Green Coffee Sellers Compared - What's Important to Your Buying Decisions

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#1: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Curious to know what data points are interesting to you as you go to buy greens? The intent is to compare Green Sellers to the home roaster market. Who does what well and what appeals to home roasters in terms of how they display their greens for sale. Listing a few besides the obvious such as origin, flavor notes and price --

Filtering selections
Shipping costs clearly stated
Flat rate shipping option
Bean data clearly shown (elevation, density, size, etc.)
Artisan Plus support
Flavor clearly described
Flavor clearly depicted visually
Price per weight

Edits from below:
Supplier
Harvest Date
Arrival Date
Direct Trade/Organic
Roasting Suggestions

Just to name a few; whats important to you? AND how does it impact your buying decisions? Give examples if you like.

One that comes to mind for me is the Flavor Wheel at Sweet Marias or the Bean Data at Hacea (including Artisan Plus support).

Thanks in advance.
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mkane
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#2: Post by mkane »

Bean data
tasting notes
price-I'm becoming cheap
I don't expect anyone to ship for free

olutheros

#3: Post by olutheros » replying to mkane »

Yeah, I greatly prefer detailed tasting notes than just getting "raisin, chocolate, nuts" or whatever.

And harvest and/or arrival dates. There's a lot of big resellers that refuse to clearly tell you when a crop is from and I can only assume that it's because they have older inventory they need to move.

Marcelnl
Supporter ♡

#4: Post by Marcelnl »

availability (availability is an issue in my country, the Netherlands)
current crop
direct trade(!)
origin descriptors
tasting notes (no battery acid for me), complexity
organic
price
LMWDP #483

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Peppersass
Supporter ❤

#5: Post by Peppersass »

--> The Supplier <--- (see note below)
Tasting description and charts
Origin (I have strong preferences for certain regions)
Harvest/arrival dates
Roasting data (e.g., guidance and tasting notes for different roast profiles and different roasters, like Royal Crown provides.)
Bean data (elevation, density, size, etc.)

Note: Increasingly, I find that the supplier makes a big difference -- regardless of the bean. I want the highest quality greens that have been well-screened for size and defects, and I'm willing to pay for that. Only a few suppliers can reach or exceed that bar. Other suppliers may have a much larger set of offerings and lower prices, but I've often been disappointed with the results of roasting their products. You get what you pay for.

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luca
Team HB

#6: Post by luca »

We have very limited suppliers in Australia, so these examples are probably more examples of what would be important to me if available.

I guess the only bit of information that I really care about is the coffee age. Harvest, arrival dates. We're not going to get information about if the green is stored well, or if it sits under a hot tin roof, so probably the best course of action is to try to buy stuff fresh.

Taste descriptors and such would be useful, but, TBH, I kind of ignore them now and tend to rely on my experience of the origin, variety, processing method and producer to form an idea of what it would be like. I don't think that there's that much consistency between descriptors from different suppliers, but if you know who cupped something and evaluated it, you can get to know what they mean over time. So what would be really useful is to actually know who wrote the cupping notes. For some suppliers, maybe they always write their own notes. For others, they might buy from and importer and copy/paste the importer's notes. I think that, pretty much inevitably, you are going to have to just suck it and see and roll the dice on buying some stuff from people, and then you can take it from there. You kind of have to expect that everyone provides a description that's basically only the good aspects, and that they describe them in the best possible light and omit details that are bad. I know, for example, there is one importer whose coffees are always stunningly clean and free of defects, but the aromas can be a bit less intense; the coffees can be a bit bland. Then there's another who has very intensely aromatic coffees, but they are usually described w/r/t fruits and berries, but they actually usually have a funky taste, like versions of those things that have rotten in a hot garbage bin for several days. Similarly, there's another importer who often lists washed ethiopian coffees and reasonably, to me, describes them as having floral and citrus qualities, but usually omits how intensely hay-like and astringent they are. Then there's another importer that totally lacks any credibility to me at all - like I remember reading some effusive tasting notes from them on coffees with all sorts of fruit and floral aromas that they scored at 94+, and the samples tasted like musty rubber. The point is that you can't expect to get from a vendor's descriptions a reasonably appraisal of the relative quality of the coffee or the bad aspects of it, and these are important, so the best you're going to do to make educated guesses short of buying and trying the actual coffees is to get a feel for whether the tastes of the person buying the coffee align with your own. In this respect, it's no different from buying roasted coffee.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Exam, WBrC #3, Aus Cup Tasting #1 | Insta: @lucacoffeenotes

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luca
Team HB

#7: Post by luca »

Oh, I also like it when green suppliers tell us that cheap coffees are "the best" or similar. Makes it easy to assume they are untrustworthy and move on.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Exam, WBrC #3, Aus Cup Tasting #1 | Insta: @lucacoffeenotes

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster)

#8: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster) »

Peppersass wrote:--> The Supplier <--- (see note below)....

Note: Increasingly, I find that the supplier makes a big difference -- regardless of the bean. I want the highest quality greens that have been well-screened for size and defects, and I'm willing to pay for that. Only a few suppliers can reach or exceed that bar. Other suppliers may have a much larger set of offerings and lower prices, but I've often been disappointed with the results of roasting their products. You get what you pay for.
Dick can you give an example of a green vendor showing the supplier on their website?
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Almico
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#9: Post by Almico »

Is this directed at Green sellers, or Green buyers?

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster)

#10: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz (original poster) »

Alan, the intent is to compare Green Sellers to the home roaster market. Who does what well and what appeals to home roasters in terms of how they display their greens for sale. Topic title edited per HB suggestions.
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