How We Source Coffee
We spend time on site
At Supreme, we find quality coffee by spending time in the countries where our coffees are grown. Our roasters travel to origin to taste and compare many lots of coffees we are considering, to get to know producers, and to look at the entire system that surrounds coffee production. They also spend time cupping on international coffee juries to hone their abilities and extend their networks.
Any farmer will tell you that quality does not happen by accident… Delivering consistently high quality coffee requires a long-term outlook, specialist skill, and good harvesting practices. We look not only at the coffee itself, but also at farm management and social standards, and the whole processing chain. As you’ll appreciate, the overall environment in which coffee is grown makes a huge difference, and this is what we try to take into account.
We build relationships that lift quality
The benefit of travel is that we establish long-term relationships with growers, mills and exporters, and this is essential to make our future access to good coffee sustainable. We have learned invaluable lessons about the agricultural side of the coffee trade and met some of the most interesting and hardworking professionals in the business.
Just as we want to find quality coffees, producers want to fully understand what roasters want, and lift their quality to improve returns. Tasting coffee together, exchanging information and building understanding, all help generate quality improvement. With insight gained from this experience, we can make informed decisions about the coffees we want, and the people we want to work with.
We share the stories of our coffees
Because we know the people, we can pass on the story behind the coffee – who produces it, where it is grown, why it is the way it is. The taste and the story are inevitably linked, and coffee becomes more than just a drink, it acquires a personality and provides a window into the culture, places, and people where it was grown.
So, rather than searching for bargains, we find great coffees, pay a sustainable price to their producers, and develop long-term relationships. That’s how we source and buy coffee.