Frequently asked questions
Have a question on our coffee sourcing, orders, subscriptions, shipping, etc? Take a moment to read through our frequently asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question, or you have a completely different question please feel free to contact us.
- What is specialty coffee?
- Specialty coffee is the highest grade of coffee available. It is made possible by everyone in the supply chain taking great care from growing, selecting, buying, roasting, and serving. Producers such as the ones we work with play the most important role making in specialty coffee a possibility through selective harvests, extended fermentation times, controlled drying, and many other important variables.
- Specialty coffee differs from commodity coffee (what you would normally find in the grocery store) in aroma, taste, and body. There are no off-putting flavors or aromas, acidity is clean, and can typically stand on its own without sugar, milk, etc while still being considered enjoyable by most consumers.
- Is your coffee fair trade?
- Sort of! Currently our producers are certified through their association, but we do not require Fair Trade certification from our producers and we have no plans of going through the Fair Trade process ourselves. Khomanta was founded on the wellbeing and livelihood of our producers. The Fair Trade certification process isn't short, and has continuous fees that we would rather invest into our producers.
- In regards to pricing, we follow Fair Trade pricing guidelines. We do not pay lower than the Fair Trade price for our coffee. The Fair Trade price we pay is directly to the farmer, not FOB. That is a huge difference compared to the majority of companies which pay an importer or middleman Fair Trade prices resulting in the producer losing at least 25% of the price on average from the changing of hands along with an additional $0.20-$.030/lb that goes to the association.
- Through our profit sharing program our producers on earn over 100% more than the current organic Fair Trade market value as a bonus on top of the organic Fair Trade price we paid outright for their coffee.
- Is your coffee organic?
- Yes. Our producers are certified organic and the coffee we roast from them is certified organic. We do not add anything to the coffee resulting in a 100% naturally processed product.
- Is your coffee specialty coffee?
- Yes! We spend a lot of time cupping coffees before we reach out to the producer to bring them onto the team. Our standards require that all of our coffee is cupped by an SCA Q grader and must be at least 84 points (in their expert opinion). Each harvest we re-cup the coffees to verify quality, update tasting profiles, and work through any issues we encounter.
- Our producers work hard to continuously improve the quality of their coffee and production working towards the highest point cup possible.
- Why are you only sourcing from Peru?
- We are focused on helping our producers and their communities rise up. Our close ties to Peru and its culture have provided us with incredible contacts that help guide us through every part of the coffee process and allow us to better serve our producers. Sharing the same culture as our producers also makes for stronger long lasting relationships which is a key building block of Khomanta.
- Single Estate vs Single Origin?
- Single origin is a fairly broad term that can mean country, region, district, coop, or farm—whew. Single estate is a subset of single origin narrowing the scope to a single farm which we feel better represents the coffee we're selling.
- Do you offer pre-ground coffee?
- We no longer offer pre-ground coffee. Whole bean has the advantage of keeping the coffee fresher longer and prevents some of the more delicate notes a lot of our coffees have from degrading. Buying whole bean and grinding only the amount required for the coffee you wish to brew is what you'll find suggested by the SCA and the majority of baristas. If you are new to grinding check out our brewing section below for a couple grinder recommendations.
- Do you offer dark roasts? Why don't your bags list the roast level?
- Currently we choose a roast for each coffee that is best suited to bring out the wonderful flavors our producers have worked so hard on. Our roasts are typically in the medium-light to medium range. And while we aren't opposed to dark roasts, they do typically mute flavors and the spotlight tends to move towards the roaster's ability versus the producer.
- What is your return policy?
- We're confident you'll love our coffee, but if for some reason it doesn't work out please contact us. We'll make it right by replacing your order or sending you a refund. Refunds and returns are available up to 30 days from the date you received your order.
- How long does it take for orders to leave your facility?
- For items we have in stock we ship same day. If we need to roast your order (we typically do) we will ship it out next day. With USPS your order should arrive in 1-3 days.
- What carrier(s) do you use?
- Currently we use USPS for all deliveries.
- What equipment do I need to fully enjoy specialty coffee?
- There are a lot of opinions on this, and ultimately it comes down to your taste. The goal is to figure out how, with your equipment, you can make the most enjoyable cup. For a lot of people this means manually brewing with a reasonably priced setup—for others this means dumping grounds into a machine and walking away. It is up to you, but here are our recommendations.
- Good quality coffee, like we happen to sell!
- A brewing device such as a Hario V60, Chemex, AeroPress, French press, etc.
- A digital scale with 1 gram precision
- A burr grinder (manual or automatic, blade grinders discouraged)
- A gooseneck water kettle for easy pouring
- A way to time your brew
- I need a grinder, do you have a recommendation?
- For those looking to get into grinding their own coffee we recommend a couple entry level burr grinders which will produce results far better and more consistent than the most expensive blade grinders.
- The Baratza Encore burr grinder is a great entry level burr grinder that can grind for any method except espresso. If you're looking for espresso you'll need to check out other Baratza products or go with a more affordable manual grinder.
- The 1Zpresso JX-Pro manual grinder is a great all-purpose grinder that can grind for french press all the way to espresso.
- Do you offer brewing instructions?
- We'll be offering brew guides before too long, a good starting point is a ratio of 1:15, or 66 grams of coffee to 1 liter (1000g) of water at 212° F with a medium-fine grind siding closer to the fine side.
For cold brew coffees we suggest a medium grind and a ratio of 1:12 or 83 grams of coffee to 1 liter (1000g) of water at room temperature for 24 hours, strained through a filter and chilled. We tend to enjoy our cold brew diluted by half its weight in water, or a tad more e.g. add 1/2 to 3/4 liter of water to 1 liter of cold brew.