What is "Direct-Trade" anyway?

What is "Direct-Trade" anyway?

How we source our coffee:

     When you are buying coffee, you will see an array of different tags (fair trade, specialty, 100% arabica, organic, rainforest certified, etc.). It can be incredibly overwhelming in the beginning of your coffee journey to decipher this code. In this short blog we will cover specifically "Direct-Trade", why it's important, and how we fit in to the picture.

     Direct-Trade coffee is when a specialty roaster establishes, and builds upon relationships with farmers across the globe; with the intention on increasing the farmers quality of life, their ability to grow, the quality of the coffee, as well as build on sustainability practices. As it says in the name, one will work DIRECTLY with the farmer in one capacity or another. Sometimes you will discover a farmer, reach out to them, have them send you samples, and voila. Other times you start by working with importers or cooperatives who will connect you with smaller or lesser-known farmers.

     The picture at the top is of our friend Don Roque. He is the owner and farmer at San Ramon in Dipilto, Nicaragua. He and his team are responsible for many favourites at the Black Sheep, like: Magma, Monkey Love 2.0, Dark Side, Santa Fuel, and More! Our mission is to increase our transparency, raise the quality of our coffees, introduce you to new things, and do all of this in the most responsible way we are able. 

     Direct-Trade in the least compassionate sense is important because it brings us incredible coffee. In the most enlightened sense, it introduces us to incredible coffee farmers, with big ideas, amazing families, and warm cultures. Every year through collaboration and innovation, roasters and farmers discover new and interesting coffees, processing methods, and varieties. 

      Help bring specialty, direct-trade coffee to your neighbourhood!

-Lucas Spinosa