Simply put, "Shade Grown" 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, "Shade Grown" coffees are planted under a canopy of trees, providing a shaded, forest-like setting. This method of coffee production is also known as producing "bird friendly" coffees, they are also organic, meaning they're grown without the use of chemical pesticides which poison the environment.
"Shade Grown" coffees are the only coffees on the market that are certified as shade-grown and organic by an independent third-party inspector. These criteria are based on years of scientific research.
What's the difference between "Shade Grown" coffees and other coffees?
As explained above, "Shade Grown" coffees are shade-grown and organic, thus making them bird-friendly. The alternative way of growing coffee entails cutting down the canopy trees and growing coffee plants under full sun. These "sun coffee" farms provide little or no bird habitat and pollute the environment because they require large amounts of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.