Coffee importers are awesome. These are large companies that work directly with coffee farms, usually by visiting them personally. They know their stuff, and help educate farmers in order to improve their practices and resulting coffee quality. This approach fosters long term trusted partnerships between the importer and the farmer, and in turn results in a higher quality coffee in your cup. These importers also develop relationships with and supply coffee to multiple roasters which allows them to purchase most, if not all, of a farmers crop. Working with a good importer provides the coffee farmer with peace of mind knowing their hard work will provide a reliable income. We support this ecosystem by sourcing coffees from high quality coffee importers.
A direct trade relationship means the roaster is buying coffee directly from the source. This often means the roaster has traveled to a coffee farm, developed a relationship with the owners, and bought some of their crop. While we are excited to pursue this opportunity in the future, our current direct trade relationships have resulted from meeting farmers and producers in person at a coffee event or trade show and forming a relationship there. Our goal is to only work with ethical producers that we know and trust. These producers treat their workers well, use ecologically sound farming, harvesting, and processing techniques, and provide us with a consistently high quality product each season.