SUPPORT

Advice and answers from the Dispatch team

Get in touch at info@dispatchcoffee.ca if you don't find an answer here:

+ Coffee product and how to brew

To get detailed step-by-step Preparation guides for the most common brewing methods at home go here!

+ Is your coffee roasted for filter or espresso?

There is not significant variation among our roast levels or colours - all could be described as medium/medium-light. We differentiate our coffees by where they come from. We roast each of our coffees to be sweet, clear, and versatile enough to taste delicious as both espresso and filter. When we roast a coffee, we develop a recipe that will represent it to its fullest potential, no matter how you brew at home. For those who prefer certain flavour profiles for their favourite brewing methods, feel free to let us know what you're looking for and we'll be happy to help you find it: info@dispatchcoffee.ca 

+ What represent the flavour notes on your coffee packaging?

Our tasting notes are the aromas and tastes that we perceive in the cup when we source, grade and taste each coffee origin in our production facility - these flavours are 100% natural and intrinsic in the coffee bean and come from many variables such as the geographic region, plant varietal and processing method of that coffee. Coffee is the seed of a fruit called a cherry and just like grapes for wine, a coffee fruit from Ethiopia or Guatemala will taste entirely differently. A large part of our product philosophy is to highlight each origin's unique flavours, instead of standardizing the taste of all of our coffees with the roasting process.

+ How do I make my coffee less bitter?

Bitterness is a characteristic of over-extracted coffee which means that ground coffee has been in contact with water for too long. The quickest variable to modify that may reduce bitterness is coarsening your grind by one grind setting. This will allow water to flow through the coffee bed at a faster rate and reduce over-extraction. Do this while using the same dose of coffee until you find your desired sweet spot.  You can check out our how to brew page for more tips on optimizing your brew, or reach out to us with questions at info@dispatchcoffee.ca

+ Subscriptions and billing
+ When does my next monthly delivery ship out?

1. Login your account using the Account icon on the navigation bar at the top of this page.

2. In the "Manage My Subscription" section, you will find the next forecasted charge date. Your next month's order will ship out within two business days after each monthly recurring charge date.

+ When do I get charged for my monthly subscription?

1. Login your account using the Account icon on the navigation bar at the top of this page.

2. In the "Manage My Subscription" section, you will see a date at the top of your account for your next order. It is on this date that your credit card on file will be charged.

+ Why do you only ship subscriptions monthly?

Our current decisions to ship on a monthly basis is rooted in several core values that consider you and the environment:

  1. Saving you money on four weekly shipments or bi-monthly shipments of coffee, instead of one, flat rate shipping cost per month for one box of all the coffee you need for that month.

  2. Shipments mean carbon emissions and packaging materials/waste. The more shipments we reduce, the less carbon impact we have. We believe in monthly shipments of the volume of coffee you need for that month, over sending you your monthly volume via 2, 3, or 4 shipments.

  3. We value simplicity and utility, and the ultimate objective of our subscription service is to supply you with your personalized monthly need of coffee beans. The reason we ask a few questions when you first build your subscription is to ensure we deliver the perfect amount of bags for one month for you.

This volume can be adjusted month to month, as coffee needs change. That said, a concern we hear often is that many bags shipped once a month will mean brewing "stale" coffee. Our response to that is that "Fresh off roast", though popular wisdom would have you believe, is actually not best. Our industry has marketed coffee "fresh off roast" , but our shelf-life tests have indicated that our coffee is best for brewing roughly 7-10 days off roast. This is because coffee needs to "rest" after it has been roasted. The chemical charge and remaining activity contained in the roasted coffee bean can act as a buffer from water binding to the ground coffee and extracting the yummy stuff that enters your mug. Additionally, so long as you do not open your coffee bags until you are about to brew them, no oxygen can enter our coffee bags, and contribute to oxidization that would otherwise degrade the coffee beans. Simply put - if you get 4 bags delivered to you, and you only open them when you are ready to brew for a consecutive number of days, each bag, once opened, will be optimal 10-30 days after it's opening. Most people don't consume 333 grams of coffee in more than 15 days. Further more, even beyond 30 days off opened will not incur a loss of volatile aromatics and complexity that is majorly perceivable, and to us, not worth the cost and environmental consequences associated with multiple delivery of small  "fresh off roast" parcels.

This said, we are continuously optimizing our subscription service and feature based on your feedback and needs, and our service may evolve over time. 

+ How do I change my email or password?

Enter your account and scroll down until you see the “change password” section. If you cannot access your account, click the Account icon on the top navigation bar, on the Login pop up window, you will see a prompt to Reset Password. Follow the instructions ensuing in your e-mail!

+ How do I pick up in store?

You will receive an e-mail notification when your order is ready for pick up.  For local subscribers, in store pick ups will always be Thursdays as of 10 a.m. (EST)  You can always refer to your ship out date in your Account. Show up at the cash and you will be asked to present a piece of identification to claim your delivery!

+ Can I skip my monthly coffee plan?

Yes. You can skip a month. There are no limitations to how many months you can skip. In order to change the status of your subscription you must enter your account in the "modify your plan" section, and press the button that reads "Skip a month". The cutoff date to modify your plan will be 48 hours before your next charge date, indicated at the top of your account under the "Manage My Subscription" section. We will always send you an e-mail notification 72 hours before your upcoming charge.

+ What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept most major credit card providers, such as Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot accept American Express, money orders, e-transfers, cash, or cheques. 

+ Responsibility and Transparency FAQ

Dispatch is a social enterprise. In our company, impact management is an ongoing practice of measurement and improvement, reducing the negative and increasing the positive. We support the priorities of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and share the view that businesses have a role to play in implementing solutions to our world's most pressing crises. Many of these global crises intersect with the global coffee industry and supply chains.

When answering questions about impact, we believe it is important to define terminology, as "responsibility", “ethics” and “sustainability” can be interpreted in many ways. This enables us to build consensus as a team, and those sharing data with us across our supply chain, as well as with you, our customers. 

We consider impact across many spheres in our supply chain, from coffee purchasing, to our employer policies and company culture, all the way to packaging and distribution. 

We are working to make our organizational impacts more transparent and measurable in 2021. For now you can visit our website page that outlines our responsible purchasing practice and ways in which we work to reduce our environmental footprint.

+ Is your coffee direct trade?

In short, no, and we do not  associate this phrase with a high(er) impact way of purchasing coffee than how we currently do. We will try to unpack this further here:

“Direct Trade” is a model that favours the elimination of intermediaries between producers and roasters. It is important to highlight that “eliminating intermediaries” does NOT necessarily means more money goes to the farmers than when coffee is traded through intermediaries like importers:

“Direct Trade” has been commonly defined in our industry as an approach to purchasing coffee from the farmer to the roaster. This may be possible in certain producing countries, and with certain farm archetypes where farmers have the foundational structures in place to export their own coffee and access markets abroad. However, there are many millions of farmers who rely on cooperatives, collection centres, mills and exporters to move to the roasting phase of the distribution chain. This is the prevalent  structure in most of the producing countries where our coffees come from..

Decreasing intermediaries does not inherently lead to increasing income for farmers 

In some form, all coffee is traded through intermediaries. Not only is there a wide variety  of “farm archetypes”, but there are also a myriad of intermediary structures between farmers and roasters. All coffee must move through four primary steps before final consumption, and in each of these stages, there can be multiple local actors or agents required to move coffee from one step to the next: from cultivation (in producing country), to  processing into green coffee (in producing country), to  roasting (generally in consuming country), and, finally, to d) packaging/retailing (generally in consuming country).

We choose to purchase most of our coffee from smallholder farmers (holding less than 10 hectares of land) because research supports  that this is where we can have the greatest impact, both economically and socially. Smallholder farmers tend to be the  most vulnerable coffee producers, and those with the  least market access  in the traditional coffee supply chain. They are also plentiful - over 25 million of them produce 80% of our world’s coffee. 

In order to access smallholder farmers, informal producers associations, and cooperatives, we need to work with intermediaries. Importers, the intermediaries that we most frequently communicate with, are carefully selected business partners. We require that they  share key aspects of our vision toward increasing farmers’ economic agency, and they often have long standing relationships with cooperatives  and smallholder farmers. All of our importers have active, on-the-ground presence in the producing countries they represent, allowing them to  provide pricing and impact traceability to buyers like us, and to better understand the personalized needs of each farming community. 

The positive impacts of "Direct trade” are only as effective as the roaster who is buying the coffee. Traditionally, roasters hold the largest margins of any intermediary in the coffee supply chain. If direct trade is able to transmit more of the roaster’s costs directly to the farmer, thereby increasing the farmer income, this is good, in principle, but direct trade can just as easily enable roasters to simply keep more of the total margin without meaningfully increasing the farmer income, and furthermore without  supporting  the operations of value-driven importers like those we choose to work with.

+ Where does your coffee come from?

From many places and people! *All data is taken from a study of 47 coffees served or contracted from late 2018 through the present. You can e-mail us at info@dispatchcoffee.ca for more information on this study. 

Among the 47 coffees with comparable datasets accounted for in this study, 77% of our were produced by smallholder farmers (farmers holding 5 or fewer hectares of land)). We made these purchases  via regional communities of farmers, cooperatives, and informal producer associations, as market and export accessibility is rare for a single smallholder farmer. Research supports that supporting cooperatives has more widespread positive impact throughout the community than is common when purchasing from individual businesses, such as independently owned estates or larger farms. 

The majority of the other coffees considered in this study come from family farms or estates smaller than 100 hectares, which would still be considered “small” compared to commercial agri-businesses. “  From there, we work primarily with trusted intermediaries called importers, who work to move our coffee from the country of origin to our warehouse and roasting facility in Montreal. In 2019 and 2020, we worked with the following importers for at least two coffees:

  • Crop to Cup

  • Atlas

  • Sucafina

  • Interamerican

  • Red Fox Coffee Merchants

  • Nordic Approach

+ Is your packaging compostable/biodegradable?

Yes! Our bags are 100% biodegradable and decompose in a backyard compost, commercial compost facility, or at the landfill (including the one-way degassing valve which promotes freshness and prevents oxidation.) Simply throw them into your compost or garbage when you are done (do not recycle). For more information about this packaging, check out our packaging supplier TekPak Solutions.  READ MORE ON OUR BLOG POST HERE

+ Is your coffee organic?

Of the past 40 coffees we have purchased or contracted as of December 2020, 30% were certified Organic.

73% of them donated proceeds on every KG of coffee to World Coffee Research whose mission is to create a toolbox of coffee varieties, genetic resources and accompanying technologies and to disseminate them strategically and collaboratively in producing countries to alleviate constraints to the supply chain of high quality coffee. In 2021, 100% of our coffees will incorporate a donation to WCR.

To earn organic certification, coffee farmers must use an agriculture system that produces food-supporting biodiversity and enhances soil health. They can only use approved substances and organic farming methods. Many of the coffees that we buy adhere to all the principles of organic farming, but the farmer or cooperative simply has not paid to have the organization certified, or has failed to meet the criteria due to small matters that would not otherwise contradict the principles behind the certification. Achieving certification is a costly and long-term process that many farmers struggling in cyclical poverty cannot access. For this reason, we support and encourage smallholder farmers who practice ecologically sustainable farming practices, whether or not they are third-party certified, on their pathway to obtaining organic certification, or  already certified.

+ Is your coffee fair trade?

Our vision of responsible sourcing includes, but is not limited to certifications. Approximately  15% of the past 40 coffees we have purchased or contracted as of December 2020 in 2019-2020 were certified Fair Trade Certified.

Our vision of responsible sourcing includes certifications, but is not limited to coffees that have them.  Certified coffees can contribute to the development of  a sustainable industry, but they are not the only solution. Some certified coffees focus on ensuring environmentally friendly farming, while others address the social wellbeing of farmers and farming communities, or guarantee a minimum price paid to producers. 

Fair trade coffees focus on the latter, as well as connecting farmers to wider markets for their coffees, as well as training and development programs that support farmers’ agency and profitability. Fair trade certification evolved as a way to pay farmers a guaranteed minimum price for a pound of coffee at a premium above the commodities price. Traditionally, commodities pricing is extremely volatile and low (below the costs of production for most smallholder farmers). Though an incredible initiative and organization, fair trade minimum pricing cannot reduce all threats to our industry’s  sustainability or the wellbeing of farmers. This is why we do not limit our responsible sourcing decisions to just one certification. Fair Trade guarantees that a cooperative is paid at least $1.40 USD per pound for their coffee. This number is only relative to what the average farmer in a given co-op will earn above their fixed and variable farming costs. Our  average FOB* price to date, for coffees where this data was possible to collect, is $2.62/LB USD. The past five year average commercial price for a pound of coffee is $1.19/LB USD.According to a study conducted by Fair Trade USA and Cornell University, “The Cost of Financially Sustainable Coffee Production in Latin America”, cost of production for a ~1.6 - 5.3 hectare farm ranged from $0.88 USD to $1.75 USD per pound, which means that coffee producers can still earn less than their operating costs, even in a Fair Trade certified supply chain.

Shipping and returns
+ Do you ship to the U.S.?

Yes! We have recently launched our subscription service and shipping to the U.S. We currently offer an $8 (CAN) flat rate ground shipping for all orders via UPS.

Can I expedite my shipping time?

Unfortunately not at this time.

+ Our shipping options across Canada

FREE GROUND SHIPPING for 3-5 Business Days For Montreal Customers Only FREE Bike Delivery We are delivering by bike three days / week. Delivery zone ranges from Iberville to the E / HWY 40 to the N/ Decarie or Angrignon to the W / water to the S. You will receive a shipment confirmation e-mail when your order is out for delivery.

FREE pick up in store at our Café at 4021 Boulevard. You can pick up anytime after your order has been placed, during operating hours of our café. Bring a piece of ID and your Order Confirmation number!

+ Our Return Policy
  • Coffee beans are non-returnable and non-refundable

  • Coffee Subscriptions that have been processed are not refundable. You can enter your Account and cancel your next month’s delivery up until your next order is processed. Your next charge date is indicated in your Account. We always remind you two (2) days before we charge you.

  • Unused Equipment - Equipment unused and in original packaging can be returned and fully refunded within 30 days of purchase and order confirmation. E-mail us at info@disptachcoffee.ca to inquire about a return. Your refund will be processed in your bank account approximately 5-10 business days after we receive the returned equipment.  Original shipping charges are non-refundable.Shipping charges incurred in connection with the return of a product are non-refundable.

  • Used Equipment is non-returnable and non-refundable see manufacturer's warranty when applicable.

+ Covid-19
+ How does COVID-19 Affect shipping?

We are experiencing minimal service disruptions at this time. We continue to do our very best to get your coffee to you as swiftly as possible! At this time, we are fulfilling and shipping your orders within 48 hours of them being placed. You may experience slight delays against our normal 1-5 business day delivery times, and we encourage you to check your tracking number in your order confirmation e-mail. Our third party delivery provider, UPS, has temporarily suspended their service guarantees due to the unprecedented nature of COVID-19 and it's affect on their operations. You can read more here: https://www.ups.com/ca/en/help-center/shipping-support/service-guarantee.page For our Montreal customers we encourage you to opt for Bike delivery or Pick-Up In Store for the fastest service.

+ Are your cafés open?

We have reopened our café at 4021 St-Laurent and 267 St-Zotique. Please view our café hours here.

+ Can I pick up my order in store?

You can select one of our pick up in store options as your shipping method at checkout, and your order will be ready for pick up as soon as you have completed your purchase, so long as this is during café operating hours. Please check our store hours for when you can pick up in store.

+ Is your roasting facility safe?

Yes. In light of COVID-19, we have established the following Best Practices within our roasting facility to uphold a safe working environment for our team, customers, and community during this time.

  • Our small production team continues to roast, package, and fulfill orders while upholding diligent standards of safe distancing and predominant isolation. We are encouraging each individual to occupy and be responsible for a fixed array of surfaces for the majority of their shift. Various members of our team are now working from roughly 9AM to 9PM to ensure that we can uphold operations with minimal overlap.

  • We are reinforcing more frequent-than-normal sanitation standards. Upon arriving for a shift, each individual will wash their hands before sanitizing all of the surfaces or tools they will be consistently handling within their primary circuit.

  • Our facility’s doors are kept locked at all times, excluding the four hour windows when we have UPS or Canada Post pick-ups scheduled. During these intervals, all outbound coffee is placed on the surfaces directly in front of the entrance (about one metre from the entrance) and the remainder of the facility is blocked off. 

  • Our team is conducting all meetings remotely, but staying in constant communication. No group coffee tastings are being held at this time. 

  • Whenever possible to work remotely, all team members are encouraged to do so.