Favorite way to get green


New member
Feb 20, 2007
San Marcos, TX
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Hey everyone,
I was wondering if anyone has a favorite broker they like to use, or a company that provides them with green beans.

Also, what do you guys tend to look for when you are researching brokers and suppliers. Is fair trade a high priority for many of you? Or is the price that is the deciding factor? Maybe what origins that broker provides? Is it all that different from other ones? And how do you begin on your search for your green coffee?

Lots of questions, hopefully lots to talk about.



New member
In my opinion sourcing and buying green beans really is the most import part of being a roaster. If you have good quality beans and roast them responsibly, you will have pretty darn good coffee. On the other hand if your beans are horribly defected, it's going to be feces in and feces out. Therefore, in my opinion quality should always come first. For me at least, I really don't care any politically labeling or lack thereof. If the coffee is good I will buy it. If the coffee is not good, fair trade/organic/bird friendly/shade grown/rain forest alliance means nothing to me.

Other considerations: If you are a small roaster then warehouse location is an important consideration. I am in New England so I usually work with brokers who warehouse their stocks on the East Coast. However, if there are something I wanted bad enough, I will buy from West Coast warehouse and pay pretty steep freight cost.

I usually work with two or three brokers and I would request samples of let's say Colombia, I then cup them blind and buy according to quality. I also work with a few specialized importers on region specific beans.


New member
Mar 20, 2007
Inland Nortwest
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Green Beans

ATLAS is nice because they warehouse on both coasts. I''ve also found them to offer a fairly stable quality of beans, and they are always happy to send me samples before I order.


New member
Mar 6, 2006
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I've been happy with where I get my beans... But have been looking around to compare. Atlas seems to have good prices, and seem very helpful with an informative website. How much do you all worry about ordering a lot of bags before sampling? Is quality as high from one supplier as another? I tend to be very believing and trustful, I guess.


New member
Mar 22, 2007
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Finding a green coffee supplier

There's lots of good ones and I know many of them tho i am no longer in the roasting end of the biz. In addition to Atlas, the top green importers who I feel know quality include
- Royal (California) -- probably the biggest
- Royal (Staten Is, NY) -- not related!
- Cafe Imports -- Mineapolis
- Volcafe Specialty -- California
- Zephyr Coffee -- I think New Orleans vic
- Atlantic Specialty -- California

Most of them will store coffee in the major coffee warehouses on both coasts/the gulf and some are using that underground storage facility near Kansas City who's name is escaping me. All of them will participate to varying degrees in the various quality competitions like cup of excellence or Coffee Quality Institute programs.

I personally am not all that enamored with Fair Trade, if the coffee is good then fine, but don't believe that they are the only "relationship coffee" around, and there are others that don't charge 10 cents/lb for the name and that focus more specifically on quality. This is something you should discuss with your prospective suppliers, it doesn't have to be fair trade to be responsible or sustainable.