GREEN COFFEE, PART 2
hat is a coffee buyer to do when presented with such a wide array of choices, where each option claims to be the best and where green coffee costs must stay within a company’s operating budget? One approach is to work backwards: to start with a prioritized list of qualitative and quantitative specifications and use those as a lens for sourcing green coffee that is the best fit. Brio Coffeeworks is a wholesale roaster owned and operated by husbandand-wife team Nate and Magdalena Van Dusen in Burlington, Vermont. As a small, local roaster serving a community who values responsibly sourced food and expects great taste, the Van Dusens look for coffees that meet a crosssection of criteria. “Brio’s criteria for sourcing green coffee fall primarily into five categories: quality, traceability, social and environmental impact, seasonality, and price,” Nate explains. “We look for coffees that exhibit exceptional flavor relative to the origin and price point. Our customers seek coffees at a range of prices, so our sourcing has to reflect that. More and more we’re seeking lots traceable to the farm level that are relatively uniform in terms of varietal and where there’s more of a story that we can relate to our customers.” Keeping in mind what customers want is a major facet of selecting green coffee. Selected coffees have to resonate with customers. While the possibility of finding something new and exciting can make green sourcing seem like a treasure hunt, choosing green coffee is just one small part of running a coffee business. A balance must be struck between coffees that meet customers’ taste expectations and ethical considerations about best business practices. “Balancing social and environmental sustainability criteria with cup score and profiles is a challenge because there is not a sufficient quantity of certified coffees on the market to meet our needs,” Nate says. “So it’s really about
56 | AUGUST 2018 » freshcup.com
LA MINITA coffee estate in the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica is known for innovative and progressive farming and management methods.
BRIO COFFEEWORKS: owners Magdalena (left) and Nate (roasting below) Van Dusen look for specific criteria when purchasing their green beans.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRIO COFFEE
South Korea's Jiri Mountain tea, sourcing green coffee, shrubs, and cold brew safety