Spurge Magazine

Zac Caldwater, May 2, 2022

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When you buy a bag of coffee, it can be difficult if not downright impossible to tell how much of the sticker price went to the producer. In the past, coffee roasters have used transparency reports, a round-up of sorts of what they paid for their coffees in the previous year, to tell the story of their buying practices. Others, like Onyx Coffee Lab, list more up-to-the-moment buying information on their website, where the costs associated with each of their coffees is listed on that coffee’s information page.

And now, one coffee company is taking a novel approach to transparency by reverse engineering the what a producer gets paid. Using what they call “Proportional Pricing,” Torque Coffee pays coffee farmers based on how much the bag of coffee sells for.

Created by industry vets with multiple decades of experience Andy and Nanelle Newbom (Andy is also the author of Coffee Spanish for Coffee Buyers), Torque Coffee is a subscription-based coffee roaster bringing radical simplicity to coffee buying transparency. Similar to the subscription model of Yes Plz, Torque only offers one coffee a week, typically a blend, that they create and send to all those signed up. Then the next week, it will be a new blend.

Torque coffee proportional Pricing