Why Pay the Price for Specialty Coffee V’s Commercial Coffee

Understand why we have a pricing system – Cartel Coffee Roasters Australia 

Thank you for your interest in our coffees. As we continue to source coffee from around the world and do our continued best to ensure that all our coffees are sourced from reputable producers and have the following attributes lovely & clean, incredible & vibrant, traceable and most important sustainable form each origin around the world.

Each year we consistently work with our producers to better each crop, cup & experience. 

We are proud to include a sustainability program where we increase our purchasing price with our approved partners each year at a fixed 15 % increase to better wages and help not only with sustainability amongst farmers and there families but help develop & secure better lots continuously each year. We honestly appreciate our customers that work with these programs as they are important for the future of these developing countries, the farmers growers producers and the very important families that are involved.

Below shows a exsample C pricing graph currently https://www.nasdaq.com/markets/coffee.aspx

What coffee buyers pay/trade for commercial coffee ( NOT SPECIALTY COFFEE ) 

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So what is Specialty coffee V’s Commercial coffee

There’s a significant amount of detailed work that goes into producing a high-quality micro-lot specialty coffee rather than a mass produced commercial coffee I will do my best to out line the difference here to better understand.

First it starts with the farming, a great deal of pre planing goes into organising the plantation before we even think of the important issues like what type of varietal to grow and where on the farm best suits a particular varietal and the conditions it best suits e.g more sunlight better altitude exotic varietals most of the time a very good agronomists is used to engage with to help identify this crucial decision. 

Then we look at growing organically, using permaculture or good quality fertilisers in order for growth and customer preference, once trees are mature and growing, ripened cherries pickers must be trained to pick the purple cherries not the green, orange red or black we have learned that purple cherries have higher brix measurement than other cherries the amount of sugars in most cases ensure the coffee processed contains  more complex sugars and higher acid. This makes it difficult as all cherries do not ripen at the same time, so selective picking means the farmer picks smaller quantities each day rather than stip picking for volume. So we pay a premium for these coffee cherries in order to motivate the farmer to pick more carefully keeping in mind the quality is guaranteed. 

e.g A specialty coffee farmers production day. 

7am – start work roll call on who is working each day.

7:30 – bags organised and farm manager will ensure the best piece of land is identified for picking because ripened cherries and abundant.

11am Morning tea break normally water tea or coffee and a small feed is offered.

1pm Lunch for the workers 

1:30 back to picking in a specific area on the farm.

5pm Cherrie collection normal bags are picked up with a specify identifier to each farmer for delivery to the production yard.

5:30 coffees are hand sorted for over and under ripes they are then put into a flotation tank and good cherries tend to sink and dead lifeless cherries float these are skimmed the coffees are then dried for 5 mins to ensure water is out of the cherries and weighed for the farmers total quantity picked.

6:30 yard washed and cleaned and preparation for the next day.

7pm Production starts for washed natural or honey process. 

After the cherries have picked and confirmed what processing method is best, e.g natural, Washed or honey even experimental lots carful planning must be ensured to make sure that enough staff are available to attend the drying tables and massage and control elements like humidity sorting defects and ensuring the coffees dry evenly before it is rested and  send to the hulling mills.

Hulling is important, We first as a coffee green buyer want to make sure we look at how organised the mill is & it can it handle micro-lots or is it for commercial use. Organised mills have separated lots dust free for tractability as this stage is important as once the beans have been hulled, they’re left in their final stage prior to roasting: green. And yet again, strict quality control check is needed. The parchment, just like the pulp, can hide defects. And per the SCAA criteria, specialty coffee must have zero primary defects, so it’s crucial to get rid of any defective beans. Colour sorters are used first to clean the coffee then n most circumstances triple hand sorting is done by humans to ensure any mechanical or machine sorting that is missed humans can pick up any visual defects. 

Specially coffee always ensures to make sure that the coffees are exported as fast as possible to reach there agreed destination with in time frame that ensures moisture and quality is kept in check. commercial coffee is in some circumstances mass sorted and kept for price fluctuation for export.

By now, the process at farm-level is complete and the beans are ready to be roasted, free of defects and full of flavour. But if you think the quality checks stop here, you’re mistaken! The quality control points continue on until the final cup is served and enjoyed. pre shipped samples are arranged, roasters cup those samples and ensure the right flavour profile is kept and a roasting profile is set out to ensure consistency for the customer, flavour profiles are identified like raspberry, citrus, apple and so forth .. this is especially important with single origin.

By always enforcing these three quality control points consistently and effectively during the processing stage, the quality of the coffee beans will noticeably improve. So next time you sit down with a delicious cup of specialty coffee, know it’s not just the beans themselves that make the coffee taste so great – it’s also the meticulous processes and hard work of those quality control checkers at each origin that help for a lovely clean yet vibrant cup of coffee. 

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