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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    68

    Buying coffee without a broker....

    I am curious if anyone has any info on bringing coffee into the US, without using a broker. I am talking about containers btw. I really have no idea where to begin, mainly with permits, etc... If anybody has any links or such It'll be much appreciated!!
    " Its all about the Roast"

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    1,044
    I import plenty of stuff.. but I haven't graduated to importing coffee myself until I can afford to visit the farms.

    But the basics are:

    Do a bit of searching on the FDA site,
    http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/imports.html
    apply for the applicable importers license,
    some farms have websites, or phone contact... others you need to either pay a liason, or fly there yourself.
    Import arrangements aren't that difficult. They will have shipping companies they generally work with. File the necessary paperwork... i.e. "advance notice" and it will arrive in port, take a couple of days to clear customs... you may need to issue another check at this time for import tax and custom fees... then it will be whisked away to your location. (more or less)

    simple.
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT
    caffedbolla.com

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Guatemala
    Posts
    3

    Guatemalan coffee producer-direct exporter

    I''m a coffee producer-exporter-roaster from Guatemala. We export manily green coffee (around 90% of the production) without broker to roasters in the US (containers quantities). It is very easy to import coffee directly in the USA and I would say all forwarding agencies know what is needed to do the import. I think the most difficult part is to reach an agreement with the coffee producer about the payment method. What we personally do is we receive payments through paypal with the posibility of a refund in case something goes out wrong which is unlikely to happen. We encourage our buyers to come to the farm for a day or two (around $800 investment) for them to know the plantation and have the real sense of where the coffee is coming from. Feel free to send any questions or comments.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Telluride, CO
    Posts
    15

    Buying coffee without a broker

    Don''t do it. I was a green coffee trader for 15 years. You''re not going to save much, you''ll have way more liability than you want, have to deal with broken bags, insurance claims, possible quality claims against exporters etc etc...need I go on? Deal with a reputable importer. I can recommend if anyone''s interested

    Good luck

    Mick Hill - Green Coffee Buyer
    Don't Burn The Beans
    1-800-230-BEAN (2326)

    Roastmaster - RC Gartrell (co-founder "Stumptown Coffee Roasters")

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    68
    Thanks for the link and Info JohnP!

    Seems I have my work cut out for me
    " Its all about the Roast"

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    68

    Re: Buying coffee without a broker

    Quote Originally Posted by telluridecoffee
    Don''t do it. I was a green coffee trader for 15 years. You''re not going to save much, you''ll have way more liability than you want, have to deal with broken bags, insurance claims, possible quality claims against exporters etc etc...need I go on? Deal with a reputable importer. I can recommend if anyone''s interested

    Good luck

    Mick Hill - Green Coffee Buyer

    LMAO! Words of wisdom I take it? lol
    " Its all about the Roast"

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    327

    Re: Buying coffee without a broker....

    Despite the words of wisdom above, I am forging ahead with importation. How else do you find special/different beans ?

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Crystal Lake, Illinois
    Posts
    19

    Re: Buying coffee without a broker....

    There are tons of different/special offerings at the higher end brokers. You could make a full time job of just tasting from one or two brokers that you like/trust. Unless you have the time and money to travel to origin and develop relationships with farmers, and keep in mind that it may take many trips to find just one good coffee, you may be best served by using a broker. A good broker gets to know your tastes over time and really simplifies coffee buying.
    Success is measured by how you impact those around you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    327

    Re: Buying coffee without a broker....

    Would anyone care to post or send me the higher end brokers ?
    I am familiar with the standard biggies.
    Preferably on the east coast as freight from the west coast would be prohibitive.

    ceoprod@gmail.com

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: Buying coffee without a broker....

    The highest end I have found is Elan Organics (researched it for about six months with a consultant and help from others in the biz). They do their research and are VERY well respected. They are even work on a higher standard than fair trade ECO-Q that will be focused on all the right needs of our industry from farmer to brewed pot and pulled shot. They are out of San Diego but have a large facility on the east coast... Jersey I think. Look them up the are really a great group of people.

    Kaydi is who we deal with.

    http://elanorganic.com/

 

 
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