The way we source and buy coffee is integral to providing the remarkable coffee we’re able to offer you.
Our Direct Trade Philosophy
Great Specialty Coffee, coffee that truly delights the senses, begins on the farm, with the farmer. This simple fact spurred us to pioneer the concept of Direct Trade in the coffee industry, almost two decades ago. We didn’t set out to disrupt the status quo, where importers and exporters provide an unnecessary barrier between the grower and the roaster, simply because it’s a better way to do business. In fact, in many ways, it’s infinitely harder. We introduced a new business model for the coffee trade because it’s the best way to deliver the kind of high quality coffee we were looking for year after year. We believe our efforts speak for themselves in every cup of Intelligentsia coffee.
Our Growing Partners
Forging deep, collaborative relationships with our coffee growing partners takes time. That’s why you can find our team at source virtually every day of the year, working hand-in-hand with farmers, from the lush mountainsides of Central and South America to the origins of coffee in East Africa. We collect data at every stage of cultivation and processing. We analyze it, and share with the farmers. Together, we modify techniques. We experiment. We learn. We celebrate our shared successes and reward our growing partners by paying above Fair Trade value for their coffees. We believe this not only improves the quality of our coffee, it improves the quality of life for our partners and their families.
Delivering the finest coffees in the world to you means accompanying the coffee every step of the way, from the nurseries where the seeds are planted to the package you receive at home to the coffeebars where they are brewed and extracted with precision. When you see the Intelligentsia Direct Trade logo on our bag, we hope you’ll appreciate how much hard work and effort was spent to make your coffee drinking experience as enjoyable as possible.
The Direct Trade Community
Our ongoing efforts in the Direct Trade community culminate in our Extraordinary Coffee Workshop. This annual event that brings together our growing partners from around the world to share ideas, build a peer-driven network, and serve as a platform for continual improvement. These efforts have also spawned a number of intriguing projects, like our Black Cat Project™, which seeks to push the boundaries of what espresso is and what it can be.
Perfection doesn’t lie in the result; it’s forged in the pursuit. This is what drives our Direct Trade program.