With three generations of coffee growers in the family, Third Wave Coffee Source has sprung from a rich tradition of coffee. Our passion for exquisite beans goes beyond meeting the discerning expectations of the third wave coffee movement.
We are third generation coffee growers in San Marcos, Guatemala. Our story really begins with Don Samuel Coto senior (1910-1992) who purchased Finca El Platanillo from Mr. Manfredo Lipmann in 1977. Don Samuel originally focused on volume production, and continued to successfully manage the farm until 1985. In 1985, Mr. Stuardo Coto, Don Samuel’s son, took control.
During these first years of Sube's existence, Stuardo attempted what is now almost an industry standard for specialty coffees, he tried to sell coffee directly from Finca El Platanillo. To attempt this idea, he set up shop at SCAA 1995 in Long Beach, CA and his booth promoted farm direct coffees, however, it was too soon and the industry was not yet ready. The project didn't go as planned, and Stuardo ceased from trying the direct trade route for another 10 years.
In 2001, by now a well known specialty coffee dry mill, Sube was selected as processing and warehousing facility for the first ever Cup of Excellence event in Guatemala. The CoE coffees were processed in Sube for the subsequent 8 years. This very demanding job actually served as a training period for Sube and its employees who learned first hand how to handle truly exceptional coffees with the special care they require. This opportunity also endowed Sube with Guatemala's specialty coffee farmers' trust, which has allowed Sube to maintain many high quality coffee producers in its client roster ever since. By 2013 Samuel Coto, Stuardo's oldest son, joined Stuardo in the journey of making a way for a true direct trade. It was then when Third Wave Coffee Source sprung as the next step to selling farm direct coffees. The original founding partnership lasted only until early 2014 when both of the branches, once TWCS USA and TWCS UK, became independent of each other. Currently, Samuel operates Third Wave Coffee Source USA with his team. With full independence from each other, each iteration of TWCS is versatile and can adapt to the many changing environments of the specialty coffee market. The most valuable strength of TWCS USA is that this chain is full vertically integrated. Being part of the Coto family, TWCS USA led by Samuel is in a sense the most direct coffee trading purveyor from Guatemala. This strength lies in the fact that TWCS USA acts through SUBE in order to both select, buy, process, and export its coffees so that when TWCS USA delivers the coffee to the roaster, Samuel has been the only person in between the Producer and the Roaster. This allows for better allocation of the resources along the chain, better communication and also more transparent trading as we are not bound by either the "C" market or local markets. The prices are set by the producers, and by allowing them to determine their prices, we are able to fulfill their expectations given the fact that their coffee is worth every penny.