4 ways to buy good coffee

Europeans were aware of coffee as early as the 16th century. This is evidenced by the accounts of travellers who visited Syria and became personally acquainted with coffee and brought their knowledge home to Europe as a curiosity. As far as the coffee trade is concerned, it is thought that the first people to trade in coffee were the Venetians, who in the 17th century imported coffee beans to their countrymen, who initially had little confidence in them. The oriental origin and the black colour evoked ideas of the evil origin of coffee. It was notuntil Pope Clement VI, after drinking a cup of coffee, called it a "Christian drink" that coffee's stellar future in Western society began. Coffeebecame a luxury and expensive commercial commodity, sold first in small quantities in pharmacies. Eventually, the major cities quickly began to fill with coffee houses and coffee reached the broader strata of the bourgeoisie and beyond the city limits, into the villages.

Themost recent situation in the coffee market is that, thanks to the coronavirus crisis, the price of coffee has continued to rise. Some countries have oversupplied and, as a result, demand has begun to outstrip supply and the price of coffee has risen rapidly. Colombia, one of the largest coffee exporters has stopped exporting coffee altogether.

We will introduce in turn the four most widespread ways of trading coffee, looking at the social and environmental impact of their actions.


Not only will you buy good coffee in Fair Trade networks, but you will also feel better knowing that your money is going where it is needed and where the coffee producers really deserve it. If a farmer joins a Fair Trade trade shop he is guaranteed a minimum purchase price and a social premium. Shoppers who buy coffee from Fair Trade farmer cooperatives are signing up to responsible trading, which has a positive effect on their end customers.


You can use Direct Trade and buy directly from the source. That is to say, from the farmer or the farmers' cooperative. But this trade is still convenient and only available to a small fraction of buyers. Direct Trade refers, for example, to roasters large enough to finance the export and import of coffee to their country. They cultivate personal relationships with the farmers, agree on prices that are mutually beneficial, and the end customers are truly assured that the choice coffee they buy comes from quality sources. As the popularity of Direct Trade with end customers grows, there is also more pressure on coffee importers who are already moving towards true direct trade. This increases the scope for even more natural fair trade than the established trade.


By far the most widespread method of trading in premium quality coffee is the so-called Relationship. This is not Direct Trade, although it may appear so to the end customer, but mediated trade. The coffee buyer meets the farmer and chooses the coffee, but the trade is conducted by someone else.


If you want to get your hands on the finest coffee delicacies, bet on the regular microlot auctions. Microlot, the so-called coffee with a pedigree, which values its origin, the way it is harvested and the story of the people behind it and the land they cultivate. You'll know them by the carefully written descriptions of their place of origin, of which the growers are duly proud. Microlots are grown separately in exclusive locations on farms, with just a few bushes for a few bags of harvest. They are given the proper care so that they can best represent their place of origin.