How We Think About Purchasing
We believe that our most important decisions are made at the cupping table.
In the coffee roasting business, sourcing is everything. Sourcing encompasses cup quality, producer pricing fairness, consumer pricing fairness, product release timing, inventory age, menu balance, access to farm information, et cetera. Given these factors, a lot of thought goes into identifying and contracting the right coffee lots.
At the end of the day this is why we're all here, and it's the most important aspect in our purchasing decisions. Cup quality is the overall sensory experience of drinking a coffee; i.e. sweetness, body, acidity, complexity, balance, aroma, flavor, finish, defects, et cetera.
Producer Pricing Fairness and Consumer Pricing Fairnness
PPF and CPF are two sides of the same coin. Traditionally, companies have always attempted to keep producer pricing as low as possible and consumer pricing as high as possible in order to reap the highest possible margin. Since producers have to sell their harvest every year, this structure leaves them with very little bargaining power, the result usually being little to no profit or growth year-over-year. In our opinion the producer that spends an entire season physically laboring to bring their coffee to life should enjoy a greater margin than the roaster that spends less than an hour processing it.
The consumer's price is inextricably tied to producer price, but not always fairly - that's why we always publish the per-pound price of the coffees we purchase, as well as our estimated overhead.
- 3-4 high-quality and novel coffees from a variety of origins that have a variety of flavor profiles.
- 1 high-quality, versatile single origin drip coffee, flagged as our "rotating drip." We do this so that wholesale accounts pay a flat-rate for a reliable (and seasonal) drip coffee. It's likewise nice for our retail customers to have an affordable option that they can be confident will always taste great.
- 2-3 Rosegold Espresso components. Maintaining an espresso blend that consistently tastes versatile and fresh, while remaining affordable, can be a difficult task. It requires thinking about the blend's solubility and relative roast level between the component parts. Like the rotating drip, Rosegold is flat-rate for both our wholesale and retail customers.
- 1 high-quality decaf coffee. While the demand is less constant than caffeinated coffee, we pride in having a tasty option that isn't made with scary chemicals.
Product Release Timing and Inventory Age
Depending on the origin, coffee harvests can take anywhere from weeks to several months to land in New York. Sometimes entire shipments get caught up in customs. Since coffee is always aging after harvest, proper planning and storage is crucial to maintaining the quality of our inventory.