Just a small cup of coffee can make the world a better place – or condemn it to total annihilation. It may sound radical, but this is a daily reality for those most conscious among coffee drinkers: the so-called ‘eco queens’.
Something just isn’t right. The woman at the organic supermarket has been standing in the coffee aisle for the past 10 minutes already, calmly studying one product after the other. While the shopping baskets of her fellow shoppers fill up cheerily, she lingers, almost motionless, before the shelves. With all of the motivated stamina of a snail, she weighs up dozens of coffees against each other, reduces her favourites to a top 3, and finally, after a head-to-head race which is laborious as it is lengthy, finds the indisputable, morally-spotless winner. Completely at one with herself and with the world, she breezes – with her packet of coffee bobbing in its cardboard box – to the till: the eco queen.
Admittedly, the fussy eco queen doesn’t have it as easy as other coffee drinkers, for example the sweet tooth. “Is it organic? Is it fair trade? And does it come from a coffee cultivation area?” are just a few of her thoughts, spoken aloud before taking a conscious sip from her coffee cup. Nevertheless, she has a sincere love of coffee. However, her strict and, at the same time, admirable, ethics only allow her a limited selection of coffees, for which she is more than willing to dig a little deeper into her organic cotton pockets.
In doing so it becomes clear that the deeper she digs into the pockets of her biodegradable handbag, the stronger her fighting spirit becomes – and with it, her readiness to perform unsolicited speeches filled with passion and reproaches. Whether it’s in the middle of the street, on the train, or in the pub round the corner. She extracts the necessary foundations for her line of argument from her much-loved labels. Of which there are a fair few.
“Is it organic?”
Organic cultivation is of fundamental concern for the dyed-in-the-wool (though, as many of them are vegans, it’s probably best not to mention wool) eco queen. And it’s something almost inevitable to boot, as their daily shopping revolves around organic supermarkets. Here, in addition to certified organic coffees, she can find many other organically-produced products which, after a careful scanning of the label, end up in her cup. Soy milk, coconut blossom syrup or turmeric give the eco queen’s healthy coffee a boost, not just morally, but also in the taste department. The veggies among the eco queens are also only too happy to slip a piece of ghee or meadow-grazed butter into their jute bags – as an important component for their bulletproof coffee. Home-made, of course, as it’s only then that you can know “what’s really gone into it”.
And when the coffee isn’t made at home for once, then it usually comes from a hip café at the least, usually run by a coffee nerd. These special companions in coffee are walking coffee lexicons, and are very mindful of transparency. They are able to find a satisfactory answer even to the eco queen’s most detailed questions. Finally, someone who attentively listens to their exhaustive lectures for once.
However, the eco queen is able to find little patience for the ‘to-go club’ in the coffee shop queue. Naturally, she can’t let a matter rest with a disapproving sniff. The righteous warning finger is raised – triggering a blazing speech about the unpunished waste of water in our world.
“Is this also available in fair trade?”
Because “organic doesn’t always just mean organic”, the eco queen is also willing to let herself be won over by other factors. Such as by the fair trade mark. Alongside nature, she also feels very strongly about those people who have invested hard work into making the product. This is why she has a penchant for investing in coffees which support sustainability projects – such as our La Laguna from Honduras.
For all her friendliness and openness towards coffee farmers, her view of her own cultural group is all the more critical. This also applies to her friends. It is not rare to receive a scornful glance from an eco queen friend after thoughtlessly reaching for a latte with – God forbid – industrial sugar and, what’s worse, in a paper cup! Yet another inescapable discussion quickly erupts, from which you can only emerge the loser. A short “just think about the future of your grandchildren” often brings an end to the hopeless exchange.
“Do you also carry single origin coffee?”
Last but not least, the country of cultivation is of high importance to the eco queen. Even though coffee doesn’t grow in our latitude – and thus, will never be able to completely comply with the demands placed on ‘regional’ coffee – it should come from a coffee cultivation area at least. Or, put another way, it should be a single origin coffee. The fewer journeys the green coffee has made, the better it is for the planet – and for the eco queen.
Yes, the eco queen can be ‘difficult’. For other people, and sometimes even for herself. Nevertheless: when good taste and a good conscience come together, we can only express our admiration – and humbly learn a lesson from her.
The eco queen
- How can you spot her?
From her ‘coffee to go’ flask made from bamboo fibres and corn.
- What does she say?
Do you know what that is you’re drinking?
- What happens when you drink coffee together?
The splash of milk in your coffee tastes strange somehow.
- What can you learn from her?
To drink your cappuccino INSIDE the café for a change.
- What’s the best way to deal with her?
Listen and agree with her – she is right, after all.