Buying Wholesale Coffee? You'd Better Know These Terms

Posted on: 19 May 2020

When you buy coffee a pound at a time, it's not a huge deal if you occasionally buy a pound you don't love. But when you're buying coffee wholesale in larger quantities, you really need to know what you're doing. You don't want to end up with 50 or 100 pounds of coffee that's not what you thought it was. The good news is that buying wholesale coffee smartly often comes down to terminology. If you know these terms, you'll be better able to buy with confidence.

Stocklot Sample

Before you buy a large quantity of coffee, you should ask the seller for a stocklot sample. This type of sample is collected from multiple bags of the coffee you're looking to buy. Drawing a few beans from each bag results in a more representative sample of the product overall. If you try the sample and like it, you can go ahead with your order. Otherwise, you can move on to sampling a different coffee.


You've probably seen this term on a lot of coffee bags, but many people don't actually know what it means. Arabica is the higher quality of two common coffee species. Robusta is the other one. Robusta beans are known for being cheap and somewhat bitter; they're used in a lot of low-end, pre-ground brands. If you want decent-quality coffee, make sure it is made with arabica beans.

Hard Bean

If you see coffee marketed as "hard bean coffee" that means it is grown at an altitude over 3,000 feet. This leads to a denser, more desirable coffee bean. If you see coffee listed as "strictly hard bean," that means it is grown at over 4,000 feet and is even denser and of better quality.


Coffee marketed as "mature" has been sitting in a warehouse for at least two years. While this may sound like a bad thing, it's not. Some types of coffee need to age in order to mellow out their acidity. The price typically goes up for coffees that need to mature.


If you see bulk coffee listed as "quakers," it should have a low price tag. These are the deformed and discolored coffee beans. There's really no reason to buy these unless you're planning on making some sort of extract from them.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the materials you read in preparation for purchasing wholesale coffee.

To learn more, contact a wholesale coffee supplier.