Brewed coffee can only be as good as the plant that birthed it allows. With that in mind, we continue to scour the world in search of amazing farmers and coffee. A few years ago, we started going to farms ourselves, looking not only for great coffees, but great producers with whom we can form long-term relationships. We try to partner in a way that gives the producer some stability and in turn that means they’ll invest in the farm, improving the quality of the crop. We hope to create many more virtuous cycles like that.
It’s also important to note what we mean by direct trade, seeing as to how it’s a term used without any real definition. For us, direct trade coffees mean that we’ve personally visited the producer and understand how much of the purchase price per pound they’re getting (versus the importer, exporter, etc). If we can’t go there ourselves, we will work with partners who are committed to the same sourcing practices that we have, finding producers who take care of the land, the people working the land and the coffee.
Once we’ve found a great coffee at the source, we take pains to not screw it up by either over or under roasting it. We take issue with the dogmatic approach to roasting that many of roasters take to roasting.
Coffees are so different from one another, from the terroir they are grown in to the variety of the bean to the processing. Why would the same roast work for such a wide variety of coffees? We tailor our roast to the bean. We try to find a roast that brings out the best in the bean, focusing on sweetness and avoiding bitter or sour notes in our coffee.