Misael Sauceda lost money last year.
Misael Sauceda owns and farms La Divina Providencia, one of Nicaragua's most exceptional coffee farms. Misael has produced beautiful coffee for over a decade. He's the kind of guy who shouldn't get ripped off by a middleman.
Middleman are a reality, even for Misael. The coffee chain is long. No roaster personally loads every 130-pound bag of coffee onto a pickup in Dipilto, then drives it to a container ship, then skippers it to the Port of Oakland. So yes, our Directly Purchased, or Relationship Coffee method does in fact involve middlemen. There, we said it.
Here's the difference: If you're very patient, and you don't mind wading through lots of extra red tape and spreadsheets, you can make smart decisions about which middlemen you employ. And if you're fully transparent, you can show the growers exactly how much each person gets paid.
It's not as sexy as flying to Panama over Christmas break and snapping a selfie of yourself shaking hands with a farmer. it's a lot more like reading a phone bill, then tracking down every single little 2% fee.
All that extra work pays off in the end. It pays off for the farmers and other producers. It even pays off for the export assistants and middlemen, because it rewards the honest ones. And it rewards you, the coffee-lover. You'll get to enjoy Misael's world-class coffee this year, and for many years to come.