Green Coffee Sellers Compared - What's Important to Your Buying Decisions - Page 2

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
vecchi della seattle
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#11: Post by vecchi della seattle »

When I got started, I really liked to buy from a roaster like Happy Mug because of the detailed roasting notes. Price is paramount. I don't like to pay over $8/lb including shipping. Burman CT is my usual source but I'll be going back to Hacea CS and Theta Ridge when the Daterra comes in.


#12: Post by Milligan »

General structures I find myself drawn to:

- Free/reduced shipping @ certain order thresholds. For example, CBC offers free shipping on anything over $150 spent through their Rancher program.

- Consistent large variety. For example, CBC tends to offer 100+ different coffees whereas La Bodega sometimes only has 10 or so up for offer. Cafe Imports has a wide selection but that isn't for home roaster use (La Bodega being their smaller scale distributor.)

- Decent pricing with rotating specials incentivizes me to try new things (throw it in with an order) that I otherwise wouldn't run across.

Coffee Specific Details

- Tasting notes are all over the place. I find that specific flavors described are usually not that helpful but generalities are. For example, "ripe strawberry" is an eye roller when buying greens but "bright acidity" or "fruity" is helpful. Some of the descriptors are too roast dependent where "ripe strawberry" can easily end up as "fruit jam" if taken a few degrees higher in roast level which is why I tend to lean more on general descriptions when buying.

- Sweet Maria's taste chart is interesting but a simple 1-10 system is just as good and easier for me to quickly understand than looking at an infographic. This is really a nit pick though and wouldn't cause me to buy or not buy.

- User reviews are unhelpful. I've seen all matter of weird user reviews. I haven't necessarily found reviews to line up much at all because some are skillet roasting while others go super dark. It's a crap shoot.

- The most helpful are the basics such as country, region, altitude, variety, process, certifications, and harvest date range. Elaborating on this information is even better. Exactly what coop or farm it came from and detailed description of the process is nice too.

- I don't see it often, but I like when a seller does their own roast and describes their roast with a detailed description on their roast method, equipment, and profile. Royal does a really neat job of this with their Crown Jewels. If they get specific with flavors regarding that roast then that is helpful.

Lastly, I think there is a TON of potential for more personality focused sales information. For example, have 3 different staff members with different tastes (3rd wave, dark roast, espresso, etc) give their take on the bean and what they roasted it to. Kind of like a movie critic, once you find your critic that aligns with your thoughts then it is nice to hear their take.


#13: Post by Mbb »

Ive had good experience with happy mug. It's my first go-to.

I use a handful of others when they don't have what I want in stock.

I am mostly disappointed in the shipping time and cost from others. Apparently it takes them a week to put the beans in a trendy little cloth bag..... It's not a boutique purchase for Pete's sake, it's coffee.

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#14: Post by Brewzologist »

Agree with and not much to add re: data points. I rely on my prior experiences and comments here on H-B when selecting a green vendor to buy from and tend to stick to the same ones. Since I'm buying low quantities for personal use, price and shipping are secondary for me. I'm looking for exemplary crops to buy and vacuum freeze, and I tend to read-between-the-lines on tasting notes to identify greens I want.