Too Much Choice? Rast Spills the Beans on Sourcing the Best Green Coffee
We asked one of the largest roasters in Switzerland: how do you choose the right coffee when you buy online? Find the six questions Beatrice Rast asks herself. Learn how to narrow down options and find the best coffees.
From Samples in a Suitcase to the World Wide Web
According to Rast's website, sustainability comes from “personal relationships with the coffee producers and permanent dialogue”.
Who Is Your Final Customer for That Coffee?
“Oftentimes, we cup something interesting or exotic. Then, we go ahead and order a couple of bags for special editions. This can be exciting, crazy stuff. A lot of our customers are very open and curious to try and experiment with new coffees”, says Beatrice.
To supply restaurants or big customers, there is less appetite for funk. The sourcing process is more structured. “In this space, we’re going more for consistency. These are bigger volumes, and we’re not set up to run the selection process from scratch every year. As a result, we’re building long-term partnerships.”
How Often Do You Want to Sell That Coffee?
“Communicating these interests and needs is crucial. By sharing information with Algrano, you’ll get to a manageable set of offerings in no time”, says Beatrice.
“Sharing information with Algrano” can take many forms. Roasters can set a simple search filter on algrano.com/coffees. Or they can hit a sales manager up and ask for recommendations.
Are You Convinced By the Cup Quality?
If the coffee doesn’t convince in the cup, it’s immediately out. Quality is the first piece of a domino effect. And that piece needs to fall for anything else to be considered at all.
What Kind of Farmer Is It?
Choosing the type of producer is not as simple as saying "I only buy from smallholders". Many roasters can't rely solely on single farms. But there are many small enterprises out there that allow roasters to support independent businesses (much like themselves) even when they can't source only from small farms.
What Is the Producer’s Philosophy?
“But we’re looking for attitude and ambition. The reality is that sustainability is an immensely complex topic. Also, on the roaster side, we’re far from perfect. Whenever we can contribute beyond just buying coffee, we have an open ear.”
What Is the Price?
The roaster emphasizes that price still always ranks below quality. “Foregoing quality to source more cheaply is squarely against our philosophy and what we believe in”, she explains. “Cutting such corners would be self-betrayal.”
Building Coffee Relationships in the Digital Era
“Plus we’re excited to see that many producers started travelling to Europe themselves. Meeting them here is super valuable as well.” She met Fabrício at World of Coffee in Milan this year, and he visited the Rast roastery in Ebikon a few years back.
The Ultimate Goal: Equal Partnerships Built on Trust
The power of simple economics
A leap of faith that pays dividends in credibility
More in-depth practical information on sourcing? We got you!
US Roasters Can Now Source Coffee Directly on Algrano
We’re bringing eight years of experience in direct sourcing to North American roasters. Algrano offers US roasters the same features and services already enjoyed by their European peers whilst providing greater market access to coffee producers on the marketplace. Kosta Kallivrousis is Algrano’s first US-based - Kansas City, to be precise - team member. He is here to help producers around the world and North American roasters build meaningful direct relationships.
Harvest Wall Planner for Roasters (Download)
Get the free sourcing calendar and follow the harvest periods across the coffee belt, when fresh crop samples are in Europe, the deadlines to order coffees from different origins, and delivery dates for the shared shipments!
How to Master Coffee Procurement
Learn the best practices of this ancient process and discover Algrano’s new way of doing it. Nail it and you’ll be able to access more green coffee in less time.