Speciality and gourmet coffee beans are available all over the world. Coffee roasters in different countries roast different kinds of coffee beans and in different styles, creating a diverse range of options for consumers.
When shopping online for a supply of coffee at home, we as consumers want a few key things. We want variety, a competitive price, and extra perks like free shipping. Although all these things sound pretty basic and easy to come by, that is not the case.
There are actually plenty of coffee roasters in the world who do not ship coffee internationally. Even some of the bigger online coffee websites do not provide international shipping as well, and the only ship locally within their domestic markets. Today, we will explore some of the best ways to buy coffee beans online.
In general, when you browse the web for coffee, there are plenty of options available. One of the key distinctions among the products you will find online is the difference between gourmet coffee beans and speciality coffee beans.
Gourmet coffee from brands such as Illy, Lavazza, and Nespresso are the more common type of coffee option in the online coffee space, and can easily be found and purchased on e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com. In fact, these coffee companies may even have a distributor in your home country, where you can buy your coffee from a local supermarket or speciality grocery store nearby. Most of these coffee beans are not too expensive and are normally nitrogen flushed for freshness. If you purchase through a site like Amazon.com, there might even be free shipping in some cases.
Speciality coffee, on the other hand, is less common in the online space and is usually only sold by the coffee roasters themselves via their own online stores. While less common, it is important to note that in the United States alone, there are more than 3,500 speciality coffee roasters and their individual websites providing great-tasting, freshly roasted coffee for you to purchase and brew at home.
The downside here is that because each individual coffee roaster only sells their own brand of coffee, it is likely that you will be slightly limited in your variety when you visit their online stores. If you were keen to explore the coffee products of different coffee roasters, you would need to visit their respective websites individually to compare their products, roasting style, price, and even cost of shipping.
As mentioned earlier in this article. Only about 1 in 80 of these boutique coffee roasters will provide international shipping at all, and in most cases, the very expensive shipping cost is passed on to the consumer.
If you are looking to buy gourmet coffee beans online for the purpose of having brewed coffee at home, then you can easily purchase it on most major e-commerce websites such as Amazon.com.
They even have their own house brand of coffee now. Most purchases on Amazon.com will provide free shipping over a certain amount. Even if this is not the case, the shipping fees will be quite affordable, thanks to Amazon having their own logistics and distribution networks. Alternatively, your cheapest option is to head down to your local supermarket or speciality store to look for a brand of gourmet coffee that you can purchase at shelf prices.
However, if you are looking at stocking your home with more artisanal coffee, such as speciality grade coffee from a boutique coffee roaster that is located overseas, then you will have to be more innovative in finding a way to procure this. In the market right now, there are some common single-origin coffees that are roasted and available from a wide number of coffee roasters in the world.
For example, most speciality coffee roasters will almost definitely supply either an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or an Ethiopian Sidamo. It is also common to find speciality coffee blends containing coffee beans originating from Colombia, Sumatra, Brazil, El Salvador, and Panama. While these may be the countries who are famous for producing coffee beans, the world of coffee roasting looks quite different.
The speciality coffee roasting scene is dominated by players from countries such as Australia, United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada. Other smaller but still prominent coffee roasting markets include Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, and even India.
Despite all this, there is one problem. Whichever coffee roaster you look at from around the world, it is unlikely that they will be shipping internationally. Even if they do, it will cost you quite a lot, sometimes as much as the bag of coffee itself.
Thankfully, in the market today, there are platforms such as World Coffee Mart, who help curate coffee bean products, merchandise, and even equipment from coffee companies all around the world, some as far-flung as India, Ireland, and Wales.
The main draw point about buying coffee from World Coffee Mart is that they provide free international shipping on almost all orders. Depending on the roaster, even a 250gm bag of coffee can qualify for free international shipping on World Coffee Mart.
While pricing on World Coffee Mart is slightly more expensive than what you would pay for if you were to buy directly from the roaster, it is probably a more viable option as you don’t have to worry about paying for your own shipping, additional duties, and taxes. Especially if you are looking to try coffee from an overseas coffee roaster, World Coffee Mart is likely your best option.
Other than providing free international shipping for the products listed on the site, there are also some interesting things you can do on the platform. Apparently, there will be monthly group buys from a featured roaster, where you can get a discounted rate on the coffees you want. While you might have to wait a little longer to get your coffee while waiting for the group buy to conclude, it is a fun mechanism as in some way, you get to influence the group buy by getting your friends to join in to build up volume, thus reducing the price for everyone.
This sounds super fun to us. The other interesting thing is that although they carry coffee products from many roasters, the website also lists coffee roasters who are not yet selling their coffee on World Coffee Mart. This is a great exploratory tool especially if you are a coffee geek and want to find out more about what different coffee roasters in the world are doing, and how their philosophies differ.
If you see a brand that you like, that does not currently list products for you to buy, you can also leave your email so that you can be notified when the particular roaster does eventually list a product. Lastly, if you know of a coffee roaster in your own area who hasn't caught the attention of World Coffee Mart, you can also submit the company’s name to World Coffee Mart, who will then go ahead and list the company on the site.
Overall, World Coffee Mart feels like it isn’t just a place to buy coffee, but also serves as an interesting platform for coffee lovers all the world over, to share, learn, and contribute to a better understanding of the coffee trade globally.
If you are keen to list your coffee (free) on this platform to reach out to international buyer, drop us a message below.
OCM was started in 2007, focusing first on coffee machines, then marketing for F&B outlets, subsequently training and consultation.
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