Quality Over Quantity Matters
The shade-grown, Arabica beans in our blends are some of the world’s finest, and vastly about the “super-premium” lines, which use the top 10 to 20% of global production.
Our beans are procured via a quality-over-quantity approach in which growers are paid 35 to 100% greater than Fair Trade rates based on quality alone, following a cupping at the grower level.
“Fair Trade” coffee, which guarantees minimum revenues to the farmer, does not pay farmers enough to produce truly amazing coffee. By linking the supply chain, growers are paid directly and incentivized to produce consistently amazing coffee, while treating the workers and the land fairly.
The coffee beans in King’s Row blends come from small farms in South America, Central America, Africa and Asia.
Coffee ripens at different rates. If you pay people solely based on how much they pick, they’re going to bring in as much as they can, even if it’s under or over ripe. Great coffee takes more care in picking, which means the farmer generally has to pay the pickers more for the greater amount of time it takes to fill a basket. Paying a premium for cup quality, nothing else, ensures that this is possible.
Why Not Organic?
From time-to-time, the best coffees may happen to also be organic, but we have yet to find a consistent supply of truly organic certified coffee that meets our standards for quality standards. Why is this?
- Becoming a certified organic coffee farm is a long and expensive process (3 years without any chemicals), during which the farmer will not reap any increase in price, and which also leads to decreased productivity
- Large farms, co-ops, and associations are the only operations that can afford to get certified
- If a large operation is certified organic, all the farmers in the association or co-op are certified en-mass with each farmer only being surveyed every few years.
King’s Row Coffee wants the absolute best coffee beans in our blends.
- There is no way to ensure which farmers are getting the best coffee from the group, whereas King’s Row Coffee’s buyer goes to individual farms and cups each lot of coffee to ensure it meets the highest quality requirements
- If a farmer’s coffee is already getting a premium because it is of world-class quality there is no financial upside to being certified organic.
- In our experience, only coffees of average quality justify the higher cost to certify as organic, so that the farmer can get a price premium that pays for the certification cost.
- The coffee in our blends is some of the world’s finest, and is procured based on quality at 35 to 100% greater than Fair Trade rates. This is the why King’s Row Coffee blends are consistently outstanding!
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