Have you ever thought about where your coffee comes from? What life is like for the farmers that grow and pick it? Possibly not – but with Fairtrade Fortnight upon us, now is the time to think about just how fair your morning fix is.
The Fairtrade certification guarantees that farmers are paid a fair price for their coffee, employees are given fair wages and working conditions are fair and equal among all staff. It is, in short, the easy way to make sure the coffee you drink doesn’t do harm to others.
Fairtrade coffee abounds on the shelves of our supermarkets – it’s not hard to find in Tesco, Waitrose and even Aldi. And many smaller, independent brands and roasters go further than the Fairtrade certification requires, buying direct from the farmer at prices well above the Fairtrade minimum of £1.40 for Arabica or £1.70 for organic.
But which Fairtrade or ethical coffee is the best? We tried almost 20 different coffees to bring you a definitive list of the finest Fairtrade drinks on the market right now.
How we tested
We’ve taste-tested each coffee, either as an espresso or through a French press, as well as dug into the Fairtrade and ethical background of each brand to ensure it’s a fair drink for all.
Not all of these coffees have the Fairtrade certification, but they all adhere to the minimum standards of the Fairtrade Foundation and live up to, or go beyond, their values of local sustainability.
The best ethical coffees for 2022 are:
- Best for easy drinking – Cafedirect mayan gold: £3.75, Sainsburys.co.uk
- Best for a special weekend treat – Noble House prepared maya key organic coffee: £8.50, Noblehouseprepared.com
- Best for the equality conscious – Land Girls sumatran coffee: £8.95, Land-girls.co.uk
- Best well-balanced brew – Farrer’s Fairtrade costa rica: £6.25, Farrerscoffee.co.uk
- Best for those with a sweet tooth – Easy José dalia casancho coffee: £11, Easyjosecoffee.co.uk
- Best bargain – Tesco Finest sumatra mandheling coffee: £3.50, Tesco.com
- Best supermarket staple – Waitrose No.1 java coffee: £2.80, Waitrose.com
- Best autumnal flavours – Terrone autopilot blend: £9, Terrone.co.uk
- Best after-dinner treat – Jewel & Kong frijanes: £7.50, Jewelandkong.com
- Best punchy espresso – Watchhouse 1829 espresso: £12, Watchhouse.com