statistic is great but a little depressing when you think about the 2.5 MILLION acres that have been cleared for other coffee farms just in Central America. So please show your support by purchasing one of the bird-friendly coffees listed above!
Check out the two pictures below. It’s easy to see which coffee farm can support more birds and wildlife!
The only way to encourage more farms to obtain bird-friendly certification is by creating demand. The bird-friendly program is great, but not enough people are aware of it. As people that care about birds in our yards, we can start saving birds with every sip.
What is your favorite bird-friendly coffee brand?
Please leave a COMMENT below!