HomeRoast Digest


Topic: The best of the best coffee. (7 msgs / 129 lines)
1) From: Rstyler49
Was wondering if we who buy commercially or privately grown coffees really 
get the best of those crops, or are the best beans first picked out by the 
local coffee consumers or the coffee growers-drinkers, giving us second best. 
 Is this a fact of the coffee world?  Just curious about some of the 
particulars after the crops are ready for harvesting.
Rob

2) From: EuropaChris
From what I've read in stories, we usually get the BEST part of the crop, and the locals get the poorer quality beans.  These countries want to sell the best part of the crop for the premium dollar (which these days is pretty darn slim).
Chris
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3) From: EuropaChris
From what I've read in stories, we usually get the BEST part of the crop, and the locals get the poorer quality beans.  These countries want to sell the best part of the crop for the premium dollar (which these days is pretty darn slim).
Chris
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4) From: Tom & Maria
Very true Chris. First pickings are not the best in most cases. The best
coffee is picked in the main crop harvest in the middle of the season
(depends based on what region you are refering to), and the best coffee is
the ripest cherries. And that is what specialty coffee is... The US does
much of the best coffee, especially with our geographic advantage in terms
of proximity to Central America. There are people who always suggest that
N. europe or italy or japan get better coffee than us. Not true!!!!!!!!!!
(and I mean every !) You hear that all the best Jamaican goes to Japan and
that proves that they have brand-conscious buyers there who are not putting
cup quality first, and we clearly have that in the US too. So even if throw
cash at producers, you STILL dont get the best coffee. Coffee isnt an
accident, and a good farm/source has consitently high quality standards
that do not change based on the coffee market. They also take advice from
their buyers to improve coffee. Theres a heck of a lot of agronomy in
coffee, not high tech stuff, but advanced nonetheless: seedstock
developement, on-site nursery, careful pruning techniques, very
labor-intensve weed control, care for interplated shade trees, targeting
different parts of a farm with cultivars ideal for that soil/sun exposure,
and then of course all the details of picking/wet-milling/drying/and
dry-milling. A good relationship with the buyer aids the farm in practicing
long-term quality objectives. So what IS true is that the coffee buyer with
the best, long-standing relationship to the most trustworthy and
consistently excellent farm or exporter or co-op gets the best coffee! It
doesnt matter so much where they are, but what matters is the longevity of
the relationship and a willingness to work through bad times when the
market conditions are poor and a good buyer needs to offer premiums to help
the grower/exporter, thus insuring a good future source.  Just my .02
cents...
Tom
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5) From: Mike DeZelar
On Mon, 09 Jul 2001 09:28:14 -0400, EuropaChris wrote:
<Snip>
Are the specialty coffee growers really making less due to the bottom
dropping out of the commodity coffee market?  I've been getting the
impression that the growers that the specialty market buy from have
nothing to do with the commodity market.  I haven't detected a drop in
specialty coffee pricing.
-- 
Michael DeZelar        Elk River, Minnesota, USA
O-
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6) From: EuropaChris
I believe (Tom, step in here?) that worldwide coffee pricing is set at the big coffee exchange boards, regardless of whether it's going to a gourmet importer or to Folger's.  If the bottom falls out of the market, every grower gets hit.  Of course, that just gives an excuse for the roasters and such to make bigger profits.  The wholesale price of coffee is ridiculously low, but you'd never know it paying $10, $12 a pound for roasted coffee in the average shop.
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7) From: Lance & Heather Chalmers
We have a local roaster here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (from whom I
occasionally buy green beans) and they have a sign in the window stating
that the price of coffee has gone down and they are reflecting that in the
price of each cup sold.
Can't say the same about the "chain" coffee suppliers. (not just *$, but we
do have others, too).


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