Importing Our Beans
Coffee is an agricultural product which naturally varies slightly in quality from year to year. Coffee quality can also vary as the price of green coffee fluctuates each year. When coffee prices are up, the farmer is willing to tend the trees and produce a better and more plentiful crop. When the prices are depressed, which has been the case in the recent past, farmers have little incentive to improve product since the price can be so low, it's below production costs. While this situation is great for large coffee companies concerned with their margins it's deadly for small players like us because we NEED quality coffee. We (and others like us) are willing to pay a premium each year to the farmer. When possible we buy directly from individual family farmers. This means smaller lots of coffee, with more time spent cupping coffee samples. The pay off for us is a better product. Environmentally sound farming practices and socially responsible coffees are the byproduct of dealing with small family farmers.
The first building block of better coffee starts with a farmer in a distant land. We depend on that farmer and he depends on us. We commit to purchasing our coffees over a year before we receive the shipments. We do this in order to guarantee the quality of the coffee. The coffee farmer depends on us to pay a premium over the "board price" of commodity coffee to justify his additional labor needed to cultivate the quality we desire. The farmer knows that each year we are willing to pay a fair price for his crop the following year so no matter what the board price of commodity coffee may be, he is rewarded for his extra work. We help eliminate the price gyrations and risk for the farmer and we secure a superior and consistent product.