The Best Green Coffee Importers and Distributors for Home Roasters
There are hundreds of online green coffee importers and distributors you can choose from when you’re looking to buy green coffee for home roasting. Most of them look a little janky, so it’s hard to input your precious card numbers into their systems.
I’ve put together a list of coffee distributors that specifically cater to home roasters, and I’ve added in some distributors outside of the US.
I remember first seeing green coffee beans. I was in a homebrewing shop looking around at various beakers and tubes, and I had no idea that coffee was ever anything other than brown. I asked the cashier about it, bought a pound, and roasted it at home. That was back in 2013, and now I’m roasting full time.
The first pound of coffee I bought wasn’t the greatest, but it got me started. Since then, I’ve explored a lot of different green coffee options, and here’s what I’ve found.
Sweet Maria’s is bar-none the best home roasting coffee distributor there is. If you live in the US, there are very few reasons for not getting your green coffee from here. Thompson Owen, the owner, is one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to coffee: from green coffee importing, cupping, roasting, origins, etc., he’s set up a wonderful resource.
The only complaints I’ve heard about Sweet Maria’s is that their green coffee can be a bit more expensive, and that they’re not local.
Their green coffee can be a bit more expensive, but we’re only talking somewhere around a dollar a pound. Yes, this can add up, but the coffee they bring in is exceptional.
Like I said earlier, I am a professional roaster and roast coffee 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I’m also a home roaster. At home, I would way rather roast an excellent coffee that costs $6/lb rather than a good coffee at $5/lb.
As for them not being local: there’s not much you can do about that. They’re based in Oakland, so if that’s not local to you, that’s that. Keep in mind, however, that all coffee distributors buy their coffee from somewhere on the coasts. So even if you buy green coffee from Wisconsin, or a shop in Oklahoma, it certainly came through a larger importer on the coast.
Buying and roasting Sweet Maria’s coffee is also an educational experience in itself.
They got me started and still provide, in my opinion, the best value from any green coffee importer or distributor.
If you’re looking for something more local, or if you’re overseas, check out these other green coffee distributors for home roasters.
Burman Coffee is based in Wisconsin. I’ve never purchased from them myself, but they have a nice looking selection of green coffee. One of the most important aspects I look for when I’m judging a distributor is their focus on education. Burman does a pretty good job with the education aspect.
They have some good discount coffees that are appealing to those looking to buy 10-20 pounds at a time.
Mill City Roasters, based in Minnesota, make some of the best roasting machines there are. They’re geared much more toward small shops and larger commercial roasters, but they do offer some green coffee.
They add the SCA guideline cupping score, which is very helpful when it comes to buying coffee. They only sell 10lb increments, so keep that in mind.
MoreCoffee is actually an offshoot of a homebrew store. It’s where I discovered that coffee came in other colors beside brown. They offer a few coffees here, though there isn’t much in the way of education.
I haven’t personally shopped at either of these sources, but I’ve heard that they source pretty high quality beans. Looking at their sites, I can tell that they offer good service and high quality beans.
They offer some unusual coffees, like Nicaragua and Guatemala elephant beans, Kona, and Jamaica. I don’t go for these types of things, but if you haven’t seen a Nicaragua or Guatemala elephant bean, it’s pretty awesome. They also offer more standard beans for every day roasting.
This is a pretty cool way to get learning. Coffee Compass UK will send along two and half kgs of green coffee from any producing region you choose. So you can get a selection of whatever African, Indonesian, Central, or South American coffees they have on hand. You can also do a mix of all regions. This is one of the better ways to learn the differences in regions if you don’t already know.
BeanBay and CoffeeSnobs offer some awesome coffees. If I was an Australian home roaster, I’d probably go here. Surprisingly, they have a really wide array of robusta coffees, which I haven’t seen in the US. Mostly, we stay away from robusta altogether, but BeanBay carries a significant stock, and the robusta is probably pretty good!
Ministry Grounds also sells green coffee. Alongside their offerings they show farm specs like elevation and bean density. I love seeing distributors put this amount of effort into showcasing their green coffees. It means they know they have something special and they’re eager to teach.
Klatch Coffee is a Southern California institution, and they sell green coffee stateside. Though they don’t advertise selling green coffee in their Seoul, Korea shop, I would find a way to buy a few pounds of their green coffee. They sell great coffee, and I know from experience that roasters are more than willing to sell green coffee to home-roast enthusiasts.
In fact, the same goes for any local roaster around the world. What’s your favorite roastery? Just go in and make friends with the roaster or manager. Ask if you can buy a pound of green coffee. They’ll most likely say yes.
Little birdy told me that these guys will sell you green coffee if you ask. Drop them a line and they should be able to help you out.
These crazy Canadians also do a good job showcasing what they have to offer. They give specs like elevation and cultivar. Check out their sample packs.