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Green Beans from Local Roasters

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  • Green Beans from Local Roasters

    I read with interest an older thread on buying green beans from your local roaster.

    I have bought over the last year or so 7 batches of green beans from local roasters in Hobart. I agree with a comment made along the lines of "if you get told to SOD OFF make sure you smile sweetly, walk out, and NEVER go in there again, making sure everyone you know gets to hear about it". Ive had this problem only once, and from a supplier I had previously paid $25 for a kilo of inferior Colombian beans.

    Ive paid as much as $35 for a kilo of Ethiopian Sidamo, which was outrageous but I was just starting and knew no better. Eventually I found a couple of friendly suppliers and have got much better single-origin beans (Yirg, Harar, PNG Kimel, Guatemala Antigua) from them for about $10 a kilo.

    I especially appreciate their friendliness and helfulness, but at $10 a kilo for green beans the roaster wouldnt be making much, if any profit selling them to me, I would think. I worry sometimes that no profit may lead to less willingness to sell green beans on an ongoing basis... Any thoughts on this?

    FJ

  • #2
    Re: Green Beans from Local Roasters

    FJ,

    I doubt that a roaster who sells the odd kilo of green beans @ around $10 is really trying to make a killing on it. The ones selling at $20/kilo and over for basic beans ARE trying to make a killing.

    Your roaster sounds more likely to be passionate about coffee and keen to share the experience.

    Yes, ultimately it is a business, but most roasters would be buying their green beans in bulk which is likely to have them (at present) a fair margin under the $10/kilo mark.

    I think it comes down to the type of person youre dealing with and the kind of relationship you can foster with them. I think common sense plays a big part too. EG: If you are spending time talking to him that is keeping him away from other aspects of his business that ARE his bread and butter, he might not want to continue, but if you are coming in adn having a friendly chat when he is not too busy and at the end of it you buy 1 or 2 kilos of beans from him, then no harm/no foul.

    If neither of you are trying to rip the other one off, and you are both happy with the outcome, then why wouldnt the roaster continue to sell you the odd kilo of beans?

    Brett.

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    • #3
      Re: Green Beans from Local Roasters

      Fj,

      Ill second what Brett has to say. It would also be good idea from time to time to buy some of his roasted beans as well. You would be sure to keep him on side that way.

      Cheers,

      Louis

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      • #4
        Re: Green Beans from Local Roasters

        Roasters are in the business of selling roasted green beans. Why should they compete with themselves--albeit on a miniscule scale--by selling anyone the raw material which is the basis of that business.

        Do we go to a cafe and buy NOT a coffee, but the beans only? Do we go to the Ford factory and ask not for a car, but their steel plate so we can build one?

        I think it takes a lot of front to buy green beans from a roaster.

        If you want beans --- hey, they are sold here.

        Robusto

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        • #5
          Re: Green Beans from Local Roasters

          Originally posted by robusto link=1133752689/0#3 date=1133825893
          Roasters are in the business of selling roasted green beans. Why should they compete with themselves--albeit on a miniscule scale--by selling anyone the raw material which is the basis of that business.

          Do we go to a cafe and buy NOT a coffee, but the beans only?   Do we go to the Ford factory and ask not for a car, but their steel plate so we can build one?  

          I think it takes a lot of front to buy green beans from a roaster.

          If you want beans --- hey, they are sold here.

          Robusto
          I acknowledge your point, Robusto- however some roasters- e.g Pioneer do sell green beans realising that rather than shooting themselves in the foot, that they are possibly/probably gaining revenue from people who might otherwise not even be customers. Also, they allow us to top up on origins which CS may not have at that time. Hey, who knows- the green bean buyer might pop in for a coffee and bring a friend too- you can get customer loyalty in many ways.....

          I could apply the same analogy in my cafe and refuse to sell beans or ground coffee for home consumption- but that would just be silly, wouldnt it?
          I will certainly be popping in for a look at Pioneer next time Im in QLD.

          Chris

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          • #6
            Re: Green Beans from Local Roasters

            Originally posted by FarmerJoe link=1133752689/0#0 date=1133752689
            I agree with a comment made along the lines of "if you get told to SOD OFF make sure you smile sweetly, walk out, and NEVER go in there again, making sure everyone you know gets to hear about it".
            FJ
            My reply was in relation to this post. If commercial roasters dont mind selling green beans, fine.  But if they, quite rightly, do mind, to treat them with contempt (as per above quote) is grossly unfair.

            There should not be a perceived onus on them to sell green beans.

            Robusto

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