Ethical Sourcing


We source the very best coffees, the right way – from seed to cup.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world (second to oil), yet the farmers who live and grow these prized beans in 80 counties around the equator, live near poverty.  In fact, the average salary for a Nicaraguan coffee picker is just $500-$1,000 annually.  This has to change. That’s why we’re taking steps to make a difference by buying a large portion of our green beans through Direct Trade and Fair Trade relationships.  These relationships are mutually beneficial and help support economic growth in developing coffee growing regions.

Why Direct Trade?

We carry many Fair Trade Certified coffees (certified by Fair Trade USA). Fair Trade guarantees farmers a minimum price, and links farmers directly with importers, creating long-term sustainability.  We support Fair Trade, but we also aim to go beyond Fair Trade with Direct Trade buying relationships. Direct Trade allows us to work directly with farmers and offer them a higher price for their superior quality beans.  Our Direct Trade bean costs are typically higher than the minimums mandated by Fair Trade co-ops, but this premium allows us to hand-select even higher quality beans from unique micro-lots that would be inaccessible without such relationships.  We work directly with farmers to choose the right crop – allowing us to cup the best quality coffees available. When farmers are paid a fair price for their green beans they can, in turn, provide fair wages, healthcare, education, food, clean water, and shelter for their families and workers.  This type of care also extends to the land and its surroundings, allowing the farmer to plant, grow, harvest, and package, all while taking care of their farm and the environment.

We’re committed to building more mutually beneficial business partnerships with farmers and buying an increasing amount of Direct Trade coffees in the coming years. Buying coffee beans through Direct Trade isn’t always the cheapest way to buy, but we believe it’s the right way.

How Direct Trade Can Make a Difference:

  • Help improve the lives of farmers and their communities.  When farmers receive a fair price for their beans, they have more money in their pockets to support their local economies.
  • Ensure your getting the highest quality beans from the best micro-lots.
  • Provide greater transparency to consumers who increasingly make buying decisions with product quality and origin in mind.