Frequently Asked Questions about Bird Friendly® Coffee

Simply put, "Bird Friendly®" coffee is coffee that comes from farms in Latin America that provide good, forest-like habitat for birds. Rather than being grown on land that has been cleared of all other vegetation, "Bird Friendly®" coffees are planted under a canopy of trees.

Because of the shaded, forest-like setting created by these canopy trees, coffee produced this way is called shade-grown. Not only are "Bird Friendly®" coffees shade-grown, they are also organic, meaning they're grown without the use of chemical pesticides which poison the environment.

"Bird Friendly®" coffees are the only coffees on the market that are certified as shade-grown and organic by an independent third-party inspector using criteria established by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center of the National Zoo.

These criteria are based on years of scientific research. Companies that sell "Bird Friendly®" coffees contribute 25 cents per pound to support Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center research and conservation programs.

[Bird Friendly logo]

Look for the "Bird Friendly®" logo created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.

Like much of the world coffee, "Bird Friendly®" coffees are grown in the highlands of many Latin America countries from Mexico south to Peru.

Yes, "Bird Friendly®" coffees may cost a few cents more per cup. This is a small price to pay given the benefits to birds and other wildlife, coffee farmers, and the overall health of the environment.

Coffee experts say that shade-grown coffees taste better than sun-grown coffees. This is because shade coffee beans ripen more slowly, resulting in a richer flavor.

You can purchase "Bird Friendly®" coffee at all Smithsonian National Zoo stores and restaurants. In addition, there are a number of companies across the United States and Canada that sell certified "Bird Friendly®" coffees through retail stores, internet sales, and by mail order.

→ Sources of Bird Friendly coffee.