Why can't I get the same coffee anymore? An explanation piece

What?? Out of Stock?

I get a lot of questions about certain coffees that people love when they become unavailable, only to never return to our store offerings. When they find out that this particular coffee will most probably not be sold every again, I get asked a lot about why. Am I just a hipster looking for exclusivity? Am I just trying to be difficult?

That was a joke by the way. I will try to explain in a few short points here.


Coffee is still a business no matter how much you romanticise it

Reason #1: Supply & Demand

Some coffees sell better than others

Let's face it: Coffee is a business no matter how much you romaticise it. I still need to pay the bills on the green coffee, packaging, rental for the machine, shipping and people to help me in the roastery. If a coffee doesn't sell, I'll need to replace it once it's done. Quite simply, I have to make sure that the inventory is selling.

If it's not popular, no matter how much I enjoy it, I would have to take it out of rotation

Reason #2: Availability

We work with importers that bring in coffees for us to sell.

Importers are businesses too. In the same way, if the roasters aren't buying that particular coffee, they won't have a lot of reason to bring it back next season right? One example is the Israel Carranza I have on the store. I've had this coffee for a while, but despite it selling well, I know it wasn't very popular to roasters in Singapore because I kept seeing it on the offer lists. If you were them, it probably won't make sense for them to bring it in will it? And most likely we would not see it in the next shipment either because these importers probably wouldn't buy that coffee to distribute in the next harvest

There are other factors such as supply chain, geopolitical changes, and things like the farms simply just not producing that same coffee anymore because they want to work on other projects.

One good example of a farm that constantly changes their offerings would be Finca Aquiares in Costa Rica. Right now, we've got their esperanza honey and their washed caturra on our store. But there was a time that we were selling their esperanza anaerobic natural too. I wouldn't expect a particular farm to keep doing the same thing and selling the same thing if they wanted to sell different things

Reason #2: Logistics (especially for one-off coffees)

Sometimes I go out of my way to bring in coffees that I think would be really good, but they are not exactly the easiest to procure all the time

I remember there was this one time i brought in this beautiful ethiopia landrace from Tade GG. It was an excellent tasty specimen that was soft, juicy, round, floral and it tasted like Iced lemon Tea... yea you get the picture. Absolute stunner of a coffee. Plus, it was honey processed which you don't see a lot of coming out of ethiopia! (Go read my article on processing methods if you don't know what that it)

But I found that by chance on a random cupping table with some colleagues with a random importer that wasn't based in Singapore. I managed to get a bag of that (60kg green) one time. And that was it.

Right now, I'm not even sure if i can get into contact with the right person, find the right coffee at origin, and to get it shipped out to Singapore. Plus, I basically rode on another roasters' shipping pallet so that i didn't have to buy 600kgs to ship in.

It takes a lot of effort and money to bring in coffees exclusively from origin or with another importer, so i'd rather just buy from our local importers.


Would I buy the same coffee again? Absolutely, but it's a lot easier said that done. I find it hard yearly to get the same one, so sometimes i'd rather sell something different

So now you know the hoops that I have to get through to bring coffees in. Go to our store to buy something before you'll probably never see it again!

Written by Byron Lim