[CT Birds] Cutting the Starbucks habit, but not coffee

Frank Mantlik mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Wed Feb 22 18:18:00 EST 2012

Hi Paul,
Thanks for sharing your experiences in Costa Rica's coffee (and birding) 
country. It brought to mind the "MacDonald's Connection" of deforestation in the 
neotropics for raising beef cattle, I witnessed first-hand in Panama decades 

It was great bumping into you down there at Sevegre Lodge, while I was 
co-leading a Sunrise Birding tour .  It's a small world!   Several people from 
CT were traveling with me.

During the tour, our local leader brought us to a great family-run organic, 
shade-grown coffee farm, Finca Cristina. They do all the steps on site - grow 
the beans, hull and sun-dry them, roast, package, and ship. The wife of the 
owner grew up in Stratford, CT - we shared stories about birding here.  Their 
son works as a birding guide in Costa Rica. They have wonderful bird feeders 
near the main house.
Anyway, their coffee is fabulous.  I brought home 4 pounds of light & medium 
Their web site is: www.cafecristina.com

Frank Mantlik

From: paul cianfaglione <pgcianfaglione at gmail.com>
To: CT Lists <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Wed, February 22, 2012 4:20:28 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Cutting the Starbucks habit, but not coffee

For months my wife and I have been saying that we should kick our
twice-a-day coffee habit at Starbucks. Not only had become a major yearly
expense, but I felt like a hypocrite each time I went in, supporting
something I knew was bad for neotropical migrants. Finally, last month
(Jan.), we stopped going there, opting to buy shade-grown beans and making
coffee at home.

Earlier this month, our family had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica for
two weeks, birding in wonderful places such as the Osa Peninsula, Savegre
and the Central Cordillera. As we drove through the Central Cordillera, I
was shocked to see the number of hills stripped clean by farmers to grow
millions of coffee plants. We stopped by a roadside stand to inquire about
the coffee operation and found out that 90% of the coffee beans were bought
by the Starbucks Coffee Corporation! It was an ocean of ecologically dead
land. What an eye opener.

During the rest of our trip, I was fortunate enough to find and observe
many of Connecticut’s migrants and nesting species. By not being on an
organized trip, I was able to spend a great deal of free time watching Wood
Thrush, Orchard and Baltimore Orioles, Great Crested Flycatchers,
Philadelphia and Red-eyed Vireos, Tennessee, Golden-winged, Yellow,
Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green, Black-and white and Wilson’s Warblers
as they fed with resident species in a lush, tropical rain forest habitats.

If you’re a birder and enjoy drinking coffee as much as I do, consider
switching to shade-grown coffee beans and support a farming practice that
is better for neotropical migrants. Until I saw it with my own eyes, I
really didn’t understand how harmful coffee production was to birds. A
tweak in ones habits (whether you quit or switch to certified shade grown)
can go a long way for bird conservation as well as for one’s wallet.

Read this very informative article about bird friendly, shade grown coffee

Scroll down to the end of the article to read about Cerulean Warblers.


More info here;


If anyone has a lead on a legitimate certified shade grown coffee brand,
please forward their name to me.

Paul Cianfaglione

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