Nachhaltiger Kaffee – Genuss ohne Reue! - NIKIN EU

Sustainable coffee – enjoyment without regret!

Coffee: The elixir of life for millions of people. The awakening hot drink is simply part of everyday life for many people - some can hardly function without it. But not all coffee drinkers know what lies behind the popular drink.

Coffee: The elixir of life for millions of people. The awakening hot drink is simply part of everyday life for many people - some can hardly function without it. But not all coffee drinkers know what lies behind the popular drink.


Coffee in all its forms is an integral part of our everyday lives - how would we get going in the morning without that encouraging sip early in the morning? What seems so self-evident today has come to us from the Orient. It all started in Ethiopia.

The coffee plant

The coffee bush grew - and still grows - there, an evergreen from the Rubiaceae family. The man-high bush bears white flowers that open during the rainy season. Since flowering is always triggered by rainfall, the coffee bush can bear flowers and ripe and unripe fruits at the same time. This makes harvesting the cherry-red coffee berries a task that cannot be done by machine. Instead, pickers harvest the fruits, which contain a core consisting of two “beans”.


From Ethiopia to the coffee houses of Europe

At some point, Ethiopian shepherds are said to have observed the encouraging effect of the fruit on their goats and dared to try it themselves. It can be assumed that it took several generations to refine the roasting process and processing of the beans. From Ethiopia, coffee began its triumphal march around the world - the Arabs first discovered the invigorating drink. The coffee was just right for them, as Islam prohibits intoxicating drinks such as wine. Our word “coffee” is logically one of the numerous Arabic words adopted into other languages ​​and is derived from “qahwa”.

And from the Orient, coffee consumption reached the West - where it quickly became a cult. In 1669, the Turkish ambassador is said to have served coffee to court society for the first time in Versailles.  Today, for example, Germans drink around 164 liters of coffee per person per year, and coffee is even gaining popularity in the homeland of tea drinkers, namely Great Britain. The Italians drink even more coffee (no wonder, they invented espresso), the Austrians (where you can find a coffee house on every corner) and – the Scandinavians! Above all, the Finns are particularly in need of a wake-up call and consume almost twice as much coffee as the Germans.

Coffee cultivation: a global big business

This makes cultivation and processing an important sector. Ethiopia itself only contributes around 5% to the global coffee business, but this is because Ethiopians mostly drink their own coffee. Around the world, coffee is grown in Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kenya, in fact anywhere in the tropical belt where the plant finds warmth and rain. In addition to the well-known Arabica variety, the Robusta genus is also grown. At least 20-25 million families worldwide make their living from coffee cultivation, and an estimated more than 100 million people. But do they make a good living from it? That is the question.

What are the working and living conditions in coffee cultivation?

In most cases, coffee is cultivated under less than humane conditions. The producing countries are all emerging or developing countries where human labor is cheap and even children have to lend a hand. Families who work on the plantations of the big producers have to accept the conditions that are offered to them - and these include not only low wages, but also high levels of pesticide contamination. Self-employed small farmers who want to remain independent are their own bosses, but they have to endure poor harvests and the consequences of climate change.

Fair trade and eco labels and what lies behind them

Consumers have a significant influence on the living and working conditions of these people, because there are now several approaches to producing coffee fairly and growing it in sustainable quality.

Anyone who buys coffee with a Fairtrade label knows that their morning coffee was bought from the producer at a fair and guaranteed price. This makes the farmers less dependent on the fluctuations and uncertainties of the market, promotes long-term business relationships and allows the farmers to obtain advance financing through a futures contract.

Organic labels and seals of approval for humane working conditions provide information about whether coffee plants have been sprayed with pesticides or not, and whether workers on coffee plantations are treated well and earn appropriately.


Our coffee can be worth a little more!

All of this of course makes the coffee more expensive. A little bit. But hand on heart, isn't the brown delicacy worth the extra expense? We can make a contribution with our shopping cart - and if we reach for a minimally packaged product and leave the coffee capsules behind, we are also doing something good for the environment.

Although we at NIKIN are primarily concerned with sustainable materials in the fashion industry and fight against global deforestation, it is important to think sustainably in other areas of life too. We want to motivate people to rethink their lifestyle and possibly make it more sustainable. Coffee is simply part of everyday life. The stimulating drink is particularly popular in offices - we also drink coffee from sustainable organic production that is certified by Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance. We don't want to advertise specific brands here, we simply want to point our readers to sustainable, fairly grown coffee and its benefits. Just join in and have a coffee on it!

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