Working with MCM

We are here to help with your green bean needs.

We are here to help you find delicious green beans to suit you and your business, and to make this process as easy and satisfying as possible.

Melbourne Coffee Merchants (MCM) is committed to sourcing coffee through equitable and sustainable coffee supply chains, with a focus on developing and maintaining long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our producing partners and maximising the price that growers receive for their coffee.

Our founding values of quality, transparency and sustainability inform all of our purchasing decisions. By choosing to buy through MCM you can trust that your coffees have been sourced with fair and sustainable practices and present the very highest quality and value from each of the origins we work in.

Our team is here to help you find delicious coffees, and to make the process of selecting and ordering green coffee as easy and satisfying as possible! We know the coffees that we offer very well and, in most cases, have visited the farms or washing stations and are in direct and regular contact with the producer. We can help you select coffee for a specific purpose or brew method or to create a blend that meets a certain profile, quality and/or price requirement. If exclusivity is important, we can also help you source coffees that are unique to you and facilitate a close and long-standing relationship between you and the producer.

Most importantly, we hope to build a long-term relationship with you that is based on openness, honesty and trust. We want you, and your customers, to love and enjoy the coffees you source through MCM!

Types of Purchase

You can buy coffees from MCM in two ways: by selecting coffee at any time from our available stock (“spot” purchasing), or by providing us a buying brief ahead of our buying trip, during which we will select coffee specifically to meet that brief (“forward” purchasing, or “pre-committed”).

Most customers will buy through both purchasing models for different coffees; depending on the urgency of their need, the intended use of the coffee, the volume and/or price they require and the seasonality of the coffee. We can help you work out which model suits you best for each of your purchases.

Spot Purchasing:

Spot coffees are purchased by MCM with no particular customer or purpose in mind. We choose coffees for our spot offerings that we love and that we think our customers will love. The coffees are added to Offer Sheet and are available for anyone to purchase, either ahead of the coffees landing (from pre-shipment samples) or once they have arrived in Australia.

  • Spot offerings are great for small or new roasters, who need a lot of flexibility in their coffee selection and volumes.
  • Spot purchases carry less long-term commitment and financial risk for the roaster. Coffees that have landed are available for dispatch immediately and have been cupped and assessed by our team to ensure our very high quality standards are met (in the rare case when a coffee lands at a lower quality than expected, we will discount it significantly and sell it as a “Special Offer”).
  • Spot coffees can be a great option for covering shortages in supply or delayed coffees throughout the year.
  • Spot coffees may be slightly more expensive than pre-committed coffees, as both the producer and importer carry more financial risk in this model.
  • There is no guarantee that a particular coffee will be available without pre-committing, and we are less likely to be able to offer exclusivity on a spot offering.

Forward or Pre-Committed Purchasing:

Pre-committed lots are purchased for a specific customer who has given us a buying brief ahead of our annual buying trip. The cup profile, price range and volume are agreed upon in advance and the customer commits to buying the coffee lot we select on their behalf. The customer may request coffee from a particular farm or washing station they have previously purchased from or may ask for a lot that we can offer to them exclusively.

  • Forward buying is great for customers who need constancy and consistency in their coffee supply. This purchasing model guarantees the customer a particular volume of a coffee at an agreed upon quality level and price point.
  • This model requires careful planning and communication between MCM and the customer, to ensure the correct volumes and timing for the customer.
  • Communicating your purchasing intentions ahead of a buying trip is the best way to secure exclusivity or first right to refusal on a particular coffee lot, or to ensure your access to small volume, high demand coffees (such as exotic varieties).
  • Coffees contracted in advance by our customers may have a smaller margin added to them by MCM as there is less inherent risk to us as a business, both in terms of cash flow forecasting and knowing there is a guaranteed buyer for the coffee.
  • This model exposes the roaster to some risk as they are committed to taking the coffee (outside of severe quality concerns on landing, in which case we will find a manageable solution for all parties).
  • Making a long-term commitment to buy coffee from the same producer or cooperative annually (regardless of slight quality and/or currency fluctuations) is the most effective way to build a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship with our producing partners.

How to order

Stock availability and Offer Sheet:

Our coffee offerings change throughout the year according to what coffees are in season and what is tasting good! You can request our Offer Sheet from us at any time, which will inform you of current and upcoming spot offerings, tasting notes, availability and pricing. We also keep our website updated with coffee availability and send out a weekly newsletter which includes a current Offer Sheet and information about our upcoming buying trips and activities.

Tasting our coffees:

We love to taste our coffees together with our roasting partners. We can host you for a cupping or arrange to come and cup with you at your roasting facility. We are also happy to send green or roasted samples for you to cup in your own time.

We send either 25g roasted samples or 100g green samples. We can send samples of “in stock” (landed) coffees at any time. We also receive a limited amount of pre-shipment sample (PSS) ahead of the coffees arriving in Australia. If you have an interest in specific origins and/or coffee lots, please let us know as early as possible and we will try to send you PSS for those coffees. Please note that due to limited volumes we can only send roasted samples at PSS stage.

If you have reserved a coffee ahead of it landing in Australia there will also be an opportunity to taste and approve landed samples once the coffee has arrived and passed MCM’s internal quality control program.

To request samples, you can call or email us or use the Request Sample function on our website. We will need to know what coffee(s) you are interested in trying, if you’d prefer roasted or green sample, and the best address to send the samples to. There is usually a 2-4 day turnaround from requesting samples to them arriving (depending on your location).

Placing an order:

When you are ready to order simply email us and we will arrange dispatch as soon as possible. When you place an order please include your delivery address, hours of operation, best contact number and any other delivery instructions, including if you require a tailgate service or hand unload. Once we have received your order we will send an email confirmation and a copy of your invoice.

Please note that we require one full business day between ordering and dispatch; e.g. if you order on a Monday your coffee will be dispatched from our Melbourne warehouse on Wednesday.

Order Quantity

Our minimum order is one unit (i.e. 1 x bag/carton)

We pack all of our coffees in 30kg grain pro bags or 30kg vac pack cartons. This smaller packaging size is easier for handling coffees and beneficial for worker health and safety.

Orders are packed onto pallets with up to 24 x 30kg units (720kg). Each pallet can contain one single type of coffee or a mix of different coffees.

Pricing and Delivery

MCM covers all sourcing, financing, transport from origin to Melbourne, packaging costs, export and import costs, insurance, quality control and storage. Our prices are quoted at a flat price/kilogram rate and are “ex-warehouse” (EXW). Local delivery fees are charged on top of the coffee kilogram cost. Depending on where you are located, we will charge a flat price/pallet fee, or give you a quote specific to your location.

Our standard delivery fees for metro areas area as follows (all-inclusive GST and fuel levy):

  • Melbourne full pallet – $90
  • Sydney full pallet – $180
  • Brisbane full pallet – $290
  • Canberra full pallet – $180
  • Adelaide full pallet – $170
  • Perth full pallet – $340

We require one full business day between ordering and dispatch from Melbourne. Delivery time varies depending on where you are located and the time of year. Please allow 3-5 business days for metro areas and 5-7 business days for QLD, Western Australia, Tasmania and rural areas.

If for any reason your coffee arrives in damaged or poor condition, please notify us within 24hrs of goods received. We will not be able to handle claims presented outside of this time frame.

If you would prefer to organise your own freight carrier, we can arrange for the coffee to be packed and ready to be picked up from our warehouse in Melbourne. We require one full business day between order and pick up date. Pick up is only available M-F between 8am and 2pm.

Terms Of Trade

Payment is required in full and upfront, prior to dispatching the coffee. Once your order is confirmed we will send you an invoice which can be paid via bank deposit or credit card. When we have received remittance advice we will dispatch the coffee. Please note that we will hold the coffee for 14 days from the date of invoice – if no payment is received in that time we will consider the stock available to sell.

If you have developed a positive transactional credit history with MCM over two transactions, you will be eligible to apply for credit terms, provided you complete our credit application process. Extended credit terms are invoice +14 days from date of order. Any payment outstanding longer than 30 days from date of invoice will incur interest at a rate of 1.5% per month, and credit terms will be denied for future orders.

Storage and Draw Down Contracts:

For coffees that have been paid for in full, MCM is happy to offer free storage for up to 12 months from arrival.

We are also able to provide storage for reserved coffees ahead of payment, provided the customer has signed a sales contract with MCM. The coffee will be invoiced with agreed terms as it is drawn down.

Contracts are drawn up and signed once the coffee has landed and been approved by the customer. The contract details the amount of coffee on hold, the price and the agreed storage/draw down period and payment terms.

  • For spot coffees, high value and/or high demand coffees we offer a 90 day draw down period from when the coffee lands and clears internal QC. Any coffee remaining in storage after this period will be invoiced in full. We are happy to store the coffee up to 12 months, provided it has been paid in full before or at 90 days post landing.
  • For high volume, pre-committed lots we are happy to offer longer draw down periods, dated from when the coffee lands and clears internal QC. The length of the draw down period will depend on the volume and value of the coffee lot and be agreed to on a case by case basis. Any coffee remaining in storage after the draw down period will be invoiced in full. We are happy to store the coffee for up to 12 months, provided it has been paid in full before or at the close of the draw down period.

Stock/position updates:

If you have reserved coffee in our warehouse or on the water, we will send you regular monthly position updates, or upon change of status (i.e. arrival into Australia, clearing customs, available for dispatch, etc). Please do not hesitate to get in touch if, at any time, you would like a current position report.

Quality Assurance

We have a stringent quality control program, and proudly stand by the quality of our coffee. It is our goal to ensure that your expectations are met, and that you are happy with the coffees you buy from us. Our quality assurance program is multi-faceted – from working with the producers throughout the year, to a thorough tasting regime here in Melbourne. We have official QC sessions to track the quality of coffee over time: from when it leaves origin, on arrival (before sending it to you) and at three and six months to evaluate the cup quality, water activity level and overall performance of the coffee to make sure it meets our quality expectations. This information is fed back to our producing partners and, if a coffee lands poorly, we will be in contact with our customers to offer a discount or alternative, or to cancel the reservation. If anything falls short of your expectations, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. Please note we are unable to accept liability for any issues not raised with us within 30 days of invoice.

We look forward to working with you.

We look forward to working with you, and supplying you with beautiful coffees for you and your customers to discover and enjoy. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch!