How do I buy green specialty coffee?

How do I buy
green specialty coffee?

‘How do I buy green specialty coffee?’ sounds like the most basic question you could ask as a coffee roaster. And it probably is. But if you are just starting as a roaster, this is a legitimate question that you can ask any green coffee importer.

As a coffee importer, we offer you two common methods for buying green coffee. Forward buying and spot buying. Underneath you find a clear distinction between the two buying options.

Forward buying: if you want to forecast

Forward buying simply means you commit early and ahead of the season. You know the exact profile and quantity you need, even before the harvest starts.

With our help, you explore what the possibilities are. You narrow down your preference by origin, process, cup profile, score, price, and how many bags you need.

Forward buying comes with three big benefits;

  • you get the first choice on the new crop coffees. Usually, the best coffee that growers produce within a season,
  • volume discounts, there is more wiggle room to discuss prices ahead of the season,
  • and, you can forecast a year and minimize the risk of being short (having no coffee to roast).


Beyond the traditional seller-buyer relationship

Besides this, you get another perk. Strong relationships with growers. If growers and exporter know you are willing to commit early, you go beyond the traditional seller-buyer relationship. You build trust. And this, take our word for it, is the basis to develop the best coffees.

Forward buying is not only for large roasters. We know plenty of smaller roasters who know their needs ahead of the season and commit early. We can tailor to their needs because their requests come in on time.

Spot buying: if you need coffee a.s.a.p.

Spot buying is the opposite of forward buying. Instead of booking months ahead and waiting until coffees arrive, you can simply see what we have in our warehouses at the moment.

Spot coffees are immediately available. When you find a coffee you like, you can request a free sample. The sample is a good representation of the coffee. After you cup, you can make an informed decision.

The benefits of spot buying:

  • no commitment ahead of the season,
  • you can cup samples that represent the specific coffee that is in stock,
  • when you are short (out of coffee), you can consult the offer lists of importers,
  • and you enjoy immediate delivery.

Combining both buying methods

The downside of spot coffee is the price. You will quickly discover that spot coffees are often more expensive than forward coffees. This is because all the costs that have put the coffee on spot have been paid.

Spot coffees are not only for the smaller roasters. We see a lot of larger roasters that order spot coffees to diversify their menu. Both buying methods serve your forecasting and supply tactics.

Ready to buy green specialty coffee?

Each Thursday we send our newsletter packed with information about available spot coffees and soon to arrive lots. Sign up if you want to know what’s coming your way. If you want to buy forward, reach out to one of our traders.