We take great care in the sourcing of our beans for Axum Roastery and in the actual selection of beans we bring in to roast. We are proud to say our beans come from Balzac Brothers, a renowned bulk green bean importer with a history dating back to 1852, and through direct trade relationships we have cultivated with farmers themselves.

Our decisions on our bean sourcing and selection are based on five criteria, which allows us to guarantee a level excellence from which we will never deviate.


Axum Coffee strives to display transparency in all areas of our business, including production, service, relationships, and the sourcing of our beans. In selecting our bulk or direct trade sourcing company or farm, the organization or individual must display transparency about their practices, sustainability, traceability, and quality of their beans.


From our bulk bean supplier Balzac Brothers: “The modern usage of [the word] sustainability comes down to three interconnected issues: Ecological, Social, and Economical. All three elements must be supported for any activity to be truly sustainable. Miss one leg of the three-leg table, and the table falls over. Miss the ecological, and land suffers. Miss the social, and the people’s quality of life deteriorate. Miss the economical, and the people cannot make a livelihood.”

Many of our bulk beans are Certified USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified, while our bulk bean supplier Balzac Brothers is Rainforest Alliance Certified and part of the Coastal Conservation League.

These same sustainability principles also apply to the way we select our direct trade/single-origin relationships with farmers.


We are able to trace all of our beans—both our direct trade/single-origin beans and our bulk supply beans—back to the specific region of the country in which they are grown. Furthermore, in nearly every case, we know the farm itself from which our beans are harvested.

Because we know the altitude the beans were grown in, the amount of rainfall they received, the washing process they went through, and other data (all the way down to chemical makeup), we can not only ensure our beans’ excellence but also develop a customized roasting profile for each bean that comes into our roastery.


In choosing our bulk bean supplier, we looked for a partner that imported only the finest green coffee beans from countries around the world in the most timely and informed fashion possible. For 10 years, Balzac Brothers has fulfilled those requirements for us.

Before we establish direct-trade relationships with farmers, we put the samples they send us through a thorough roasting and cupping process to ensure we are able to provide your customers with the highest quality beans.


The process by which we select the actual beans to bring into Axum Roastery each season is a detailed, multi-step endeavor. Our master roaster and apprentice carefully study bean profiles and consider the possible notes that will appear in the coffee once it is roasted and brewed before making their final decisions. In addition to targeting the favorite flavors and preferences of our coffee community, we love to select seasonal beans with new and interesting characteristics so customers can expand their palates if they so desire.

We are always on the lookout to offer our community unique, single-origin, exclusive coffees,  such as our Columbia Pink Bourbon in December 2019. Axum Roastery received the entire harvest of this crop, a total of 50 pounds, making us the only roastery in the United States to roast Pink Bourbon.