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Coffee Trader: Job Description, Info, & Job Openings

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People that love coffee, and have a keen sense of business and profit may make the ideal candidate to begin a career as a coffee trader.

A coffee trader will help bring coffee importers and sellers together with establishments that buy coffee and make money in the process.

Coffee Trader: The Basics

What is a Coffee Trader?

A coffee trader is someone that connects businesses and companies that use or buy coffee, with the companies or importers who are selling the beans.

In the process, they make a commission, profit directly from the sales, or even both.

What is a Coffee Trader Called?

A coffee trader may also be called a coffee broker, coffee commodities trader, or simply a coffee supplier.

What Does a Coffee Trader Do?

A coffee trader connects coffee bean growers and importers to establishments that buy beans, ground coffee, or specialty coffee for their businesses or products.

The transactions they facilitate make their profits or sales commissions.

Work Opportunities in the Coffee Trader Industry

Coffee Trader Job Description

A coffee trader will seek out sources of coffee beans, often from organic coffee farms.

They will also search for stores in the coffee industry that sell specialty coffee and products with coffee flavor.

Once they have a product that the sellers want, they will facilitate a transaction between them.

Top Coffee Trader Jobs and Careers

Trader Joe Coffee Buyer

Coffee Trade Analyst

Senior Coffee Buyer

Where Can a Coffee Trader Work?

Someone getting into coffee trading can work in many different places in the coffee industry.

Anywhere there are coffee lovers or bean producers, they will be there to make sure that great coffee can be made into delicious products.

A coffee trader will be right at home working for a company that uses good coffee to make products that use bean coffee or pre ground coffee to flavor products like espresso, ice cream, and milk, with the taste of coffee while also adding caffeine

What It’s Like to be a Coffee Trader

Is Being a Coffee Trader Hard?

Being a coffee trader can be a difficult job.

A coffee trader will need to be able to source Ethiopian coffee, coffee from South America, and more.

Is a Coffee Trader Job Stressful?

Being a coffee trader can be stressful.

Farmers may not have the coffee products that buyers want or vice versa.

Arranging the transactions can be stressful as well.

Common Coffee Trader Work Day

There is no common coffee trader work day since the career is so highly dependent on coffee market conditions.

Coffee Trader Tasks & Duties

The tasks and duties of a coffee trader will vary considerably with the market conditions.

Coffee Trader Work Hours & Schedule

Depending on the needs of the coffee industry, the hours and schedule may be highly irregular and may require significant travel.

Coffee Trader Dress Code

There is no dress code for being a coffee trader.

Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?

As long as the market is moving, a coffee trader may have little work/life balance.

If they are a freelance coffee trader, they may have a better chance to gain that balance.

Coffee Trader Salary & Income

Does A Coffee Trader Make Good Money?

A coffee trader makes very good money for very little physical work.

How Much Does A Coffee Trader Make?

A coffee trader can expect to make a salary of nearly $55,000 per year according to Glassdoor.

A trader of coffee commodities expects to make nearly $63,000 according to the BLS.

Overview of the Coffee Trader Industry

Coffee Trader Field: Career Progression

There is very little progression in the coffee trader field.

Some traders may open their coffee shops, while others may move into the commodities trading industry where they can buy and sell coffee on a larger scale.

Many people who choose to be a coffee trader see that job as their goal and do not seek out any other career changes.

Is Coffee Trader a Good Career?

Becoming a coffee trader is a good career.

Not only are they able to make a considerable income, they often enjoy other benefits of the career like traveling and meeting the farmers.

Coffee Trader Job Outlook

The outlook for coffee trader jobs is not as positive as in many other industries.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that those who deal in coffee commodities will only see a growth of 4% between now and 2030.

Demand for Coffee Trader

The US loves coffee and is one of the countries that consume the most coffee worldwide.

This leads to a steady demand for coffee trading, and the commodity of good coffee in general.

Coffee Trader Facts

  • Each year more than 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed
  • Coffee is the second most-traded commodity behind crude oil
  • More than 25 million people make their living from coffee farms
  • The US gets more than 75% of its caffeine from coffee
  • Coffee shops are growing incredibly fast, meaning plenty of work for a coffee trader.

Jobs Related to Coffee Trader


A barista makes the drinks that coffee lovers love.

They are responsible for getting just the right amount of steamed milk in your morning cup and pulling the perfect espresso for that midday break.

They rely heavily on customer service and technical proficiency with brewing equipment.

Coffee Product Designer

A coffee product designer is responsible for making coffee that is sourced by a buyer and creating new and innovative products with it.

This could be anything from a new flavor of ice cream, upgraded packaging for instant coffee, to a new high-tech cold brew method.

Senior Coffee Buyer

A senior coffee buyer is responsible for sourcing and evaluating bids on sources of coffee.

The buyer will award contracts to those sources of coffee that meet the purchasing requirements of the establishment.

They help manage the relationship between the supplier and the company and even have a hand in building the purchasing budget each quarter.

Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Coffee Traders

Who Should Consider a Coffee Trader Career Path?

The perfect candidate to be a coffee trader is someone that loves coffee.

They should be able to travel to major coffee-producing countries and should have a strong background in sales and customer service.

Skills in finance and commodities trading are also ideal.

Who Should NOT Consider a Coffee Trader Career Path?

Someone not cut out to be a coffee trader would dislike coffee and be unable to visit coffee farms to negotiate deals.

Lacking in-depth knowledge is also a factor that would make someone an unfit potential coffee trader.

Is it Hard to Become a Coffee Trader?

It can be challenging to become a coffee trader.

There is a considerable amount of industry knowledge that one needs to be successful in the job.

It may take many years to develop good working relationships with the farms and buyers needed to facilitate profitable deals.

What Do I Need to Become a Coffee Trader?

A degree in business or finance will be a great start to becoming a coffee trader.

This will also help you understand the business of brokering coffee deals.

Requirements for Becoming a Coffee Trader

While there are no formal requirements for becoming a coffee broker, having the right skills is crucial.

What Skills Does a Coffee Trader Need?

A potential trader must have sharp business acumen and top-tier salesmanship skills.

A coffee trader deals with a wide variety of people, and knowing how to negotiate deals between those people is the key to success.

What Education Does a Coffee Trader Need?

Ideally, a coffee trader will have a degree in international business, finance, or something similar.

Can You Become a Coffee Trader Without a Degree?

It is possible to become a coffee trader without a college degree, but it would take someone extraordinarily good at research and negotiations.

What Experience Does a Coffee Trader Need?

The primary source of experience a coffee trader should have is in the coffee industry.

They should know the difference between french roast, dark roast, medium roast, and so on.

An understanding of the beans and the nations in which they grow best is also vital.

Coffee Trader Education & Schooling

Coffee Trader Education & Schooling

There are no courses that are taught specifically that deal with becoming a coffee trader.

Coffee Trader Education Options and Degree Programs

The best program that exists for becoming a coffee trader is to obtain a college degree in finance, business, or other similar majors.

This will take several years, but it will put you in a prime position to become a successful coffee trader.

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree will take an average of four years, while advanced degrees will take longer.

Become a Coffee Trader

Steps to Become a Coffee Trader

The first step is to deeply study the coffee industry.

You will need to become intimately familiar with the process of growing coffee, the growing and trading seasons in the countries where you plan to trade, and more.

You should know the various suppliers and the different varieties and grades of coffee.

You will need to be able to offer the highest quality coffee to the people who are looking for it.

The most important thing to remember is to be persistent and make yourself known among growers, sellers, and buyers.

Current Career Job Openings

If you are interested in becoming a coffee trader, take a look at some of these jobs that can help you get your feet wet in the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is coffee the most traded commodity?

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the entire world.

it is second only to crude oil.

Who controls the coffee market?

No single entity controls the coffee market.

Just like other commodities, the coffee market is driven by market forces of supply and demand.

When dealing with large-scale coffee futures, however, there can be a great deal of speculation that will subject the price of a 60kg sack of coffee beans to some volatility.

Wrapping Up

Becoming a coffee trader is a great career for someone passionate about coffee.

You will have a great deal of influence on the varieties of coffee that are offered at the locations you sell to, and you will be able to have a strong sense of pride in helping make one of America’s favorite beverages more plentiful.

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