About Coffee Trading Academy
I founded the Coffee Trading Academy with a single purpose:
to deliver high quality training and research focused on the global coffee markets.
I proudly refer to myself as a “coffee guy”. In the industry, we all know exactly what that term means. Its no exaggeration for “coffee people” to say that coffee is our way of life.
We all have our own way of contributing, but at the end of the day we all our trying to make sure that world has their cup of coffee in the morning.
For me, that means I help people in the coffee supply chain manage price risk through education and information.
And coffee price risk is real.
There is a reason that coffee is a favorite of speculative commodity traders around the world—it’s incredibly volatile. (If you’re curious why, it has to do with the biology of the coffee tree …further details in my class).
It takes a lot to understand price risk in coffee beyond the superficial answers.
My coffee career began with a global tradehouse as a management trainee. I started and ended my career trading physical coffee in NYC, but I also spent several years living and working in “origin” sourcing coffee directly from the farmers.
We coordinated with farmers and agronomists to improve the quality of the bean and the reliability of the crop. We worked with certification agencies, governments, NGO’s and environmental agencies to ensure that coffee supply chains were maintained in an eco-friendly and sustainable way.
I’ve been to farmer coops meetings to hear the concerns of farmers and to negotiate on behalf of buyers.
I’ve also been involved in the specialty market, representing single estate coffees at trade shows and visiting roasters and importers to calibrate cup profiles and find the right buyer for every coffee. I’m a certified Q grader (specialty Arabica analysis) and even contributed to some initial testing of R grader (specialty Robusta analysis) methodologies in Uganda.
However, my passion has been for trading coffee. I love the fact that coffee is an enigma driven by global currencies, long term weather anomalies, supply and demand, economic growth and tastes and trends.
When I returned to NY after living in origin for several years I navigated to the futures and options markets where I honed my analytical and speculative trading skills in the service of great mentors.
I also cut my teeth on trading my own book and developed several profitable technical trading strategies (and some unprofitable ones too!).
My thirst for learning also led me to a new challenge where I spent two years learning the ins and outs of the OTC market, which is a whole new level of complexity on top of futures and options.
However, through it all, my love of learning and coffee has always brought me back to teaching.
I like to make fun of myself by calling myself a “coffee price risk ninja”. Although I’ve had many great mentors, I don’t believe in gurus.
Many people will try to tell you that they have all of the answers, and that they are not to be questioned. I don’t believe in that.
I want everyone to be able to contribute to the story of coffee.
I’m happy to share what I know, and I welcome the opportunity to learn.
I hope that you will join me in your coffee journey.