How to order samples?


Let’s discuss... Type, Offer, Pre-ship and Arrival samples.

Working as a roaster, I expected there were only 2 types of coffee samples you could order. Firstly, the arrival samples from lots that had arrived at the warehouse of the importer. Secondly, samples from coffee that remains in the country of origin. However, when I started working for The Coffee Quest I quickly realized this is not the case.

This blog is written to answer the ‘sample related’ questions we usually receive and to provide insight into the different existing type of samples. This has an influence on what you as a roaster can expect, when you taste it and make a buying decision. Discover the 4 main type of samples and how they are prepared!

coffee sample blog

Type sample

The farmer, station, union or cooperative has a coffee that is in line with what they can produce. The producer can give you an estimate of maximum and minimum volume.

Offer sample

The farmer, station, union or coop has finished drying and the coffee is resting in the warehouse. The coffee is stored in bags of parchment or unsorted green. Your supplier will need to take an even sample from each bag, remove the parchment on a mini-huller and hand-sort the beans.

coffee sample blog
coffee sample blog

Pre-Shipment sample (PSS)

After the export to a buyer is planned, the producer will plan the milling and (manually) removing defects. The dry mill will remove the husk of the coffee and sort the coffee, so we end up with exportable green beans. Right before the coffee is packed, the producer will take an even sample. This is the Pre-shipment sample. 

coffee sample blog
coffee sample blog

Arrival sample

This is the sample of the coffee that importers received in their warehouse. It’s also called SPOT sample. These samples are taken manually from the warehouse and are ready to be shipped to you.


Did we answer some of your questions? Consider the pros and cons of each type of samples within your buying decision. Know what to expect when you receive a sample that doesn’t say SPOT or Arrival. 

Do you have any other questions? Get in touch and let us know.


Skip and The Coffee Quest team

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