Where Do Coffee Shops Buy Their Coffee?
The constant flow of delicious coffee in your favorite coffee shop is enough to make you curious: where do they buy their coffee?
At first, it would be easy to assume coffee shop owners go straight to the coffee farms and source the beans directly, but this is rarely the case. In reality there are a variety of places a coffee shop can source its beans from.
Green Coffee Importers
Most coffee shops source their beans from green coffee importers. These specialists work on the ground around the world and blend beans from several different growers to attain the desired flavor profile. The green coffee importer then ships the beans to the coffee shop, where they are roasted onsite or by another supplier.
Dedicated Coffee Wholesalers
Dedicated coffee wholesalers are companies that buy coffee beans directly from producers. In turn, coffee shops buy beans from them, as they are often more reliable than going directly to producers. These companies also have their own network of sources and will work closely with coffee shops to make sure they get the best quality beans.
Some coffee shops choose to buy their beans from retailers. This option is usually best for cafes or shops with limited space, as retailers will usually provide ready-roasted, ground coffee. This process simplifies the buying process, but it does limit the coffee shop’s selection, as retailers don’t typically provide the same variety as big green coffee importers.
Directly from Coffee Farms
Finally, some coffee shops opt to buy their beans directly from coffee farms. While this option is becoming more popular, it’s still relatively difficult to accomplish. The coffee beans have to be processed quickly and in a manner that won’t impact the quality of the beans, and there are often a lot of regulations and paperwork that have to be completed first.
In conclusion, the sources of coffee beans are incredibly varied and the one that is best for you depends on the type and size of your coffee shop. While the option of buying beans directly from a farm is attractive, in reality it’s often simpler to go through an established green coffee importer, dedicated wholesaler, or retailer.