Buy Coffee Smarter: Cafe Imports Launches Purchasing Planning Website

Understanding the ins and outs of ordering coffee can be tricky—Cafe Imports has launched a website to help wrap your head around purchasing green coffee.

Photos courtesy of Cafe Imports
The steps to roasting coffee seem straightforward: buy a roaster, learn how to roast, and then produce great coffee. But there are a lot of logistics behind starting and opening a roastery. How much coffee should you order? What sort of green coffee would be best for drip? How long can you hold onto that open bag of green coffee?
Buying, managing, purchasing, and storing green coffee can be intimidating, but Cafe Imports helps new and current roasters figure out how to purchase coffee responsibly.
Cafe Imports hopes to streamline this process by launching the Purchasing Planning website, a one-stop shop meant to answer questions and aid any roaster of any size in figuring out how much and what coffees they should buy. “We want to have a very clean, simple way to help roasters connect to us in a way that best serves their needs,” shares Joe Marrocco, director of education for Cafe Imports. “There is no real formula for how purchasing coffee works from one company to another; this purchase planning page allows a roaster to see exactly what tools Cafe Imports provides, and which of those tools to employ to best serve their needs.”
The website first classifies roasters by the amount of coffee they buy—small (fewer than 20 bags of coffee ordered a month), medium (20-75 bags), and large (more than 75 bags)—and gives roasters helpful tidbits and advice about how to approach their roasting program. Cafe Imports provides information on seasonality, general tasting notes, and how to build a blend. The website also provides information about how Cafe Imports receives and treats the coffees they purchase. You can see what coffees are in their warehouse, which are on a boat awaiting arrival, and know more about the coffees they cup daily.
The purchasing website helps roasters of all sizes, from small micro-roasteries to large-scale roasters.
In this initiative, Cafe Imports is aiming to achieve a level of transparency that translates to better purchasing practices, and ultimately better coffees. “As we buy coffee smarter, we can help the customer buy their coffee smarter,” notes Joe. So much of the process of roasting is steeped in the tradition of learning as you go and developing a knowledge of coffee on your own, and Cafe Imports hopes to help new roasters by making information more accessible. “Rather than wasting time and energy, and money, and missing out on great coffees—learning the old-fashioned way, we want to help roasters jump ahead of the curve,” Joe says.
The benefits and information change as you move from small to large roasters—in the small roasters section, the focus is on picking coffees to fit a flavor profile, while in the large roasters section the focus is on warehouse storage and pricing—and Cafe Imports is clear that they want to provide advice and guidance to roasters that best suits their needs. “We want to not only supply the best green coffee, but supply it in the best way that best serves our customers’ needs,” Joe says.
You can check out the new website here.
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Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at