Our Driving Principles


At Cafe Imports, we don’t simply believe in buying better coffee, but also in buying coffee better. Since 1993, we have sought out, tasted, studied, experimented with, developed, supported, and showcased the finest green coffees and the best producers in the world, and we believe that the process of improving coffee quality across the board starts with a holistic approach to sourcing that includes building reliable relationships and becoming true partners with the other actors on the supply chain.

By empowering producers through long-term partnerships, participating in producer-empowerment initiatives and investing in special projects at origin, utilizing comprehensive sensory-analysis data, and following a buying model that rewards quality by modulating price, we actively try to foster improvement in green-coffee production for the good of every single hand that touches this global product, all along the way.

For more information about our quality standards and some insight into our sensory-analysis department, visit “How We Cup.”


In addition to sourcing fantastic coffees, we have also assembled a team of fantastic, friendly, and passionate coffee people who are dedicated to creating the best customer-service experience possible for every person and every company who buys coffee through Cafe Imports.

Think of us as your partners, friends, hosts, allies, advocates, and biggest fans: We want to make sure you always feel looked-out for by the Cafe Imports team, and our doors and our ears are always open for any questions, comment, concern, or bit of coffee geekery you have to share with us.

Visit the Our People page to meet our team and for contact information: We can’t wait to hear from you.


Education is at the core of everything we do and sharing knowledge is our passion: We are curious and caffeinated, constantly learning and asking questions in order to understand more and more about coffee, and to pass that information on to our partners along the chain. From in-person classes and training to our free online educational material, from detailed information on the coffees we buy and countries in which we work, to watching eyes open wide as Resource trip attendees see their first coffee farm in-person—we thrill at the opportunity to find new ways of teaching and facilitating coffee professionals’ development all over the world.

That said, we also know what we don’t know, and we don’t trade in B.S. If we don’t have the answer to something, we would rather say, “Let’s find the answer together,” than to make something up in order to sound expert. Luckily, for every question we don’t know the solution for, chances are good we know someone who does. (Another reason partnership is so valuable.)

Visit our Education page to find a wealth of resources for you and your team.

Let’s find the answers together.


“Progress” is the act of moving forward—seeking ways to improve, new avenues for growth and development, and not simply stopping at “good enough.” We think of progress as the journey, not the destination: There will always be something else we can do better, something we can strive toward, and something we can contribute to the betterment both of the world within and around Cafe Imports.

We work alongside our producing partners to improve the quality and the marketability of their coffees, ensuring long returns for their families and communities; we strive to improve our own quality of life with local initiatives like composting organic material in the office kitchen, and utilizing solar power for the majority of our energy needs. We buy and sell coffee responsibly; we make efforts to minimize our carbon footprint; we bike and carpool to work; we foster a culture of support and empathy in the office and in our dealings with our customers. Acts like these—big and small—are some of the many which push us toward progress, and we hope to keep that forward momentum rolling as we learn, develop, and grow as a company.

Visit our Progress page to learn more about how we are driving progress with the power of our driving principles.