May 26, 2021 Posted by Metric Coffee

Introducing Source Code Number 01- a Publication by Metric on Sourcing and Sustainability in Specialty Coffee.

What is Source Code?

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve had a lot of time to internally reassess our vision, core values and direction. We concluded that as important as it is for us to source quality coffee, providing context to the prices we pay is equally important. This is why we spent the past year putting together information and data to hi-light some of the meanings behind our trade on top of publishing transparency data. Source Code begins by simply asking the question “what is coffee sourcing?” and expands on industry terms such as “What is F.O.B? And “What is Farm Gate?” Our hope is that this information will help you, the reader gain a better understanding of how our industry works in the hopes that they too gain a deeper appreciation for the process.

As you make your way  through the magazine, you will notice QR codes with video highlights of “What is cupping?” to “What is wet milling?” along with examples of real contracts and transparency reports, all donated by our partners at origin for folks to see what this information looks like. The gathering, collection and publishing of the data would not be possible where it not for the help and support of our partners at Azahar Coffee in Colombia who are in our opinion doing the amazing work on the quality and transparency front. 

Source Code concludes with an exciting Case Study using data from one Colombian producer Nelson Chaves Burbano from 2018 through 2020. Nelson donated the data for his Cost of Production for all three years with the goal to show the impact a “more sustainable price” brings to Nelson. 

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about Source Code: 

Why did we feel the need to produce this content?

It may not come as a surprise to you how many times we get asked what feels like the simplest questions from our most committed customers. Yet, when we consider how we, as wine loving coffee people visit our local wine shops and approach the merchants, we a) begin to understand how little we actually know about wine and b) become instantly attracted to wines that we may have never thought we’d like just because someone took the time and care in walking us through the process. The same rings true for coffee.

What do we hope to gain from publishing Source Code?

Our vision for this publication is to a) help curious coffee drinkers gain a better understanding of our industry and b) help them understand that by supporting companies with a like-minded mission, they can both enjoy quality coffee and inform fellow consumers with the insight to make better choices at the retail level.

Why is transparency so trendy right now? Why didn’t you guys do this before?

Busted!! You’re right. Why didn’t we do this before? The honest truth is, we believe that our industry is demanding more from roasters like us, and it is high time we ask consumers to demand the same from them. To be completely transparent, our industry still operates in the shadow of racism and contributes to international poverty, while other actors in the supply chain earn record profits. By continuing to speak on our well-intended sourcing relationships, to the best of our ability, we help bring light to this issue. 

Do you foresee any future “Source Code” publications?

Yes! With issue one, the idea is to establish a foundation for some of the questions people might have around what we do, and allow for subsequent issues to take on more of a collaborative role for education. For example, issue two would like to invite other roasters to participate in publishing their own case studies and offer photos, essays, poetry, etc. to tell their stories but at this point those ideas could change and only time will tell what will come next for SC. 

What we hope for the most is that Source Code will serve as an influential template for others to explore and further discuss this topic with their customers. 

What does Full Spectrum Equity mean? And what do those words mean to us?

In Source Code, we discuss the importance of transparency, however flawed it may be, and invite our readers into the conversation by both sharing our progress and our pain points around the topic of sustainability. However, what we DO manage to achieve in our Case Study is the authentic verification of the price paid to a single farmer and trace it all the way to the final price. Included in this section is what we’re calling “A Full Spectrum Value Chain Analysis” which, in short, covers every cost from raw material to the final retail product. 

I heard there is a Source Code Podcast coming? What is that about?

Yes! We are excited to announce a Podcast series where we take the opportunity to invite a few notable roasters to join us in this topic and more importably to hear from them what shaped their mission in championing equity and sustainability ability in their field. Some of the guests lined up for interviews are Tim Hill formerly of Counter Culture Coffee and now with Atlantic, Sam Sabori from Intelligentsia Coffee, Gabe Boscana from Maquina, Jared Truby from Cat & Cloud & Laney Drury formerly with Verve and now with Remedy Supply Co.

Stay tuned for more details on the guests and episode releases. 

Who All Contributed in making of Source Code?

Source Code was created by Xavier Alexander, Co-Owner of Metric and edited by Andrea Brito Nuñez from Azahar Coffee. The data published in Source Code was donated by the likes of Azahar Coffee, Beneficio San Vicente, Fabiana Carvalho from the Coffee Sensorium. Source Code was designed by our very own Lauren Gallagher with assistance from Christian Ortiz, Illustrated by Nic Vargas and photos provided by Harris Nash, Ryan Lodge and Brandon Thiessen. 

Special Thanks to our partners at Oatly and Savor Brands for sponsoring the print of Source Code. 

When will Source Code be available for purchase?

Today is the launch of our pre-sale of Source Code and Source Code Bundles  with order fulfillment beginning on Wednesday June 9th and also available for in-store purchase. Our regular bundle includes a copy of Source Code, Shirt, Tote Bag and Pin and our Bundle Plus includes everything in the regular bundles plus a bag of Colombia Nelson Chaves. 

From today until June 9th enjoy an early bird discount of 20% your entire order with all orders over $40 dollars shipping free to the continental U.S.