Where does our coffee come from?

Sourcing green beans at Boil Line Coffee

Boil Line Coffee sources over 75% of its green coffee from importing companies that have long-lasting relationships with coffee farmers to allow for maximum transparency and positive impact in coffee growing communities. 

It is far easier to utilize large importers that sell coffee from all over the world. 

Transparency is a key ingredient

These companies do carry high quality ethical coffee, but we would be sacrificing transparency and socioeconomic impact in exchange for personal convenience.  The following is a look inside what drives us to buy coffee in this manner. 

From plant to green coffee bean

As a roasting company Boil Line Coffee has A LOT of options when it comes to buying our raw product. 

Coffee lifecycle. From a small white flower grows the seed bearing coffee fruit. You can see the flower, under ripened fruit, ripe fruit, and finally the seeds_

Green coffee is the unroasted seed of the coffee plant, and before it arrives at our roastery green coffee has already gone through quite a bit. 

Both red ripe coffee cherries, and green underdeveloped cherries growing on a coffee tree

It takes at least 3 years of growth before coffee trees begin to produce coffee cherries, and the fruit that bears 2 coffee seeds, or beans as we call them, per cherry.  When the fruit is ripe it must be picked and processed down to the dry seeds that can be roasted and then brewed. 

It is the journey from farm to roast that makes or breaks great coffee, and it is how Boil Line Coffee Company chooses to buy coffee that sets us apart.

Jeremy Graham – Owner, Boil Line Coffee Company

Deciding which green coffees to roast for our customers is particularly important to us at Boil Line Coffee.  How do we decide which coffees are right for us?  Simple.  We buy coffee with the least amount of links between grower and roaster as we can without sacrificing quality.  This is commonly referred to as Direct Trade. 

What is Direct Trade coffee?

Direct Trade coffee is coffee that is sourced directly from a farmer, exported, and sold to a roaster at a contracted price.  Price is generally based on quality, however, if a roaster knows the impact a coffee has on an individual farm or community, then an ethical value is also added.  Some roasters are willing to pay more if they know the importer is doing good in the grower’s community. 

Examples of this good doing are arranging working capital for farmers so they can make ends meet during the months prior to selling their coffee, or employing local women at processing mills, some of whom may not be able to find work elsewhere.  

So, who does Boil Line get its green coffee from? 

Many roasters will give you the name of one or two importers they source from, but at Boil Line we purchased coffee from 9 different importers in one year.  Why?  We work with small operations who are in the growing communities.  To be clear, we also work with a few larger importers that provide us with a wide range of options, and who we do trust, but we know we can do better. 

By purchasing the majority of our coffees from importers who are visiting the farms, organizing export, transport, import, and delivery of our coffee, we are getting you our customers as close to the farmers as we can.  This purchasing model also give us the ability to buy from the same farm or community year after year, helping to guarantee success for our coffee growing partners. 

Local women and men sorting coffee cherries at the farm before heading to the local mill for processing

Closing the gap from farm to cup is especially important to us, as we know this is how we can make the biggest impact.  The average age of coffee farmers is rising as fewer young people are getting into the business.  Those who are choosing to grow coffee are growing higher quality coffee than ever before.  This momentum needs to not only continue but needs to gain speed to safeguard the future of coffee. 

Although more and more ethical coffee roasting companies are born every year, the price of green coffee on the International Commodities Exchange is still in decline, leaving the farmers short changed.  Therefore, it is important that Boil Line Coffee keeps on its mission to ethically source coffee. 

We invite you to join us in this quest to improve the coffee industry, one bag at a time.