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What is Direct Trade?

Direct Trade bases its foundation around transparent business practices and ethically grown coffee. Because Direct Trade is currently not a certification, its definition can slightly vary from roaster to roaster, while maintaining its core principles. So as an effort to eliminate any ambiguity, we have created our own definition to help give our customers a clear understanding when seeing our Direct Trade logo.

We abide by these 4 basic principles for Direct Trade:

  1. A direct relationship. First and foremost, we believe strongly that a direct relationship must be established with the farmers themselves. The selection and price of our coffee is directly handled by the farmer, so by building up a genuine relationship, this allows us to guarantee a high quality coffee for our customers.
  2. Being transparent and above reproach. In a world where it is difficult to determine a business’s true motive, we strive to make Shaded Root as transparent and honest as possible. One example of these efforts is by having a complete knowledge on exactly how much money the farmer is receiving from our orders. We are currently purchasing our coffee above 40% Fair Trade’s minimum requirements.
  3. Quality control. By following the Direct Trade model, this allows us to have control over the quality of the coffee we provide to our customer’s.
  4. Visiting each farm. We feel that a truly direct relationship can only be established face to face. Because we are still in the beginning phases of our company, we have not yet had the opportunity to visit each farm, but it remains a top priority as we continue to grow.

Any coffee with this logo has met all 4 standards for Direct Trade coffee as defined by Shaded Root


For quite some time now, Coffee has become a commodity in modern society. It would be a difficult task to find a workplace, factory, office, or campus that does not rely on coffee on a daily basis.

The quality and care given to the coffee growing and roasting process has gradually diminished as the industry tries to meet these extraordinary coffee demands.


At Shaded Root, we know that the coffee drinking experience goes far beyond simply burning coffee beans for the sake of an energy boost. Every region of the world  has a unique flavor and characteristic to its beans and a lot of hard work should go into making sure these flavors can be experienced by the end user.

This is why we value the opportunity to create direct relationships with individual farmers who invest their lives into creating the best possible coffee beans that their soil can produce.


We strive to nurture these relationships by eliminating as many “middlemen” as possible and working directly with the varied needs of each farm so that the quality of coffee they produce  isn’t compromised by the demands of the industry.

More importantly, we hold strongly to the belief that the quality of life of the coffee producers should not be compromised in the least bit by a market thousands of miles away.

We want our process to be as simple and transparent as possible by letting the consumer know exactly where their coffee is coming from. We want to visit the farms a couple times a year to make sure that quality standards are met, and to let our customers know that the goals of the farmers are being met as well.

Ultimately, the coffee experience we want to treat our customers to will be the end result of a collaboration between Shaded Root and its supplying farms, who both will have invested their time and energy to create something that inspires.