Nothing says, "you are committed now" like spending $500 on green coffee beans. It isn't just a blog talking about coffee anymore. Now, I'm taking real steps to being a real coffee company.
Here's how it all went down...
I've been roasting my own coffee for a while now. Even if I can't get my hands on the best beans, fresh coffee is just always better. Plus, everyone should know by now that I'm really...well, I'm cheap. So, I'd rather roast my own fresh coffee then pay to buy fresh coffee.
My friend and I have been discussing how to start a coffee company for around 2 years and I finally decided to act on it. So I had a logo designed, started this blog, etc, etc, etc. I finally got to the point where I needed to buy coffee. I was stuck between spending extra for smaller batches or spending less for a full bag. After a lot of thinking, I decided to with a full bag.
I started calling some of the major coffee distributes and most of them were like used car salesman. A lot of them wouldn't do anything for me, or they wouldn't try particularly hard until I was shelling out money. Then I got a hold of Brandon at Olam (http://www.olamspecialtycoffee.com/). This guy has given me the best customer service I have had in a long time. He has put up with me for over a year trying to figure out how to order my first bag. He never expressed frustration because he isn't commission based. I decided I would purchase my first bag from Olam because of Brandon's customer service.
I really wanted to start with a Mexican coffee because of my company name, but I was worried they wouldn't be as awesome of a coffee as I wanted. The main limitation I had was cost though. It is crazy how much $.10/lb adds when buying 150lbs. I asked for a sample of a couple, but Brandon made some recommendations and let me know about some new coffees coming in. I couldn't afford them so he sent me 5 samples; 3 Mexican, 2 Colombian.
I tried to roast all my samples to about the same point. I figured if I kept almost everything the same, I would get the best comparison. Looking back, it may not have been the best idea, but lessons learned.
I tried all 5 coffees with my friend at work and with my wife at home. I decided on a Mexican coffee with a really smooth, heavy body and cocoa/oatmeal flavor profile. I put in my order. That was the most expensive coffee order I have ever made. The shipping was $130!