A Commitment to Sustainable Practices and Social Equity

As the second-most traded commodity in the world (crude oil is #1), coffee sits at the intersection of multiple interconnected global issues that affect all of us, including gender and racial equity, economic disparities between the West and the Global South (where most coffee is produced), politics, sustainable farming practices vs. monoculture farming, and, of course, the increasingly disruptive effects of climate change. 

Now more than ever, we feel it is important to conduct every aspect of our business in ways that reflect our commitment to quality coffee, to building strong relationships with farmers and suppliers, and to giving back to the local and international communities to which we are intimately connected. For 30 years, we have traveled the planet searching for the best coffee regions with growing conditions that meet our high standards for environmental and economic sustainability—and partners who share our belief in social equity. 

Explore how coffee serves as a nexus for critically important global challenges.

Our buying criteria set a high standard for selecting beans.

We buy exceptionally well cared for coffees with 100% traceability, which means we can follow every coffee bean back to the farmer, or community of farmers, that produced it. We take pride in our efforts to offer superior coffees that tell a story, which means telling the story of the farmers or the cooperatives from which we buy. 

Over the years, we have continually visited the farms from whom we buy coffee as well as those farms whose coffee we are considering. We look for farmers who share our commitment to sustainable farming practices. We work hard to establish long-term partnerships with them based on trust, mutual respect, and fair compensation, which ensures a quality product and improves the quality of living for our farm partners. So, sip your cup of CBD coffee with confidence; the beans it was made from are exceptional in quality, 100% traceable, and treated with the utmost care.

Coffee By Design: Coffee Buying Criteria


CBD buys and supports quality coffee from producers—farmers and importers—who share our values and with whom we have direct relationships.


CBD pays fair prices to our coffee producers. Our goal is not to make the most money, but to be partners in an exchange that benefits all.


CBD strives to be a “relationship coffee” company. We build genuine friendships with our farmers, visiting as often as possible and hosting events with farmers here in Maine.


CBD works with coffee producers to help improve quality of coffee beans over time by providing ongoing dialogue, feedback, and support.


CBD looks to build long-term partnerships with coffee farmers based on trust: when we buy from the same farms every year, they know they can count on us and vice versa.


CBD supports sustainable and innovative practices at coffee farms and in our roastery. We look for farmers who are committed to using organic and bird-friendly agricultural practices.


CBD invests in and protects the communities where we source coffee. Farmers communicate their needs, and we help fund collaborative, on-the-ground initiatives (for example, livestock in Rwanda, school aid in Guatemala, medical help in Jardin).


CBD only buys specialty coffee that is graded 80+, and we strive to source 4-6 coffees at any given time that are graded 90 or above.


CBD cups—rigorously taste-tests—all single-origin coffees that we roast, ensuring they meet our exacting quality expectations.