As the coffee industry has grown we have seen how quality generally gets lost along the way. Producers use poor grade, mass-sourced green coffee that can’t be traced back to individual farms or co-operatives. Mass roasting and operating off a thin base of roasting knowledge drive quality even further away.
In many cases in the coffee industry in South Africa, there seems to be a lack of will to work against these trends, and inferior product continues to get churned out in bulk. At Seattle we try to recapture the artisanal approach towards the craft: traceability versus non-traceability of crops; handpicked versus mechanized harvesting; hand-roasting versus computerized bulk roasting; manual versus automated espresso production. This ‘quality at-all-costs’ orientation cascades down from farm to cup. To continue with our aim to provide product and service at its best, we made a conscious decision never to grow at rate where quality would become a casualty. We remain independent of any international parent company and maintain our roots as an exclusively South African, family-run business.