Sourcing for coffee beans

Some time back i wrote about buying coffee beans on Amazon. Well, if you did a little more homework, you would have realized that, unless you’re buying coffee beans sold by Amazon themselves, buying on Amazon might mean paying a premium over the seller’s actual pricing to cover the transaction fee Amazon charges the seller. Some of the sellers actually host their own website to sell their products, but also sell on the Amazon platform as an additional sales channel. The customers are the ones paying the additional cost anyway.

For example, this Kona Coffee cost a total of US$38.50 on Amazon, inclusive of shipping, but only US$35 with free shipping on the seller’s own website. By the way, this was a very fragrant coffee, though not that spectacular in terms of taste. On the other hand, the Dark Guatemalan i recommended in my earlier posting is the same price on the seller – Fresh Roasted Coffee’s website. In this case, buying from Amazon presents the advantage of choice to purchase items other than coffee to make up the total of $49 required to get free domestic shipping (whereas you need to buy $35 worth of coffee i.e. at least 4 X 12 oz to get free shipping from Fresh Roasted Coffee).

Anyway, i was sufficiently impressed with Fresh Roasted Coffee that i ordered from them again, this time directly through their website. They do offer a wider range of choice from their website, especially central and south American varieties which I found to be the most reliably rich and aromatic. Prices start from US$6.95 per 12 oz (340g) of Colombian Supremo (works out to S$5.70 per 200g), which compares very favourably to coffee of comparable quality sold in Singapore. A quick check on Google – 200g of freshly roasted Colombian Supremo can be had for S$11 per 200g in Singapore.

Shipping the coffee to Singapore has become quite affordable, now that I use 65daigou for USA shipments. The 1.2kg actual weight parcel was unfortunately 1.5kg in volumetric weight, meaning I have to pay 4 X $3.99 = $15.96 in shipping fee, but even taking into account this shipping fee, it is still worthwhile. 4 packs of 12 oz (4 X 340g) coffee would last me more than 3 months.

The other coffee roaster I have tried and recommend, which has a presence on Amazon as well, is Lavanta coffee roaster. What made me so impressed was the sticker with your name pasted on the coffee packaging. I presume they want you to believe that the coffee was freshly roasted (their tagline is “roasted to order”), and indeed it was fresh! I actually made my purchase via eBay then, not Amazon, but you can also purchase directly from them through their website. I will order from them the next round.

By far, the most memorable coffee i had was Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, single estate. It really does live up to the hype. It is quite floral and therefore quite complex and unique. I did taste test through sampler packs from J Martinez. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to offer the sampler packs anymore. I guess you really get what you pay for – these beans are really expensive, but really good.

End of the day, I’m just glad that I have easy access to these wonderful coffee beans that perk me up in the morning.

Update 21 Jun 20: these days, it’s already much easier to buy coffee beans from local sellers, even unroasted green coffee beans. You’ll have to do some homework to avoid being slaughtered though. Green coffee beans cost anything from S$16 to S$40+ per kg including shipping. I’ve been buying my green coffee beans from burman coffee (unfortunately you have to use a VPN service now to access their website). Shipped via ezbuy forwarding. Fair pricing (around S$12.50 per kg before shipping) and lots of variety.

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