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 purchase. Our primary responsibility therefore is to market, warehouse and auction the coffee. Zabuni is not in the business of buying coffee, marking up the price for resell and we are not brokers who will find buyers to come to Kenya for purchases. We are endeavoring to economically and sustainably empower the Kenyan coffee farmer.

Since Zabuni will not own the coffees, farmers (or their appointed agents) have more control and say in the asking price. They have the right to determine the minimum price they will accept for each lot. It will also give the farmer better returns for their hard work, as our process enhances efficiency by shortening the supply chain, eliminates unnecessary 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 or "buy it now". Since we are running an auction service, we are not buying the coffee, we cannot specify the exact selling price of the coffee, however, we can tell you that the average price for Specialty Kenya AA, AB, PB coffee is about $500 and we expect our customers to bid in line with that. Prices will of course fluctuate naturally with the ups and downs of the market. Note that the selling price is determined in large part by the quality(cup score)rather than the grade(screen size). The auction/sales 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.

Advantages to Producers

  • Direct Sales – Transact directly with buyers/roasters
  • Save Time & Money – eliminate expensive, time-consuming marketing and sales trips, no warehouse fees.
  • Efficient Sales – Sell directly to the US market for a fair price and get paid immediately
  • Transact Domestically – US headquarters and payments processed locally
  • Peace of Mind – Know that your coffee is safe and secure in our climate controlled warehouse
  • Consistency – Always have a platform to sell from
  • Variety – Appeal to a wider market thereby increasing your sales 
  • Traceability – Promote and showcase your origin and community
  • Fair Pricing – Have a say in how much your coffee sells for, Minimum 80% of sale price goes back to Producer. 
  • Discovery – Access to new roasters, buyers and opportunities

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 offered, and to arrange for the safe storage of the coffees until the auction/sale 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 for sale via Zabuni.  This ensures that all the coffee that is sent is indeed specialty coffee according to the SCA scale.  If it does not meet specialty standards, we will not sell it on our auction.  This also means that we will know the quality, 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 the shortest time possible, with payments being remitted back to the growers within 5-10 business days.

What Coffee We Accept

Each producer who wishes to bring their coffees for sale via Zabuni 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 coffee possible, as the quality is by far the biggest determiner of the return they will get. Growers should be made aware that they will not receive advance compensation for their coffee until it has sold, 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, and it will be the sellers’ responsibility to arrange for this.