How to Choose the Best Wholesale Coffee Beans for Your Coffee Shop

May 2, 2024 (Published: May 11, 2017)
Coffee beans

Crimson Cup has roasted award-winning coffee in Columbus, Ohio since 1991Thinking about opening a coffee shop? Congratulations! Owning an independent coffee shop can be both personally and financially rewarding.

One of the first questions many prospective coffee shop owners ask is, “Where should I get my wholesale coffee beans?” which is a critical part of the big-picture question “how much does it cost to open a coffee shop?”

Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea has been supplying the highest-quality wholesale coffee beans to coffee shops, colleges & universities, grocery stores, food-service operators, and restaurants for 30 years. Here are some of the selection criteria we recommend for finding a wholesale coffee supplier. (If you’d like to learn about more about our coffee beans, including wholesale pricing, please contact us.)

Choose the Best Coffee Beans You Can Find

Specialty coffee is a competitive business. You want customers to rave about the quality of your coffee! Quality may cost a little more, but you’ll more than make up the small margin in repeat business. Great-tasting coffee keeps customers coming back and telling others about you.

Questions for your Wholesale Coffee Supplier

Here are some questions to ask when choosing wholesale coffee partner:

What grade of coffee beans do you roast?

Specialty coffee beans are the gold standard for coffee shop operation. They represent the cream of the coffee crop. The characteristics of these beans exhibit the most favorable cup qualities. Specialty beans are more consistently sized and shaped, which helps the coffee to roast evenly.

2016 Roaster of the YearHas your coffee won industry awards or been independently reviewed by coffee experts?

Awards and 90+ point reviews are indications that the coffee is among the top of the crop. In addition to Roast magazine’s 2016 Macro Roaster of the Year award, Crimson Cup has produced coffees that earned outstanding ratings from The Coffee Review. Our coffee has won a Good Food Award and high rankings in the America’s Best Espresso and Compak Golden Bean competitions.

How much experience do you have in roasting coffee?

Anyone can call themselves a coffee roaster, but it takes considerable experience, often involving trial and error, to produce coffee that’s consistently excellent. Moreover, longevity provides assurance that your roasting partner will continue to be there to support you.

Crimson Cup has been roasting coffee since 1991. We believe that our success depends on our customers’ success, so we do everything we can to help you grow.

Who roasts your coffee?

Working with a company that is simply a reseller of another company’s coffee is a poor option when you consider the fact that coffee is your main product. At Crimson Cup, every bean is hand roasted under the supervision of Master Roaster Dave Rochus, who has nearly a decade of roasting experience.

Do you offer taste tests of your products?

Yes! A quality roaster isn’t afraid of competition. Crimson Cup coffees regularly win blind taste tests.

 Do you offer direct-trade coffees?

Buying coffee directly from farmers ensures better coffee quality and supports a better quality of life for farmers and their communities. Through our Friend2Farmer direct trade program, Crimson Cup works hand-in-hand with coffee farmers. We take several trips a year to make friends, strengthen relationships and help fund local schools and other life-enriching projects. We also pay farmers an above-market price so that they can continue to invest in their crops and communities.

Are you Fair Trade Certified?

Crimson Cup has been a Fair Trade certified roaster for more than a decade. Fair trade organizations create trading partnerships that are based on dialogue, transparency and respect.

Do you offer certified organic coffees?

A growing number of consumers have a strong preference for organically grown coffee.

How often do you cup your coffee during roasting?

Cupping, which is an industry term for the sensory evaluation of coffee flavor, should be done regularly to ensure consistent quality.

At Crimson Cup, our cuppers evaluate coffee on a daily basis.



How quickly do you ship coffee after roasting?

Once roasted, coffee begins to gradually lose flavor. It should be shipped quickly.

Do you offer syrups, powders and other products?

Crimson Cup has developed an innovative line of products that enhance the flavor of espresso-based beverages.

How long will it take your coffee to reach my store?

Shipping costs can quickly add up. You always want to stock fresh coffee, but running out of coffee will quickly run your shop out of business. Consider choosing a centrally located roasting partner that can ship beans to you overnight if needed – without incurring exorbitant shipping charges.

Do you offer training and consulting services to help my business grow?

At Crimson Cup, we believe that your success is our success, so we’re always available to brainstorm solutions to customer challenges. Through our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop alternative program, we teach entrepreneurs everything they need to know to run a successful coffee business. We also offer a full range of professional coffee courses on site or at our SCA-certified Innovation Lab in Columbus, Ohio.

This list should give you a lot to think about. If you’d like to chat about the unique needs of your coffee business, give us a call or drop us an email.

Call us anytime at 888-800-9224 or email

Contact usFill out our information form and we will contact you to discuss the world of specialty coffee and answer your questions about wholesale coffee beans and specialty coffee products!

Buy The BookGet the inside scoop about everything you need to know to be successful in specialty coffee. As a bonus, you’ll also receive free samples of our award-winning specialty coffee and tea along with immediate access to critical files, including a complete coffee shop business plan.

Bonus: When you buy the book, we provide a free, no-obligation consultation, because we’re passionate about helping entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams. We will contact you after your book purchase to schedule a time to discuss your goals.


Categories Coffee | Coffee Roasters

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