The Transparency Project:Green Coffee Buying Guide


Rumble Coffee has been roasting superb coffee in Melbourne since 2014. We only source from great importers with strong relationships at origin. Unfortunately, we realised that terms like ‘Specialty Coffee’ and ‘Direct Trade’ lost their meaning – the traditional 80+ points from a possible 100 is too open to interpretation. As a result, cafe owners and roasters who are genuinely trying to improve trade in ethical coffee have no way to communicate what makes their coffee better than the competition. Our green coffee buying guide outlines the protocols we follow when we buy new coffee.

ready to be sorted for the coffee buying guide

Bags of coffee ready for the green coffee buying guide

We are passionate about valuing the entire supply chain, from farmer to cafe owner. We believe that everyone in this chain should be making a profit from their labour. To support this, we are changing the way we source our coffee, and that’s why we’re launching The Transparency Project. This is an opportunity for us to be transparent in the way that we source our coffee, so that you can always be sure that the coffee you know and love is supporting farmers worldwide.

Coffee Buying Guide

The Transparency Project is based on a model used by Coffee Collective in Denmark and Counter Culture in the US. Our model has four pillars: Quality, Transparency, Sustainability and Communication.


  • Rumble buys all our coffee based on it’s deliciousness. We cup and assess each coffee multiple times before we buy.


  • The farmers must be committed to environmental and sustainable practices. Every producing country is different but these might include Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, 4C or organic.


  • We insist on a clear line of communication with the farmer or co-op and the opportunity to visit.
  • We have visited farmers we work with in Brazil and Guatemala already. In the future we hope to visit each farm once per year.

Financial Transparency:

  • We require transparency of finances from our trade partners, including prices paid to the farmer or co-op. This must be at least 25% higher than Fair Trade.
  • We will disclose the price paid in our marketing material, social media and website. The goal is to encourage conversation on coffee pricing and motivate people to pay more for great coffee.
  • We will release a Transparency Report at the end of each financial year that shows all the coffee we bought and what we paid for them.

We have an importer coffee buying guide that every importer we work with must agree to before we can buy their coffee. Where possible we will display the price paid to the farmer, the FOB price or both.

FOB stands for Free On Board. This means the coffee is ready for export. Sometimes farmers produce and process their coffee all the way to export ready (bags loaded in to a container) sometimes they take freshly picked cherries to a wet mill or deliver processed parchment coffee to a dry mill. The price the farmer receives depends on how far down the process they are able to go.

How different farmers sell their coffee infographic for the green coffee buying guide


This can all get very confusing, so we will address each coffee as it arrives. Our first coffee under the Transparency Project is the Victor Herrera from Colombia.