our seedlings for those of you that are watching it off archive, we’re in late March so it’s
time to get the seedlings. What are you planting?
to keep rolling right along. Joe, we’ve got Kenyans rolling in shortly, we’ve got Centrals that’ll be pouring in, we’ve got Ethiopians it’ll be coming in. Can you help me? When do I buy my coffees?
start to fade and start to die.
fresh are going to start to fade away. You’ll notice that the life in the coffee kind
of dwindles. Don’t confuse that with just being bored with a coffee. Sometimes people, when you’re roasting the same coffee for month and month on end, you get kind of bored with it. It’s important to not allow boredom to steer you but to allow the Integrity of the coffee
so having a score sheet to where you can actually detail what the notes in the coffee are, having a team that’s tasting those coffees is really important.
But it is a living, breathing creature and it’s waiting to germinate and if it has to
wait too long it’s just going to die. So using it while it’s still fresh is really important.
change very much with humidity. So it’s some type of climate controlled environment is
really great. If it gets too hot and too cold, that will affect the way that the coffee is
giving off its water because there’s a lot of moisture in a coffee and that it change
of moisture equates to change in the coffee. And, any change in green coffee is going to
degrade the coffee, not improve the coffee, once it’s here in a country where you’re going to be roasting it. So, you don’t want to see a lot of change you want to see static coffee and change is bad.
below 20% that usually too dry and it’ll suck the life out of the coffee.
keep it in climate control. If you’re working with an importer or working with a green coffee partner you can usually store your coffee with them and then collect your coffee as
needed, get shipments incrementally so you can put your coffee on contract, have them
hold your coffee, and then buy your coffee from them over time. That way your coffee, while it’s held nobody else can buy it but it’s also in a climate controlled situation.
protect against a lot of humidity and things like that, but if your coffee gives off a lot
of its moisture in a really hot climate it can actually start to grow mold and things
like that in the GrainPro bag. I’ve seen a lot of GrainPro bags get opened and it’s
just full of mold. So it’s important to not think about GrainPro as some kind of supernatural force protecting against all things. Some coffees actually shouldn’t not be in a GrainPro. Decafs, for instance, some decafs will mold in a GrainPro bag because the water activities so high in
a decaf coffee.
I like to go about the 9 months deep. Is that generally good advice?
12 months. If you buy a Colombian coffee, there are some Colombian coffees that come in that are exquisite in the first month, by month 3 they’re dead. So it just really depends on
the coffee, it depends on the water activity of the coffee, and how stable that green coffee is. A lot of that stability comes from how they dried the coffee at the farm, how dense that coffee is, how that coffee was shipped, what type of temperature change that coffee went through as it’s crossing the ocean. So, there are a lot of different things to it, so it’s important to work with your partners who are helping you source that green coffee, not only to say what coffee should I buy, but how long should I have that coffee. A really great strategy
for green coffee buying is called buying for replace. What that means is you have a plan in mind not only for the coffee you’re acquiring now, but also how are you going to replace that coffee, with what, and when.
coffee has the largest potential to drop off in its quality. So, for a high-quality coffee
I’m probably not going to go super deep because it’s going to have more potential
coffees, 88 point coffees in my blends. Its probably going to be 85-86. Those have a shorter amount to drop. Usually an 80-point coffee is 80 points not because it has negative flavor characteristics, but because it’s just kind of flat and dull and that’s usually where your coffees sag to if they’re going to drop off. So the closer you get to that 80 point mark, the longer that coffee’s going to last at that same flavor profile. So, on your blend components there are a couple of strategies here. One, going long allows you’re blend to stay consistent for a longer
amount of times you’re not constantly having to do all the work of changing your blend
and then, two, you know that that coffee is not going to sag very much because it’s already in the mid to lower 80s, most likely. And it’s not a bad thing to buy in 83-84 point
coffee, especially if you’re going to put it in a blend because it could be like I’m sure
many of us have seen a flavor profile that’s kind of like a spider web where you’ll have
body, acidity, sweetness, all of these different characteristics that build out this circle.
Well, usually a lower quality coffee or a mid-range coffee will be high on one thing like acidity,
or high on body, or something but then the other side’s will be kind of flattened.
Well you can take another coffee that has those attributes and plug it in to where your blend itself becomes a larger circle, but you’re saving some money and you can go longer on those coffees by putting them together in a blend. If you do have the fortune of having a coffee that is affordably priced and that hits that 85-86 Mark on that you know it’s not going
to sag very much and it’s quality but the circle has broadened and out a little bit more, that would be a coffee that I would probably go pretty deep in because I would say this coffee can fill a lot of different situations, it’s a flexible coffee, I can blend for espresso, I
can blend for drip, I can use this as a single origin, and I know it’s not going to drop off
in quality very much. So looking for those coffees that are kind of workhorse coffees
as I call them, or coffees that are bargain coffees. Not coffees that are the cheapest
coffees in the toolbox, but coffees that can really do like –punch above their weight class– is a really great way to hunt for coffees.
and you’re going to use it up fairly quickly, hopefully.
the shop for a total the 16-17 months and it never lost anything. Why is that? Just curious.
at holding up over time. To be honest with you, I generally find the natural processed coffees hold up much longer. And this is anecdotal, I might go of flack for this, but I’ve actually
seen natural coffees that come in and they kind of start to sag and then
they get this second life where they get better. And then they’ll eventually drop off–
all the sudden you’ll see an improvement in their cups…
they can control that quality. But, we try to contract our coffee’s for 4 months so if you
buy coffee from us and write a contract, you’ll probably be told if you try to contract it
for 5 months, “no, we can only do 4 months unless it’s like a large blender purchase.”
go back to SweetMarias.com, because not only do they have the harvest schedule, they’ve got the shipping schedule, as well. Can you talk about how you use a harvest schedule?
those calendars as being a rough guideline or a rough estimate of where things normally are, with the way that the climate is lately they’ve been shifting quite a bit from one
country to another. But, it helps you to project when you are going to be buying a coffee.
For instance, in Ethiopia they start harvesting in November, that usually stop harvesting in January-ish. You know that that coffee that’s harvested in January is not going to be fully ready to ship from Ethiopia probably until late February, early March so then you know that shipping times another 6 to 8 weeks and by the time that coffee’s ready you’re looking
at April for the first arrivals from Ethiopia. So, then when you’re projecting how you’re
going to buy, picking up really fresh Ethiopian in April is a good idea.
Ethiopia’s through August.
all impact that harvest schedule–
a bad strike situation in Colombia. Sometimes you’ll have a strike in a place like Panama,
the Panama Canal will close down for a while. There’s just so many different things.
of June, I may or may not have fresh crop Costa Rican sitting on my shelves.
time is money. This is like you’re churning through so much profit–
coffee’s it could be your roast, it could be your water, it could be like a myriad of other
for checking what you are buying, and working with an importer or a green coffee partner that
you really trust which, that does take time so is your getting started you may have to
spend the time roasting a bunch and cupping a bunch and calibrating to the people that
you want to work with. The customers that I work the best with generally I have the best
calibration with. So, when they call and say yeah I’m looking for the next Costa Rica. I
know exactly what Costa Ricas are going to fit into the profile that they’re looking
for and so I can make a very small list of recommendations they can look over that list of recommendations and they can say I think that this 1 Costa Rica is going to fit our
needs. Costa Ricas come in they cup that one Costa Rica and they check yes or no does it
fit our needs? That saves them so much time and energy and then they have the best of
the best because we haven’t wasted a lot of time going through list and while while you’re going through that cupping process you have to remember that these coffees are being sold so while you’re cupping and trying to figure out and looking at all these different coffees, I’m busy on the phone trying to sell that list of coffees to other people and the companies that trust me the most are going to be the companies that by first and by the best stuff based on my recommendation and that’s just not me, that’s anybody that’s selling
green coffee that’s going to be the case.
that this doesn’t only serve as a sample roaster to determine a quality in a coffee, but you can also being the profiling process with a very small amount of coffee so that you can then take it to
your larger roaster and not have to go through a whole bunch of product. Product like this
will sell– will make you money back in no time.
I need a coffee that’s going to taste chocolatey at a dark roast or at light roast or something like that. So I’m listening for very small cues on what a customer is saying to try to
figure out what coffee best suits them, but the more clear that you can be on your needs and what kind of cost you need, how long you need the coffee to last you, what your application is going to be: is it going to be espressos, is it going to be drip, is it going to be blend, is it going to be single origin–
a coffee that I, he knew I could use for those dual purposes.
those Workhorse coffee, is so important. Sometimes, you’ll– well basically a really high-quality
coffee should serve well within all different formats, however a really high-quality coffee will also generally be very expensive. So if you can find a Workhorse coffee that also
satisfies that expense need, your golden.
60-69 70 kilo bag from Cafe Imports. How should a person establish a relationship with you? Be it you, Royal Oakland, whomever…how is it best to work with an importer?
the demographic that I’m working with. Like are you going to be buying two bags of
month so we need to find you like some really really good coffee that also 2 months from
now is going to still be around, or are you going to be turning over a pallet every month. What exactly are those needs? Not just because of anything price related, but because of the availability related. Any information that you can share about your your company, your ethos, your ethics…do you need organic, do you need fair trade, what is it that you’re
trying to accomplish with your company? Then we can start down the road pf peeling back all of the extra coffees that are going to be meaningless to you and to your buying strategy and narrow in to the coffees that are specifically important for you to look at and then when we communicate, we can focus in on those coffees and those coffees alone and save you a lot of time and energy, especially if you’re going to be cupping through stuff. If you tell me, I’m just looking
for delicious coffees that score 85 + above and that are you know I don’t have any kind
of price range then I may be able to send you a hundred samples and that’s not helpful to you and it’s not helpful to me so the more that you can narrow in on what it is you’re
looking for, the better. And as you start to taste those coffees sharing openly what it
is you like about the coffee and don’t like about the coffee even if you don’t have a
cupping protocol and you’re not sample roasting all of that, as I get to know you as a customer or as your sales rep at another company gets to know you as a customer then we can start tailing it tailoring coffees that suit your particular flavor preferences. Everybody is a little bit different in the coffees that they like to buy the and those coffees really match a certain type of personality and none of those personalities are good or
bad they’re just all different so as I get to know your personality and how you like
to buy and what coffee is best suited your brand and vision then I can narrow those coffees
in extremely quickly and well.
time with an importer. Yeah, never feel like you’re too small. If an importers making you feel like you’re too small, find an importer that does not do that. You are not too small
if you’re buying green coffee. There are coffees for you and we importers are privileged to be able to work with Roasters that want to take the time and put in the attention
to making our coffees taste great.
Is my freight the same with 4 bags on it as it would be with 10? Do I need to fill that
pallet up to diminish my cost per pound on shipping and transportation?
from there going to be certain price break points so you may be able to get a pallet with one bag on it for a hundred bucks and then a pallet with 5 bags on it for a hundred
fifty bucks and a pallet with 10 bags on it for 200 bucks. Well that pallet with 10 bags on it even though it’s two hundred bucks, it’s more expensive, but if you break it down to being 1500 pounds for two hundred bucks and then do the math for how many cents per pound you’re paying for shipping it’s a whole lot cheaper than shipping one bag. We have shipping rates to certain areas of the country that are a little further away so if you were in certain
places it’s $0.10 a pound on a full pallet, if you have 9 bags on a pallet it’s going
to cost you a whole lot more than if you have 10 bags on a pallet, so it’s important to get
quotes, to work with a company that has the ability to help you get those quotes, to make sure that whenever your shipping that coffee that before the coffee leave the warehouse
that you’re shipping it from, that you are that the company that you’re purchasing it from has put on your bill of lading that you need a lift gate or that you need to call ahead
or that you need help unloading and bringing it into your warehouse all of these things add
cost but they also make it a lot easier and if you’re coffee shows up to your door and you don’t have a lift gate because you didn’t want to spend money on a lift gate and you
didn’t tell the importer that you needed a lift gate then that truck driver is not going
to unload your coffee and they’re going to drive away and then you’re going to get charged with a redelivery fee, which a lift gate is 30 to 50 bucks redelivery could be two hundred and fifty bucks. All of these things matter, so the more information you can provide about your delivery situation the better. Also, it’s very important that you understand who
is responsible for what if something goes wrong in your shipment. Things go
wrong all the time. So once it leaves our warehouse It’s kind of in the hands of the shipping
company. At Cafe Imports we stand behind the coffee that we ship so if something does
happen in transit we like to arrange the freight on behalf of our customer so then we can go to bat on behalf of our customers.
than if your shipping 1 pallet every 3 months. So having a partner in that shipping game
is very, very important and we can also help save on rates, as can other importers. The other thing that I’ll say is inspect your pallet when it arrives. Inspect the coffee, make sure that there’s no punctures, make sure that it doesn’t look like it’s been rewrapped. On our pallets we have stickers and information that shows that the pallet is the initial rap so
if anything looks like it’s been rewrapped then you know that there’s that something
happened to that pallet in transit and it’s really important if it looks rewrapped that
you unwrap it take every bag of that pallet, as painstaking as that is, inspect everything
before you let that truck driver leave your premises. If there is any damage, that damaged needs to be marked on your bill of lading, you need to sign that bill of lading with
that damage mark, you need to have the truck driver initial by where that damage is, take
pictures of the damage, send the damage and the bill of lading copy to the person that
did the arrangement of your shipment so that you can get that covered. It’s very important.
so it’s pretty anecdotal for me to say that one coffee will last longer than another categorically. The main coffees that I’ve seen last the longest have been natural process coffees and honey processed coffees a lasting close to that, wash processed coffee fading fairly quickly. But, they’re also could be other things that are skewed with that since a lot of the natural coffees that we buy are very very high end naturals, it could be that the quality is intact there too. So could be correlation it could be causation, I’m not really a hundred percent sure. The primary thing that I would point to is taste your coffee, don’t buy too long, if you
end up needing more of a particular coffee or needing a coffee to go long, know that the
longer you go with a coffee of the higher-risk you have of that coffee fading. Nobody can
tell the future on a particular coffee. We can guesstimate, we can have a more and more educated guess on a coffee and that’s where tools like water activity and moisture content, understanding those and then using GrainPro, having your facility be climate-controlled those help
with that, but nothing can tell the future.
summary Joe, I want to talk about 3 coffees as we close out we’ve got a a Brazil natural
in from JC Coffee in Seattle: fresh crop. It’s an excellent, clean, natural that can be
a dual service purpose of both espresso and standing on its own. Take a look at that.
As well, we’re getting to the end of the Hambela estate natural from Ethiopia and if you don’t buy it, we’re going to drink it here in the shop. It is a wonderful cherry natural
and I’m very, very sensitive to natural coffees when they get overly fermented, I just–
I can’t get there, but this is one I could drink everyday. And the third one is Joe’s
red marqaha. We don’t know what’ll come out of Yemen this year, so if you want to
jump on any Yemen coffee I think we’re down to our last bags. So with that, it’s a wrap.
Joe, it’s good to work with you as always.