Why A Coffee Auction?

Zabuni Specialty Coffee Auction offers a place where roasters from all over the USA (and other countries) can come to find the coffees they are looking for without having to travel to Africa to source for themselves. The coffees that farmers send us will continue to be owned by the farmers until it is purchased by our customers. Our primary responsibility therefore is to market, warehouse and auction the coffee. Zabuni is not in the business of buying coffee and marking up the price to resell it and we are not brokers who will find buyers to come to Kenya for direct purchases.

Since Zabuni will not own the coffees, farmers (or their appointed agents) have more control. They have the right to determine the minimum price they will accept for each lot. It will also give you better returns for their hard work, as our process eliminates all unnecessary steps, middlemen (agents, brokers, importers/exporters), and drastically lowers the opportunity for corruption and theft.

The method by which the coffees will be sold is by auction to the highest bidder. Since we are running an auction service, not buying the coffee, we cannot specify the selling price of the coffee, however, we can tell you that the average price for Kenya AA is about $600 and we expect our customers to bid in line with that. Prices will of course fluctuate naturally with the ups and downs of the worldwide market. Note that the selling price is determined in large part by the cupping score rather than the grade. The auction will take place at our physical location but will also be broadcast live via the internet so that buyers can bid in real time from anywhere in the world. Buyers can take possession of their purchases as soon as their payments clear, which will take at most a few days, if not instantly.

Advantages to Producers

  • Direct Sales – transact directly with producers
  • Save Time & Money – eliminate expensive, time-consuming origin trips
  • Efficient Procurement – shop our online catalog
  • Transact Domestically – US headquarters and payments
  • Peace of Mind – personally cup lots prior to bidding
  • Consistency – fine coffees always in stock
  • Variety – diverse lots to choose from
  • Traceability – know exactly where your coffee comes from
  • Fair Pricing – negotiated via in-person and online auctions
  • Discovery – access to new coops, estates, & origins

How We Market Your Coffee

Our goal is to bring buyers (roasters) from all over the US and the world to our auction to bid on the coffees sent to us, and to arrange for the safe storage of the coffees until the auction is complete. We will help the buyers find the particular coffees that meet their individual needs from the coffees we have by giving them the opportunity to cup the coffees for themselves and sharing with them the profile of the growers. In that way, we are also promoting the growers, coops, and estates to our customers.

We aim to have a very fast turn-around time for selling the coffee.  Therefore each lot will need to be cupped and profiled by our employees or appointed agents before being approved to be sent to our auction.  This ensures that all the coffee that is sent is indeed specialty coffee according to the SCA scale.  If it does not cup above 80, we will not sell it on our auction.  This also means that we will know the scores, profile notes, and quantities while the coffee is still being shipped, which gives us several weeks to begin cataloguing and marketing it before it physically arrives.  Once the coffee arrives at our warehouse, we aim to offer it at auction within 30 days, with payments being sent back to the growers within 5-10 business days.

What Coffee We Accept

Each grower or coop who wishes to bring their coffees for sale at our auction must arrange for their own shipping to get it here (Grand Island). Growers must also understand that we will not accept coffee that is not specialty, so they must be prepared to make sure they are consistently producing the best crops they can, as the cupping score is by far the biggest determiner of the return they will get. Growers should be made aware that they will not receive compensation for their coffee until it has sold at auction here, so they should be prepared appropriately for payment timelines (to account for milling/processing/transit and sale time).  Also, the coffee MUST be shipped in GrainPro or Ecotact bags inside the outer jute/burlap bags, and it will be the sellers’ responsibility to arrange for this.