Ordering from us - the basics
If you have any questions that aren’t covered below or would like to discuss your order further please don’t hesitate to get in touch…
What is your minimum order?
Our minimum order is five bags - that’s approximately 300kg. More commonly we deliver by the pallet load - one pallet holds around 600 to 750 kg, or 10 to 12 bags. You can pick and choose any selection of coffees to make up your order - for example, you could have a pallet of 12 different bags of coffee, or you could take 12 bags of the same line.
How are your coffees packaged?
We ship most of our coffees in traditional 60kg or 69kg jute bags; where possible we line these with a protective polypropylene ‘GrainPro’ bag – an airtight storage system designed to preserve quality for longer and regulate moisture content. We also offer a selection of our coffees - mainly our Brazils - in polypropylene ‘PET’ bags - a synthetic (but fully recyclable) alternative to the traditional jute bag that does not impart any baggy, ‘jutey’ taint to the coffee over time. Some of our coffees are also available in 20-35kg vacuum packed boxes.
Our coffees are delivered on a clean, dry pallet, strapped and shrink-wrapped for safe and secure transport.
Where do you deliver?
From our UK warehouse we deliver to over 30 countries worldwide – including specialty roasters in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South Africa. We are happy to consider new routes and markets wherever feasible. For orders within North America please contact Mercanta North America using our website, or for orders within Australia or New Zealand please contact our partners at Melbourne Coffee Merchants.
How long will it take for my coffee to arrive?
For orders within the UK it will usually take from 3 to 5 working days from ordering for your coffee to arrive.
For orders within Europe it will usually take about 6 to 10 working days from ordering for your coffee to arrive.
For orders within the Middle East it will usually take about three to four weeks from ordering for your coffee to arrive.
Delivery to Asia and Africa usually takes from 4 to 8 weeks from ordering, depending on the route.
Is it cheaper to order more than one pallet at once?
If your cash flow and storage space allows, we can usually negotiate better transport rates for orders of 2 pallets or more. And this will mean improved prices for you.
What are your payment terms?
For first-time customers we respectfully ask for payment in advance of delivery. After some time working together we may then be able to discuss credit terms. You can pay by bank transfer or credit card. We accept the following currencies: Pounds Sterling, Euros, US Dollars and Japanese Yen.
Can you advise me on choosing the right coffees?
Yes! We’re happy to advise you on planning your pallet and can also supply you with detailed cupping notes for all of our coffees.
Can you send me some tasting samples?
Yes and no! We are able to supply selected samples, although we really try to limit the numbers we send out as we found that costs were spiraling out of control! We would advise you to talk through the coffees you are interested in with one of our cuppers, then request samples of anything you’re not sure about.
And how about some help with marketing?
We can provide you with supporting information and photos for the coffees you buy and you are, of course, free to use these on your website and other marketing materials.
Advice for Start-up roasters
Mercanta was founded in 1996 to supply the rapidly growing community of small specialty roasters in Europe and beyond. We have since worked with numerous start-up operations worldwide and have been delighted to see these new companies prosper.
So here is a quick guide to help start-ups plan their first order…
Our coffee inventory changes frequently, as some of our coffees turn over extremely quickly and new coffees arrive from different growing regions at different times. So, if your roaster isn’t installed or operational yet there may be little sense in sending you a detailed price list - you’ll find that most of the coffees will have sold before you are ready to place your first order. In fact, in our experience, it can take three to six months longer than planned before your roaster is built, delivered, installed and operational!
However, these price ranges should help you with your business planning:
- Prices for commodity grade coffee tend to fluctuate with the market. As a rough guide you will be able to find a selection of commodity green coffees from importers at around £3.25 (€4.20) per kg.
- If you spend a little more, you may find green beans listed as ‘specialty’ grade at a little under £3.95 (€5.10) per kg. These are more likely to be higher quality commercial grades and not genuine specialty coffees.
- From around £4.75 (€6.15) per kg and upwards a wide selection of traceable, high quality specialty grade coffee is available. Most of our coffees are available in the £4.75-£7.00 (€6.15- €9.10) range, although prices for micro lots, exotic origins and award-winning Cup of Excellence auction coffees can be significantly more expensive.
- A 10 to 12 bag pallet of selected coffees will cost approximately £3,250 -£5,000 (€4,225-€6,500), inclusive of delivery and fully insured.
We recommend that you get in touch with us around three to four weeks before your roaster is installed and you’re ready to start roasting. We’ll then provide you with a full and up to date listing of all our green coffees, as well as advice on putting together your first pallet.
Further training and advice
If you’re thinking about starting to roast – or would just like some formal structured training – you’ll find the roasting courses offered at our fully independent sister company, the London School of Coffee, to be invaluable.
The London School of Coffee offers a wide range of courses including cupping, roasting, blending & brewing, and barista skills. The three day ‘How to start a roastery’ and ‘How to start a coffee shop’ courses have specifically been designed to build core skills for new businesses. The school also offers on-site training and consultancy services to both start up and established businesses.