2021 Customer Survey

Published 19 October 2021

At Melbourne Coffee Merchants we rely on feedback from our customers and peers to continuously improve our offerings, service and communication. We recently asked you to share your thoughts via our 2021 Customer Survey. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed! We are so grateful for your time in completing the survey, and the honest and open insights that you shared.
Here’s what we learned: 



We were overwhelmed by the positive things you had to say about working with MCM – thank you so much! Here are some of the areas that many respondents highlighted:

  • First and foremost, the high quality and consistency of our coffees, and the reliability of our tasting notes and recommendations.
  • Our professional and considerate customer service, honest and informative communication and flexible, open approach to supporting our customers.
  • The comprehensive background information we provide for every coffee we source. 
  • Our transparent and responsible approach to sourcing coffee, and the long term relationships we have established and maintained at origin which enable us to offer the same coffees every year.
  • Many of you also commented on how friendly, approachable and inclusive our team is, with customers of all sizes feeling equally taken care of and valued.


Thank you also for the candid and considered feedback we received, as it gives us great insight into what our customers are looking for from their green suppliers and how to continuously improve our services. Here, we share some of your constructive comments and address your concerns:

Offer more competitively priced blending options:

  • Over the past few years, we have been working hard to build our portfolio to include accessibly priced blending components sourced through the supply chains that we already work within. We have successfully grown our supply of Brazilian, Colombian, Guatemalan and Rwandan value lines and are also working on adding blending lines to our Ethiopian offerings. The nature of these types of offerings is that they aren’t always added to our spot list and we’ve realised that not all of our customers know that they are available!
  • Our first step will be to correct this through our general and more personalised communications. If you’re interested in sourcing your blending components through MCM simply give us a call and we can arrange a time to talk through our offerings or help you to plan. You can also read more about our types of purchase here

Offer a broader range of coffee offerings and add new origins to the list:

  • Our approach to our coffee portfolio has always been to try to focus on a limited number of origins and do them really, really well. We have made a conscious decision to grow slowly so that we can invest a great deal of time and resources into the supply relationships that we already hold. We are also mindful of not cannibalising sales of our existing offerings – for example, we are unlikely to ever source coffee from Burundi because it may jeopardise how many Rwandan coffees we can sell. Instead, we would prefer to continue growing the demand for coffees that we already feature annually. 
  • Having said that, we do plan to steadily grow our offerings and the variety of coffees available on our offer list. We anticipate that over the next 1-2 years this will be  through sourcing more diverse lots through our existing supply partnerships. This may include exploring new varieties, new processing methods and/or coffees from new regions. Longer term, this may extend to adding new origins to our offerings. This is not something that we feel confident to do without traveling however, so these plans are on hold until we can safely and responsibly travel to origin again.

Have more stock available year round:

  • We hear you! The last 18 months have presented unprecedented challenges in securing a steady supply of green coffee to feature on our spot list. Beyond seeing the longer term consequences of the pandemic start to play out, challenges at origin – such as inclement or unseasonable weather, labour shortages, competition for parchment or cherry from commercial exporters and political unrest – have affected our supply chains significantly. The international shipping crisis has also affected our ability to move coffee from origin in a timely fashion, and major in-transit delays mean we haven’t always landed stock when we planned to! We are working hard to get ahead of these issues and to have more stock on our list in 2022 – in the meantime, please keep this feedback coming, as it is invaluable in understanding the demand for our coffees and to forecast our purchasing accurately. 

Offer smaller, exclusive lots and connect roasters to specific producers:

  • Where the supply chain allows, we are always looking to include small, single producer lots as part of our seasonal offerings. In some origins there aren’t many of these types of lots available, so the best way to secure  one – particularly if you want exclusivity – is to let us know you are interested at the purchasing stage for that origin. We will then look for a lot that meets your requirements (in terms of cup profile and price) and offer it to you before it hits the spot list. If the lot is larger than your required volume we can’t always offer exclusivity, but we can arrange to sell the remainder of that coffee outside of your state, or to just one other customer.
  • We love connecting our customers to our producing partners! If you’re looking for a more meaningful or engaged relationship with a producer, we can help you achieve this by setting up video calls, connecting you through socials platforms or eventually taking you to visit!

Send larger samples, green samples at pre-shipment stage or many samples sent continuously:

  • We receive a limited amount of sample at pre-shipment sample (PSS) stage as it is very costly to air freight green coffee from origin. We try to reach as many customers with this sample as possible, to have the best chance of selling the coffees and, ultimately, to grow the market for our suppliers. This is the reason that we only dispatch 25g roasted samples at PSS stage, but if you do reserve a coffee from PSS we are very happy to send green coffee once the container has landed. If you would like more than our standard 100g measure, just let us know! We can also provide physical reads for moisture % and water activity at any stage of our QC (offer, PSS, landed, 3MO post landing and 6MO post landing).
  • For similar reasons to above, we have made the conscious choice to not send unsolicited samples, which can lead to waste. We love to hear from our customers, so if you are excited about a particular origin or shipment, please let us know and we will make sure you receive samples of those offerings as soon as they are available. A great way to keep up to date on what we’re working on or expecting next is to subscribe to our newsletter, or to follow us on our social platforms.


We’re constantly working on our business, with the simple goal of being the best! Outside of the positive and constructive feedback we received, the response to our customer survey has prompted us to start thinking about new projects or systems that we could implement to develop our practices and support our customer and suppliers better. Here’s some insight into what’s in the works:

  • We’re looking into different inventory systems that would allow customers to independently access their stock updates and that potentially integrate with cupping notes and QC feedback.
  • We’re continuously reviewing our logistical operations to find efficiencies in our warehousing and freight, and pass on any savings to our customers. 
  • We are working towards more environmentally sustainable practices, including switching our sample bags to a more sustainable product and becoming a certified carbon neutral business.
  • We are also in the process of becoming B Corp certified, an exercise that requires us to scrutinise our supply chain and business practices and meet the highest standard for social and environmentally responsible performance.

Once again, thank you for your considered responses. We have received your feedback with open minds and will do our best to continue improving and extending our services. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to chat further about any of these topics, or to give feedback at any time. Our door is always open!