10 Things Your Barista Doesn't Want You to Know

All Fair Trade Coffee Isn't Equal

Did you choose your coffee shop based on its "fair trade" coffee? Fair trade ensures that the people producing the coffee profit fairly when they sell their beans to a big company. In this way, people in developing countries aren't taken advantage of by the free market. It's a good thing.

However, as with any product, the buyer should beware. For the bigger, national chains, using Fair Trade-certified coffee isn't a decision motivated by conscience -- it's a decision motivated by the bottom line. If a store's ethical stance is important to you, make sure they carry those values throughout their entire business and product line. Also, make sure the coffee you're purchasing is actually Fair Trade-certified. Some corporations have started marketing their coffees with certifications that sound a lot like Fair Trade, but actually aren't.