Home Coffee Roasting
By Kenneth Davids
Modulating the Flavor Profile of Coffee
By Rob Hoos
The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee
By James Freeman
The Coffee Roaster's Companion
By Scott Rao
There are many coffee importers across the US, so the following are only the importers I've dealt with. They are all easy to work with, and desire to be helpful regardless of the order size.
My first wholesale purchase was with Bodhi Leaf. They split my 135 lb bag into two large boxes and shipped them to me via UPS. This is a service that seems unique to them.
InterAmerican coffee offers free 4 oz samples. If you get a sample and really enjoy it, I strongly recommend purchasing that coffee. Do not bet a sample against a coffee you haven't tasted. As a tip, importers will sometimes sell the same coffee. If you enjoy a sample from InterAmerican, you may be able to find the same coffee with Bodhi Leaf, if you want to take advantage their split shipment service.
Royal offers 22 lb (10 kg) boxes of their better coffees with free shipping. To shop these, check out their Crown Jewels section. I've never needed to get in touch with Royal, since they have online purchasing available.
Coffee Roasting Navigated
Check out the podcast. It came recommended to me by a professional roaster. The first several podcasts are about different roasting techniques. It's not definitive, but it opens up new ways of approaching how to roast, and it sheds a bit of light on profiling.
Green Coffee Buying Club
GCBC is one of the best resources I know of for purchasing unroasted coffee in smaller quantities (5, 10 or 15 lb). Having a PayPal account is a prerequisite, however. Some of the sellers on this forum are commercial roasters; others are just very experienced. Most of the coffees I've ever purchased from these sellers have been great. Peter is my favorite seller, but Joe and Slim have been great as well. Before making any purchases from them, make sure to read everything under "New Members Please Read." Here's an image of a recent post of a coffee listed for sale. Note the prices breakdown and the purchase instructions.
Intro to Coffee
A brief intro to coffee (origins, production, roasting, brewing, cupping): This is a blog post I wrote in 2012, which sheds a little bit of light on the complexities of coffee for coffee novices.
This is more of an analogy than it is science. The first line is a timeline of the roast from beginning to end. The second is the same as the first, except that it only represents the last quarter of the roast. The third is a reference for degrees of roast and about which point they occur. See Roasting Terms for clarification. The last line, which rises and falls is an illustration of the frequency of cracks at that point in the roast. Note the bottom captions, which correspond with the last line.
This interactive chart highlights the seasons of coffee regions worldwide. This is useful for knowing which green coffees are likely the freshest from any given seller.
Sweet Maria's primary website lists green coffees for sale in single-pound increments. The people at Sweet Maria's are highly experienced and very down-to-earth. Note that their tasting descriptions are compiled by a group of very discerning tasters, so although the flavors are there, you may not always detect them. Pay attention to the score, as that carries a lot of weight. Less than 86 is okay, 86-87 is good, 88-89 is very good, 90 is great, above 90 is excellent.
Sweet Maria's Library
Sweet Maria's library contains the answers to most questions relating to coffee.
- Sweet Maria's Podcast