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Many of us like to begin our day with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. It is a perfect energy booster to keep you going the entire day. Purchasing coffee from retailers and departmental stores is the closest on a busy day, but it depends on the availability and often creates a hole in our pockets.
It is thus more beneficial to connect with the local coffee farmers and stock yourself with less expensive and fresh beans directly cutting out on all middlemen from the supply chain and having the best source at hand.
Let’s now dive into coffee farms and direct procurement to understand the benefits of directly buying coffee from coffee farmers.
What are coffee farms and coffee farmers?
Coffee farms are farms where coffee cherry seeds are planted and coffee trees are grown. There are many different types of coffee farms that can help you in understanding how coffee is produced.
- Small Family-owned Farms – Small scale farmers are responsible for growing around 80% of the coffee produced in the world. Coffee farming is a source of livelihood for more than 125 million people.
- High Production Farms – Around 20% are high production farms that are not owned by families. The coffee output farms of Vietnam and Mexico are the commercial hub of the coffee business.
- Organic Coffee Farms – Organic farms are refrained from using chemicals, fertilizers, and pesticides for increasing their coffee plants. This helps in the early ripening of the berries and helps in producing a healthy yield.
Organic coffee is more expensive than the standard ones.
How to find and select the best coffee farms?
Coffee is a product that can vary in properties based on various factors. In order to procure the best coffee, there are a few things to look out for:
- Choose Source Country – The first step is to determine the country of origin from where you want your coffee to be sourced. Each country has its distinct coffee characteristics which are aided by the varying soil fertility, altitude, processing methods, and local varieties. The desired order quantity and frequency is a major factor because coffee can’t be sourced all year round from the same country.
- Choose the Coffee Producing Region – Each country can have multiple coffee-producing regions defined by climate and geography. Each region’s coffee can differ in taste and aroma. Having an understanding of each region’s flavor profile can help you choose wisely.
- Research Processing Methods – The processing method greatly impacts the flavor profile of any coffee produce. There are three main processing methods – natural, honey, and washed. It is important to know each process in detail and how it affects the coffee.
- Visit the Coffee Farm and Taste the Coffee – Once your preferred source country and region are selected, you should visit the coffee farms in that location for a process called “cupping”, where you can sample the coffee and get an idea about the flavor profile of the coffee on offer.
- Fair Trade Certified – If you want your coffee to be sourced only from farms that provide safe working conditions to the coffee farmers and do not use harmful chemical pesticides, you should buy from Fair Trade Certified coffee farms only.
What are the benefits of procuring coffee directly from producers?
Purchasing coffee directly from producers is popularly known as Direct Trade. The benefits of direct trade include:
- Greater Transparency – From start to finish, the process is highly transparent with every specific detail provided to you by the farmers and producers. This includes the specific farm where the coffee was produced.
- Better Prices for Everyone – Since direct trade removes all middlemen from the coffee purchasing process, the purchase price is lesser for customers while giving more money to the farmers. This is a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved.
- Better Relationships with Producers and Farmers – Direct trade allows you to facilitate long-standing relationships with coffee producers and farmers. This provides encouragement and better earning opportunities to farmers while also ensuring value delivery for customers.
- Great Quality of Coffee – Since you are directly procuring coffee from farmers, you can make informed decisions based on your sampling of coffee. Farmers are incentivized to choose high-quality beans as they have better monetary returns. This allows you to choose the best quality of coffee.
Best coffee farms in 2021
Some of the best coffee farms in 2021 which you can visit for an enriching experience are:
- Finca La Valentina (Panama) – This coffee estate is located in the mountains of Boquete and produces Geisha coffee.
- Finca El Ocaso (Colombia) – This coffee farm can accommodate up to 10 tourists with on-site rooms and has daily tours of 3-hour duration, available in both English and Spanish.
- Arusha Coffee Lodge (Tanzania) – One of the largest coffee farms in the country.
- Suan Lahu (Thailand) – Run by the Lahu tribe, Suan Lahu farm offers insights not only into Thai coffee but also the culture of the Lahu people.
We hope this article shows you the benefits of procuring coffee directly from the farmers who toil tirelessly to ensure that you get the best cup of black coffees or milk coffees all year long.