Green Buying and Menu Development

What's the deal with buying coffee?

Now that we are serving a greater variety of our own coffee at the shop, customers will inevitably ask where it comes from and how we bought it.

Alchemy's coffee menu

The first step for buying coffee is making the decision of what we want. Coffee arrives in the US every day but just like any other crop it is seasonal. We want the freshest coffees we can get!

This basically means we have to look at what will be available for when we would want to be selling it. Our current menu is based off projections Ben and I had back in June.


Yeah man fucking June. So Ben and I began talking about bringing on coffees with a goal of integrating them in our service between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With this in mind we I wanted a menu that featured some Central American coffees that would be fresh and popping in September/October. I contacted our importing partners Anthem and Ally who then sent me a BUNCH of green coffee samples.

Sample Roasting

Sample roasting is a really fun process. Basically we are roasting suuuuper small batches of coffee, often coming straight from origin, and evaluating their quality and potential. To give perspective our production batch size is between 18 and 21 pounds but our sample roasts are 50 grams!

Judging the coffees

Tasting coffee samples can be kind of tricky. We are so accustomed to judging the quality of the roast on a coffee rather than the quality of the coffee itself. The roast style for our samples are very different than our production roasts. For the samples I am often taking them further into the roast, looking to get past some of the acidity and see what kind of sweetness or defects the coffee may have.

The green coffee buying process is a whole different side of our business. I lean on our importers a healthy amount to guide me towards coffees that match our pallet at Alchemy. While it would be nice to dig deep into every origin and crime dog for deals its just not super feasible with all the other things we have going on at Alchemy. That being said I always have green coffee samples on hand, if you ever want to come to the warehouse and do some sample roasting hit me up! Learning more about the roasting side of Alchemy can be an awesome tool for customer service on the bar!

Benjamin FarmerComment