The Guide > Food & Drink > Drinks > Coffee
Coffee
Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world. It is highly addictive and causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms (headaches being the most common) if you stop drinking it suddenly. Most people get their caffeine fixes from coffee and tea, but it is also present in cola drinks, energy drinks and chocolate (the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine it contains).

Caffeine is a strong diuretic and can cause insomnia, tremors and reduced fertility in men. It's bad news for pregnant women too.
  • Typical caffeine quantities: Red Bull (250ml can) - 80mg; Mother (500ml can) - 160mg; Coca-Cola can - 40mg; Coffee - 80-100mg typically; Tea - about half that of coffee (varies greatly); A chocolate bar - up to 10mg
  • Find out how much caffeine you consume each day using Choice's Caffeine calculator. Caffeine calculator
People all over the world rely on it each morning, yet many of the 25 million small-holder coffee farmers who depend on it for their livelihoods struggle to survive. Wide price fluctuations year-to-year, changing weather conditions, difficulties with disease, and lack of bargaining power often leave farmers receiving as little as three cents from a $3 cup of coffee.
  • Look for products with the certified Fairtrade symbol. Buying Fairtrade coffee ensures farmers get a fair deal: 'a minimum price of AUD $3.80 per kilo compared to the local price of about AUD 65 cents'. Fairtrade ANZ
Organic systems recognise that our health is directly connected to the health of the food we eat and ultimately, to the health of the soil. Organic farmers aim to produce good food from a balanced living soil. They severely restrict the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers. Animals are reared without the routine use of drugs including synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics and wormers, which are commonly used in intensive livestock farming.
  • Choose products that are certified organic or biodynamic under one of the following labels: BFA, ACO, NAASA, Demeter. Destination Organic
  • Find out which fruits and veggies expose you to the most and least pesticides so you'll know which ones to buy organic, and which conventionally grown ones are okay when organic isn't available. See the Environmental Working Group's 'Pesticides in produce' guide. EWG's 'Shopper's Guide Pesticides in Produce'
Features: B Corporation, carbon neutral, Australian owned
Pablo & Rusty's is a Sydney based coffee roaster, certified B Corporation and a Certified Carbon Neutral Organisation. They also run their factory on solar, and invest in tree planting and rebuilding biodiversity hotspots.
Manufacturer: Pablo & Rusty's
Features: Fairtrade, organic
Sacred Grounds coffee is certified fairtrade and organic.
Manufacturer: Voodoo Coffee Company
Features: Organic, Fairtrade
Your one stop shop for fair trade and organic tea and coffee. Online sales. Tradewinds is a volunteer based not-for-profit company, with profits funding targeted projects that open new opportunities for producer communities.
Manufacturer: Tradewinds
Features: Organic, Fairtrade, Social enterprise
WithOneBean coffee is ethically, socially and environmentally sourced from a cooperative of subsistance farmers in Timor Leste. 100% of the profits from coffee sales goes to environmental and educational projects in Timor Leste.
Manufacturer: WithOneBean
Features: Biodegradable coffee capsules
The ecoCaffe Company is a 100% Australian owned company that exclusively distributes the Ethical Coffee Company espresso's in biodegradable coffee capsules for Australian consumers. Their range includes Fairtrade and organic options.
Manufacturer: ecoCaffe
Find farmers' markets, food coops, farm gate products at Local Harvest
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