Q&A with Kyle Bellinger

May 10, 2021 by Hanuman Jain

How has the COVID 19 pandemic impacted the Coffee industry? 

Short term, our clients reported business being down by 75-95%.  That has slowly started to come back but the long term effects I think that remains to be seen.

What are the changes you foresee in terms of trade practices that are going to change and evolve as an aftermath? 

That’s a tricky one.  I think answers would vary depending on the company, its leadership, and how the situation was handled.  I know for my own company, we see it as a defining moment in our history where we had the opportunity to back out on many purchase contracts in favor of protecting our own interests but instead opted to follow through with each purchase despite the risk.  Our clients have responded favorably to that move and want to support a company that wants to support farmers and partners at origin.

Have you noticed a change in the consumption pattern/demand of Coffee during the pandemic?

Absolutely.  The biggest reported by most roasters is that their web sales have skyrocketed.  Some have reported as much as a 2500% increase.

What are the checks you suggest while sourcing quality coffee?

Across all origins, we measure water activity, moisture content, yield, UV, and cup score.  To be honest, while cup score is certainly important we choose not to buy coffees that cup well yet don’t stack up in the other areas.

What would you consider the ideal climate for storage green coffee

Ideal would be frozen temperatures with low humidity haha but I realize that that is not realistic for many. That said, below 60 deg F seems to keep good coffee fresh for quite a long time. I say ‘good coffee’ because bad coffee will fade more quickly no matter what temperature it’s stored at above Should Green Coffee storage be different from Roasted Coffee storage to keep them fresh?

Should Green Coffee storage be different from Roasted Coffee storage to keep them fresh?

To be honest, ideal temperatures for both are pretty similar. While freezing in a vacuum-sealed container is ideal for both the warmer it gets the faster each will fade, though roasted coffee obviously fades at a much faster rate than green.

What are the best storage solutions for coffee according to you?

Practically speaking, if all of our green coffee was warehoused at a consistent 60 deg F at low humidity and nothing fluctuated, I would be happy. That is, of course, assuming coffees were stored in hermetic bags or vacuum-sealed boxes.

How do you think hermetic packaging is helping the coffee industry in these difficult times?

I think a lot of roasters and traders are going to be sitting on coffees for much longer than anticipated and hermetic packaging will absolutely help retain quality and thus value over the next, likely difficult, several months.

Any word of inspiration about coffee and its relationship with its consumers?

These past few months have been the most trying in many of our careers but with strong partners at all links in the supply chain, I think we can all find ways to weather the storm together.

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