Private label coffee roasting and packaging comes in many forms and fashions. At Path, we have taken the approach that the customer wants a convenient and straightforward process from start to finish. Here is an introduction to the Path Coffee Roasters’ private label program.
To begin with, we treat all private label businesses as if it were our brand. As a business owner, I believe that’s paramount and of utmost importance to our coffee partners. Regardless of the coffee, packaging, or delivery method, we know that your customer will not contact us about any issues, they’ll contact you. To mitigate that, we have instituted a variety of services and quality control checkpoints along the way.
Green coffee quality
We work with vetted coffee importers and farmers that we have developed relationships with over the years. This means we get access to green coffee that is farmed, harvested, and processed at the height of quality. While we place a lot of trust in our green coffee partners, we never forget that our job is to QC each green lot that arrives at our coffee roastery. Before purchasing a coffee, we request samples and roast them on our Ikawa sample roaster. This roaster allows us to follow a profile for a specific coffee and replicate that over multiple roasts. After cupping the coffee, we either approve or reject the sample based on the criteria we have for our needs. The coffee should be clean, sweet, and present. There should be a depth of flavor, and while unique, they also need to be approachable. By sticking to these attributes, we ensure that the majority of drinkers can appreciate our coffees regardless of their experience with specialty coffee.
It’s essential to understand that each coffee is different. As an agricultural product, coffee changes over time, even after roasting. Our first goal is to determine how to best roast the coffee we’ve chosen for our menu. For instance, a washed Guatemalan requires a different time and temperature profile than our Ethiopian coffee. Because of the inherent flavor characteristics of the Guatemalan, we want to accentuate the cocoa, citrus, and light floral notes. For our Ethiopian, we want to make sure the drinker experiences the fruit, crisp, sweet acidity, and creamy body. All of these things live inside that green coffee, and it’s our job as professional roasters to coax it out.
It’s one thing to find the proper profile for a coffee, but it’s another to consistently match that profile every week. This is not to say that each batch is identical, that is not possible given coffee’s imperfect nature and the nature of any coffee roasting system. To maintain a profile that tastes delicious each week, we’ve implemented strict between batch protocols (BBP), consistent batch sizes, green coffee storage temperature, and humidity, all while using the roast tracking software Cropster. Throwing coffee into a roaster and turning it brown isn’t an option for us as professional private label coffee roasters and doesn’t produce the tastiest coffee. Unlike many other foods, how you roast coffee matters in the final cup.
The primary focus of our private label coffee customers should be on building the brand. While we spend our day’s sourcing, roasting, packaging, and shipping your private label coffee, none of that matters if there are no sales. While we can give some guidance and are always a call away, we rely on your dedication and time to drive sales. Determining the type of packaging you want to represent your brand is a critical component of marketing your company. There are a few options to choose from, and they each have their plusses and minuses. Our most straightforward and cost-effective stock bag with a full color printed label we do here in-house. You can design your label, or you can use one of our templates. Either way, we print each label as needed. The second option is a more custom, fully printed digital bag from a company like Roastar or ePac. These companies will take your art and digitally print a bag from top to bottom. To learn more about different packaging options, please refer to our video on packaging here. It should give you a good insight into the types of bags that are available.
It’s no secrete that shipping is a four-letter word in the e-commerce business. For new private label coffee customers, it has always been difficult with little to no business history to even begin understanding what pricing, offers, etc. you should be leading with. Nobody likes to pay for shipping, but we all understand there is a cost to get goods from one place to another. At Path, we use a service called Shipstation. Shipstation handles all inbound orders and allows us to easily ship them to your customers. In addition, Shipstation provides you with a customized tracking page, convenient return options if need be, and reports. Also, when your customer receives their package, it’s your business on the shipping label and packing slips. The most important aspect of Shipstation is, however, its lower shipping prices for USPS and UPS. Depending on the order, we will choose the most cost-effective option for the package and use either of those two services. We currently offer a flat rate USPS package, plain white bubble mailers of varying sizes, and a small kraft box. This means that at the end of the week, when shipping is calculated, you are paying the lowest price we can offer. We never mark up the shipping, and you are given the supporting documents for each invoice right from the Shipstation portal.
While private label coffee has many steps in the background, we’ve taken the time to refine it for easy startup. Our Path Coffee Roasters’ private label coffee option plus our dropshipping feature, means that we are the full package for someone looking to start their own, low-cost coffee business.
Path Coffee Roasters is located in Port Chester, NY where we roast and package all our coffees on a weekly basis for our wholesale, retail and dropshipping customers.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions, we’re here to help.