In 2011, we wanted to gain more control over our coffee menu and ultimately gain a deeper understanding of our industry. The natural transition was to get into roasting coffee and begin building our menu based on the coffee origins we wanted to feature. We started this journey by doing our Q-Grader out of Rosebud. After nearly a year of roasting in our living room or out back of our cafe in Ramsay, we decided to purchase a Probat L12. At Ramsay, not in our living room. 

A big differential that separates our coffee today from our coffee in 2012-14 is where we're sourcing it from. Similar to our journey into roasting, our journey into sourcing coffee began with the thought of "I'd really like to know how that works" and jumping in. 

In 2015, we had the goal of moving our entire menu to being purchased direct. To us, direct trade meant buying directly from the people that are producing the coffee. This is the foundation of Rosso Direct. In 2015, we shifted away from buying from importers with the goal of providing more value to the coffee producers, traveling to understand their operations and always having a unique menu of offerings. Today, we purchase 100% of our coffees in a direct-trade style of business, with the goal of providing the most value to the farms we work with, while building a constructive relationship that's mutually beneficial and sharing knowledge from both sides of the value chain.

We're proud to work with passionate coffee producers in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, Rwanda, Brazil, Myanmar and we've just finalized our first ever purchase from Burundi, a country we visited in April, 2018. We see coffee as a seasonal product that should not be available on our menu year round, so we've strategically selected these countries to have 'fresh-crop' offerings throughout the calendar year. To best communicate these coffees, we're proud to launch the four certifications below.

 

Relationship. This represents the value we place in our relationships, by showcasing commitment to a specific farm, cooperative or community project. The shaking hand symbolizes the respect and the mutual relationship we have with the producers of the coffee this icon is listed on. The number above the hands represents the number of years we've visited their operations and collaborated on a sustainable future, pushing quality and experimentation. Every coffee with this icon ensures fair pricing has been paid for the coffee we purchase. We believe it's important to support the producers we're working with through ups and the downs of the season, and ultimately purchase coffee and visit them each and every year. This is how we believe we'll build the strongest foundation for our relationships.

 

 

 

Project. This indicates that Rosso has established a goal with the corresponding farm, cooperative or community project. A coffee reflecting this icon means that a set monetary value, per bag sold, will be donated by Rosso toward the established goal set out in collaboration with the coffee producers. Projects will lie in places we see opportunity and/or believe there is need. Be it for quality of life or quality of coffee, each project will aim to fulfill a mission that benefits human lives. 

 


88+. This is a quality marker. The Specialty Coffee Association defines Specialty Coffee as a clean, sweet and defect-free coffee that scores above 80 points on this scale. We use 85 points as our baseline for coffees we purchase. If you see this 88+ icon on a bag of beans, that means it's a dynamic, more intriguing and more thought provoking cup of coffee that quantifies a higher quality score than the average.  

 

Green. This icon indicates a coffee producer's dedication to sustainable agriculture and respect for the planet. It's challenging for a small scale coffee producer to put up the financial investment of Organic Certification, or Frog Friendly, or Rainforest Alliance. We created this icon to represent the producers who put the Earth first, respect their surroundings and avoid the usage of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

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These four icons will roll out with each bag of coffee we launch. Every coffee on our menu is and will be qualified to take on one or more of these icons. As we continue to source coffees, learn and develop best practices, we'll continue to build on each of these certifications seeing them through to their furthest potential. They'll live as ever-evolving, ever-developing and never-quite-finished concepts. 

Hopefully this brings light to coffee's value chain and clarity to our buying practices. Making it easier for us to share and communicate the unique story behind each bag of wonderful coffee.

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