Why do good roasters sell stale coffee? - Page 4

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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Postby jbviau » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:43 pm

^^^ Odd. Just did a few Intelligentsia test orders, and shipping to Baltimore was $7-8 on 1-2 bags via USPS Priority, and just over $10 for 2 bags via UPS Ground.
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Postby Intrepid510 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:49 am

Well I got 11 dollars with 2 pounds of coffee via UPS ground or 12 for USPS, so I guess the mug added quite a bit of weight to those flat rate boxes USPS boxes when shipping with only 1 pound of coffee and mug.

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Postby earlgrey_44 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:03 am

endlesscycles wrote:That doesn't fit with my mission to offer my customers the best cup of coffee ever, every morning. That being said, I sell to Whole Foods, who buy only enough to sell that week. In that context I get great exposure and the customer gets great coffee. I sometimes see my coffee past prime at another retailer who doesn't move Whole Foods volume. I'm considering replacing stock unsold there after two weeks, but I think selling less to them more frequently would be preferred.


This is very good. It's all in the partnership with the retailer. Note though that Eastsideloco recently wrote the following about the the Austin WF (which is the flagship store):

"On a good day the locally roasted coffee with a date stamp won't be more than a week old. In other cases, it is all 2-6 weeks old according to the stamp. They need to buy smaller quantities and buy more often."

See the whole discussion here: Mountain Grown Beans, anyone used them before?

I suspect it comes down to your relationship with local managers. I assume you make shipments to specific stores and they order directly from you. Yes?

ex trahere wrote:I recently started selling coffee from reputable roasters-- by the cup and in 12 oz. packages--at local farmers markets. The feedback has been great, and I have been having fun doing it. I buy coffee once a week, and if any retail bags don't sell this week, they are dubbed 'sale coffee,' and sold at a discount the following week.

People have told me its stupid and that I will never make money if I keep that up. Honestly I do it to teach myself to buy less coffee if I bought too much the week before. In addition, by explaining to people that fresh coffee is actually worth more that stale coffee, they are more likely to take you seriously.

After bringing my syphon and halogen beam heater to prepare samples this past week-- I sold out of fresh bags. :mrgreen:


That's great, I love it. As you know of course, the object is not to sell at a big discount so your friends think you're nuts. You want to have as little "sale coffee" as possible. There are many retail situations where a coffee department can be added initially on a very small scale, with some appropriate signage and educational pamphlets and so on. Well chosen, fresh beans from a quality roaster are excitingly different. Starting with a couple of coffees, it can grow into a nice department with a substantial trade, and lots of good buzz around it. (no pun of course.. :) )

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Postby smootsg » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:40 pm

I was going to post about the Whole Foods here in San Antonio, who stocks at least one brand that has the roast date imprinted (Third Coast Coffee -- not all varieties). I was very pleased when I first noticed this, and bought a bag that was 10 days off roast even though I was unfamiliar with them. Thing is, when I went back the following week, they had the same roast dates. Now, three months later, they have some bags on-shelf that gleefully declare they were freshly roasted -- in May.

I look almost every time I go in there with the half-intention of buying (almost) anything that's within 2 weeks of its roast date; you know, to encourage them (Whole Foods). But I have not seen anything in the past six weeks that was less than six weeks old.

(and my route to-and-from work takes me within a 5-minute detour of Brown Coffee Co. There, the bags on shelf are always from that week's roasting, and the proprietor's tastes are aligned with my own. So; limited motivation to seek out other sources.)

(Living in a large-ish city has that advantage. There's another roaster not far from my commuting route (Mildfire), but I do not enjoy the direction they take their espressos. A bit too Italian, not enough Pacific Northwest.)

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Postby Intrepid510 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:42 pm

Yeah that stinks, so frustrating. However, Brown is really good so not a big loss there. Have you had the Edina microlot lately?

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Postby smootsg » Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:07 pm

I've had the Edlina microlot in the past couple of months, but am working with a bag of Finca El Rosario beans at the moment. Not specifically roasted for espresso, and a tendency toward brightness if the temperature and grind aren't right.

I don't know if Whole Foods San Antonio or Third Coast Coffee reads this forum, but when I went to the store today I found week-old Third Coast Yrgacheffe -- so, I brought some home. It may remain hit-and-miss, but today there was good hunting.

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Postby KnowGood » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:12 pm

Lately I've been questioning even the practices of "trusted" sellers of fresh beans. What happens if a roaster does 10lbs and only sells 7lbs? Where do the 3lbs unsold go? Are they carried over to the next roast???

I use my LaPav europiccola everyday, and as anyone who has used or owns one can tell you, it is not so forgiving when using stale beans - one knows the second you raise the handle! I've had a few roasts from a particular roaster that I suspect aren't as fresh as they want the buyer to believe. I've also had beans that have been two weeks past anyones use date, and they pulled amazing shots - this from a roaster that only roasts once sold.
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Postby HB » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:24 pm

KnowGood wrote:What happens if a roaster does 10lbs and only sells 7lbs? Where do the 3lbs unsold go?

The roasters I'm familiar with roast to order. For example, if you order Monday, it's roasted Tuesday. They have no coffee that is unspoken for on a given day.
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Postby KnowGood » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:04 am

HB wrote:The roasters I'm familiar with roast to order. For example, if you order Monday, it's roasted Tuesday. They have no coffee that is unspoken for on a given day.


See, this particular roaster has other stores and coffee houses sell their coffee. I'm guessing it is put in the store with an agreement that they only pay for what sells (consignment) - and if everyone wants fresh coffee, once it hits the 2-3 week date I would assume it gets pulled off the shelf for newer, fresher coffee. Where does it go when it gets pulled?
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