The Coffee Process
Start to Finish
Coffee comes from some of the most remote places in the world, and there are a number of key environmental preconditions that allow for the creation of incredible coffees: Altitude, diurnal temperature range, adequate sun exposure, good rainfall, and healthy soil are all critical factors that make great coffee possible. Follow the equator around the globe, look for places with elevations between 1200-2000 meters above sea level, and you will find the areas where top quality can be developed.
But having the right environmental conditions is only one piece of the puzzle. Most of the coffee grown in the world does not come close to achieving its real taste potential due to a severe lack of resources to finance quality operations, insufficient technical knowledge at the farm level, and infrastructure obstacles that cause major quality loss between harvest and shipment.
The only way to get truly exceptional coffees on a consistent basis is to work closely with farmers and millers in producing countries to help them overcome the hurdles that have held them back in the past. Our buyers and quality assurance team spend many months on the road each harvest season, working directly with growers to establish better protocols on their farms. It is an incredible experience to witness the transformation that can take place when a farmer learns to become an artisan rather than simply a harvester. Quality goes up tremendously, allowing growers to escape the commodity market and sell coffees that have real value based on their intrinsic merit.
Every country is politically, economically, and culturally different. Personal engagement with local farmers in each country is absolutely necessary. There is no single magic formula for producing brilliant coffees. Each location is a unique environment and has its own particular micro-climate, cultivating traditions, and infrastructures. We make several trips each season to every producing country where we work so that we can advise farmers and monitor quality from harvest to export. Over the years, we’ve formed meaningful relationships with growers in about twenty countries and will continue to develop coffees with them for many years to come. It is the ultimate study in mutual advantage—better coffees for consumers, better prices for growers. We consider it an honor and a privilege to be the catalyst that allows this dynamic to exist.