As the boutique coffee subscription segment continues to extend its feelers throughout the consumer world, one new subscription-based startup is concerned more with origin, focusing exclusively on traceable Colombian coffees.
With a friendship dating back to middle school, Rory Reiff and Jared Price — based in Medellín, Colombia, and and Central Indiana, respectively — have launched Quest Coffee Club, a monthly subscription brand slated to ship its first orders this month.
Reiff has been working for the past four years as a freelance designer in Colombia, from which sprang a personal interest in sharing the amazing locally sourced coffees he was tasting with friends and family in the United States. Thus, the Quest club was born.
“Both Jared and I savor the experience of trying new things in life, and that includes always hunting for a new and interesting coffee,” Reiff told Daily Coffee News. “Our goal is to imbue our subscription service with that sense of adventure and excitement that comes with something new and unique every month.”
For the venture, Quest turned to Indianapolis-based Tinker Coffee Co. and its 12-kilo Probat, on which coffees are roasted on the second Tuesday of each month for delivery within a week.
“We decided to start our subscription service in collaboration with an existing roaster that we knew and loved,” Reiff said, adding that Quest may eventually explore taking full control of roasting, especially if subscription plans expand. “We ultimately decided that our roast quality would be best starting out with an experienced and established roaster.”
Reiff said Quest has begun working with numerous U.S. importers with ties to various individual farms or producer organizations in Colombia, including Olam Coffee, Mercanta, Ally Coffee, and Genuine Origin. While each coffee within the subscription plan will be traced to an individual producer, Reiff said the Quest team hopes to develop more direct relationship with individual farms, beginning with one already established with the five-farm Colombian cooperative Geranio Café.
Said Reiff, “As we grow our subscriber base, our opportunities for establishing these relationships and importing coffees that have yet to make it to the U.S. will increase.”
Reiff said the company isn’t seeking specific quality thresholds for the subscription coffees, although quality is part of the larger story of Colombian coffee that Quest hopes to share with its subscribers in the U.S.
“We want our customers to feel as if they are each month exploring a new part of Colombia and it’s heritage as surfaced through the coffee,” Reiff said. “We intend to primarily focus on single origin coffees with scores in the high 80s to 90s. But a score isn’t everything. We are testing coffees each and every month up until we have to order for each shipment. So ultimately, if we find a coffee that we believe has a unique story to tell through it’s region, process and taste profile, we will select it for that month.”