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How we value Specialty coffee, the producers who make it and the consumers experience.

Updated: May 28, 2023

At Paralelo 14 coffee, we're revolutionizing the enjoyment of Guatemalan specialty coffee. We're transforming the traditional supply chain to uplift small coffee producers and ensure they receive their fair share. Here's why and how we're making it happen.

Why: The value of specialty coffee has long been controlled by market gatekeepers, leaving small producers at a disadvantage. The current supply chain involves producers selling their coffee to exporters or importers for around $1.80 - $2.82 per pound of green specialty coffee, including shipping costs. The coffee is then sold to roasters at $6-8 per pound in the US. This burden of market fluctuations primarily falls on the producers, while others enjoy healthy markups. We believe in treating producers as invaluable partners and have designed a business model that removes these burdens, ensuring their sustainability.

How: We collaborated closely with our specialty coffee producer partner, Luis Minas, to determine the value he needed to plan and grow his coffee business. We arrived at a price of $3.75 per pound for regular washed coffee and $4.00 per pound for experimental coffees—50% more than the average. This year, we have decided to pay a flat rate of $4 per pound for all coffees. By eliminating shipping costs and market fluctuations from their concerns, we allow producers like Luis to focus solely on their craft—producing exceptional coffee.

You may wonder if we're overpaying, given market perceptions of coffee value. However, we believe that the traditional supply chain skews the true value of coffee, with wastage and numerous intermediaries. At Paralelo 14, we act as the roaster, exporter, and genuine representative of Guatemalan specialty coffee. Roasting at origin ensures more value remains within the producing country, as it is during the roasting process that the greatest value is extracted. By taking care of shipping, we distribute the burden evenly throughout our supply chain, sparing the producer. We partner with cafés that understand the importance of paying a bit more for our coffees due to this fair supply chain.

When you purchase our coffee from one of our partners, you may notice a slight increase in price compared to other specialty coffees. However, you can enjoy your cup with the knowledge that our partner, Luis, was paid over twice as much for that coffee, enabling him to run a sustainable coffee business. Your support contributes directly to the empowerment of small coffee producers and the preservation of exceptional Guatemalan coffee.

At Paralelo 14, we're transforming the coffee experience—upgrading the value chain, supporting producers, and delivering unparalleled taste in every cup.

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