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LUCY in the sky

Buying the best lot of coffee could be likened to outlasting competitors on Survivor to claim the prize pool. Sometimes it’s like playing poker with high rollers and keeping your cards close to your chest, and sometimes it just comes down to how close a relationship is.

St Ali Procurement Strategist Lucy Ward has experienced it all, but says there is far more camaraderie in the buying field than people may think.

“It’s only in Central America, such as Panama and Costa Rica, where you tend to compete with a cohort of buyers to get the best of the best. Some producers will save you their best stock, but I hate exclusivity. It’s not cool unless you buy everything from the farmer and can commit long term,” she says. “At the end of the day, everyone roasts differently, brews differently, and markets coffee differently so I see no point in being exclusive.”

Lucy always goes to origin prepared. She carries a shopping list of what she needs and wants.

“In that list are different brackets of coffee, for

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