What is Clean Coffee?

Jamie Sukroo - 19 May 2020

What is Clean Coffee?

A common question we get at Lean Caffeine when we say we sell The World’s Cleanest Coffee is: What is Clean Coffee?

To answer this query properly I’ll break it down into three sequential sub-questions (along with the answers):

  1. What do you mean when you say your coffee is clean?
    1. We mean that our coffee is free from pesticides, heavy metals and mould toxins (mycotoxins) as these are the 3 most common impurities found in coffee.
  2. How can you be sure your coffee is clean?
    1. We start off by choosing beans from farmers who grow at high altitude, and hand-sort, plus fully wash their coffees. This lowers the risk of mould toxins.
    2. We also work with farmers who follow rainforest alliance principles in terms of respecting the bio-diversity of nature. This vastly lowers the risk of pesticides being present in the coffee. It also reduces the risk of phosphate fertilisers and bio-solids being used on the coffee plantations which can increase heavy metals.
    3. We make sure the green beans are stored in temperature controlled conditions as soon as they are imported. This reduces the risk of mould toxins.
    4. We choose to roast our coffee beans dark to further eliminate any traces of Ochratoxin A (a mould toxin found on coffee) and for lower acidity and knockout flavour.
    5. As a final verification we send our coffee to be tested by an independent lab that screens for Ochratoxins and Aflatoxins (Mould toxins found on coffee), over 600 pesticides, and Cadmium, Lead, Mercury and Arsenic (heavy metals).
  3. Is your coffee likely to be cleaner than other coffees available on the market?
    1. It would be extremely cost prohibitive for us to test every other coffee on the market so we can’t answer this question 100% scientifically. What we can say is that we have tried before to launch a clean instant coffee and failed as it had high levels of mould toxins (still a shade under the EU guidelines but high in our opinion – see our blog on the topic).
    2. For a comprehensive review of various scientific studies investigating the incidence of Ochratoxin A (the most common mould toxin) in coffees purchased in different countries – see this May 2019 study. Page 6 contains a table showing the percent of infected coffees across the 11 countries ranging from 27% to 100%. Based on this review (and the additional testing we do for pesticides and heavy metals) it would not be boasting to say that our coffee is cleaner than the majority of randomly selected coffees from your local shop.
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