COFFEE ORDERING F.A.Q.
HOW TO ORDER
Our sales team can walk you through the process of buying coffees, either spot orders currently available in our warehouse, period contracting for larger chops of particular lots over a certain duration, or forward-booking coffees that haven’t arrived yet. We can also make suggestions for you based on your needs, paying special attention to coffee types, flavor profiles, certifications and traceability, price, and volume. We are also happy to discuss the possibility of participating in the World Coffee Research check-off fund, if you are interested.
Pricing and availability for our current inventory is also available by phone or e-mail.
While we have no minimum order, we trade solely in full-bag quantities of coffee. If you are interested in smaller quantities of coffee, please visit our small-bag sister brand, La Bodega, at www.bodega.coffee, where the offerings are available in 50lb GrainPro-lined bags, shipped for free via FedEx Ground.
PAYMENT AND TERMS
We require payment in advance of coffee release for a minimum of three orders, after which we are more than happy to discuss the option of establishing credit terms. We accept payment by debit or credit card, check, wire transfer, and electronic funds transfer.
STORAGE AND FREIGHT
We own our warehouse in Minneapolis, MN, and our U.S. spot inventory ships exclusively from that warehouse (though we will happily transfer your contracted coffee to a position in another warehouse for your convenience). Owning this warehouse and hiring our own staff means we are able to offer some of the highest-quality wrapping and palletizing of any company in the business, as well as same-day releases on orders placed before 12pm CST.
Shipping can be arranged to your door from any of our warehouse spaces, and we take great pride in the attention to detail that our warehouse staff shows to your order, every single time.
Storage can also be negotiated for longer or larger contracts with us: For just a few pennies per month, we are able to store lots for up to four months with periodic release at your convenience.
OTHER SHIPPING F.A.Q.
Q: What is the minimum size of order you will ship?
A: There is no minimum order: We’re as happy to ship 1 bag to you as we are to ship 100. (Though shipping rates are more economical on full-pallet orders.)
Q: How do full bags of coffee ship?
A: Full bags of coffee (59–70kg) will be stacked, wrapped, and strapped onto a wooden pallet. Even single full-bag orders will typically need to be shipped on a pallet. The coffee is palletized in our warehouse, and we routinely inspect the quality as well as provide customer support upon receipt of the pallet.
Q: Will Cafe Imports arrange shipping to my location?
A: Yes! We have competitive rates with many national and international freight carriers, and can work with you to ensure you get the delivery service that you need throughout the United States, Canada, and Central and South America from our U.S. warehouse.
Q: Can I arrange my own shipping?
A: Sure! Simply inform your sales representative that you would like to elect your own freight carrier when placing your order, and arrange to share with us a copy of the shipper’s BOL and contact information.
NOTE: Our U.S. warehouse pick-up hours are from 2:30–4:30pm CST.
Q: What size are your pallets?
A: Our pallets are 48” x 48” and weigh approximately 50 lbs each.
Q: How many bags can fit on a pallet?
A: Depending on the size of the coffee bags, we can generally and safely fit between 10–12 on each pallet, though some shipping companies have weight-based maximums with which we need to comply.
Q: What should I do when the delivery arrives?
A: Before you sign off on the delivery release for any shipment of coffee, thoroughly inspect the pallet and the bags on it. If there is any damage or any discrepancies between what is delivered and what is on your delivery order, do not sign the driver’s paperwork. Simply e-mail your sales representative or email@example.com for assistance. When in doubt, take a photograph of the damage as soon as possible.
Check for the following when you are receiving your delivery:
- Broken bags, spilled beans
- Unwrapped pallets or damage to the wrapping/strapping
- Broken pallets
- Missing bags—please be sure to count and cross-check before the driver leaves
Additionally, be aware that extra services and accessories provided by the driver may result in additional fees: The use of a lift gate upon delivery, for instance, can incur additional costs. Be sure to communicate with the delivery person, and confirm that the documents you sign list only the accessories you authorize.
Q: What do I do if there is damage or another problem with my delivery?
A: We are dedicated to full customer service, and want you to be completely satisfied with the coffees you receive from us. If you have any questions or concerns about an order you have received, don’t hesitate to let us know via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (toll-free at 1-800-278-5065, or 651-209-6102), and we will do our level best to make it right.
Q: How should I store my green coffee?
A: Coffee wants a cool, dry environment that is out of the sun and away from areas where water, dirt, rodents, or insects can cause damage (i.e. preferably off the ground and away from food prep or storage). In an ideal world you’d have a dedicated warehouse or storage area with climate control set to 60–70°F (15–21°C) at 50–60% humidity, but we realize that isn’t possible for many small roasters.
If you have limited resources, we recommend the following:
- Keep your coffee in GrainPro bags and keep the GrainPro closed between uses.
- Store coffee in the coolest (but not cold) area of your facility, out of direct sunlight and away from anything that affects moisture in the air such as dishwashers, steam radiators, dehumidifiers, etc.
- If you have multiple bags on contract, consider allowing your importer to hold them in the warehouse over a few months rather than taking delivery of the entire volume at once: You can do this by adding a few cents/pound of carry to the price of the coffee.
Q: How long can I store green coffee?
A: Different coffees will respond differently to quality degradation over time. Some types of coffee hold up very well in storage; others fade more rapidly. The general rule of thumb is “fresh is best,” and we recommend using up green beans within 6 months of receipt, though up to a year is acceptable in most cases. For additional reading about coffee quality, storage, and age, read our sensory analysis director Ian Fretheim’s Water Activity in Specialty Green Coffee: A Long-Term Observational Study.
Not seeing the question you need answered? Contact us, and we are happy to help!