I was a failed coffee trader

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing: Black Coffee – Ella Fitzgerald – Quiet Now: Ella’s Moods

I was cleaning out some of my cupboards and found a backpack filled with small ziplocs labelled X, A and PB containing grassy smelling beans.

See, there was a time a few years ago when my current business partner and I were scrabbling for something viable to do. One of the more interesting lobangs that came our way was the chance to sell raw coffee beans. We had a good price from the planters in New Guinea, and set about trying to look for buyers.

What followed was an entertainingly educational experience. First, we got to know what a raw coffee bean looked like. It was green and smelled nothing like the coffee we know, and my business partner didn’t want to take the samples home because he was afraid his mother would think they were green beans and make some Chinese dessert out of it.

Then we learnt how coffee was harvested, roasted, percolated, espressed and consumed. Fascinating stuff, but I can’t add anything to what can already be found by googling.

We didn’t sell a single bean.

But I still have the samples though, if anyone wants.

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Pea-Berry Grade New Guinea Highlands Arabica

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24 thoughts on “I was a failed coffee trader”

  1. There are different grading systems for different coffee growing countries. New Guinea ‘A’ is equivalent to Kenya ‘AA’, and is supposedly the best. ‘X’ is OK, and ‘PB’ is pea-berry, where, instead of two separate beans per berry after they’ve been dried/washed, the two beans are stuck together.

    Yes Caleb, our business maxim is now ‘Find the demand, the supply is the easy part’. But it’s not every day you get 18 tonnes of highland arabica to sell at a high margin.

  2. There are different grading systems for different coffee growing countries. New Guinea ‘A’ is equivalent to Kenya ‘AA’, and is supposedly the best. ‘X’ is OK, and ‘PB’ is pea-berry, where, instead of two separate beans per berry after they’ve been dried/washed, the two beans are stuck together.

    Yes Caleb, our business maxim is now ‘Find the demand, the supply is the easy part’. But it’s not every day you get 18 tonnes of highland arabica to sell at a high margin.

  3. There are different grading systems for different coffee growing countries. New Guinea ‘A’ is equivalent to Kenya ‘AA’, and is supposedly the best. ‘X’ is OK, and ‘PB’ is pea-berry, where, instead of two separate beans per berry after they’ve been dried/washed, the two beans are stuck together.

    Yes Caleb, our business maxim is now ‘Find the demand, the supply is the easy part’. But it’s not every day you get 18 tonnes of highland arabica to sell at a high margin.

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