Do you want to be our next Head of Coffee?

After a successful project funded by the grant we won through Innovate UK to set up the Sensible Coffee auction platform, we are now looking to fill this position on a permanent basis.

This will be an operational position helping us develop and take forward the liaising with producers, approving coffees for the platform, building relationships with importers and roasters and and helping them to safely land the coffee.

We have put together a full job specification and background about our company, which you can download here:

The Role

This is the continuation of a role we originally funded through the award of an Innovate UK Grant. We were awarded the grant based upon our proposal to create a new Coffee Auction Marketplace. We created the Head of Coffee position to help us create and develop the ideas, framework and relationships to take the platform to market. You will be replacing the person who helped us set this all up, who worked on a fixed term contract 

We are now moving into the operational phase for the platform. The platform is called Sensible Coffee and the first auctions are starting in May 2021. 

You will be passionate about coffee and direct trade. You will be someone with a keen and natural interest is keeping up to date with the latest ideas in the sector. We are looking for someone to grow with us and develop a set of skills complementary to our knowledge and existing team and help us grow as a company.

We want to you to assess the coffee, work out its value and manage the auction schedule and fulfilment of the samples through our fulfilment centre. Once we have sold the coffee, we need to manage the logistical and contractual side of the process post sale. 

You will have good connections in the coffee world and been keen to develop relationships with new and existing buyers, so we can expand the capacity of coffee sales through the platform. We have a good database of buyers and this can be developed further. This is new way of buying coffee for many, so it will take time to develop a strong buyer network.

You will be a person who is an experienced, licensed Q-Grader. You will be deeply interested in ethical and sustainable trade and the development of shorter supply chains through direct trade. You will have experience of both sourcing coffee as well as roasting coffee and selling coffee.  

This will all come together with our other processes to facilitate the trade of coffee. You will also be keen to promote and talk about what we do to extend the reach and visibility of our coffee services. 

We are also working on a number of initiatives in East Africa to develop greater direct trade through digital platforms with producers. For these projects we have been running Private auctions for national coffee associations, creating a jury and providing QA and organisational support for an international jury. 

You will be in the thick of it helping us make decisions. You will see how we take ideas from a range of sources, take part in discussions on how best to turn those ideas in to reality and then help us implement them. We work on a democratic basis and will always listen to your ideas. 

Reporting To

Managing Director



Employment Type



We are based in Brighton, but you can also work remotely.

Job Description

Main Responsibilities

  • Liaising with producers obtaining samples and cupping their coffee for auditability to sell on our platform. 
  • Develop and expand our relationships with new and existing buyers; both importers and roasters.
  • Work with our key partners and designate importers in country to develop reach in those countries.
  • Assess quality of producer’s coffee, through quality assurance, for eligibility for inclusion on our marketplace platform. 
  • Assessment of market value for the coffee put on sale on our marketplace and into our auctions.
  • Provide cupping notes and reports for inclusion in our marketplace and auctions for sale to buyers
  • Management of samples to be made available for potential buyers to access.
  • Managing and scheduling the auctions listed on the marketplace. 
  • Management, with our logistics partner, of the shipping, consolidation, financing and logistical part of the coffee trade to a suitable conclusion.
  • Managing relationships with logistic partner companies.
  • Management of pre-shipment process and sampling of pre-shipment green coffee samples 
  • Manage direct relationships with coffee growers in coffee producing countries 
  • Maintain and extend our existing portfolio of commercial specialty coffee buyers in UK and Worldwide.
  • Development of direct relationships with coffee producers throughout coffee producing countries through sourcing and research trips to origin 
  • Maintain and manage sales and marketing strategy representing a range of specialty coffees from different origins 
  • Maintain brand, audience engagement strategy, marketing and strategic vision 
  • Collate and develop marketing content such as website copy, farmer information, photography, social media and blogs to enable us to promote our auctions.
  • Work with the Managing Director to manage and oversee departmental budgets 
  • Management of our contract roasting and direct to consumers retail sales. 
  • Management of direct-to-consumer coffee products and services.

Key Skills and Experience

You will be smart, self-motivated, and focussed. You enjoy learning and developing new skills. 

  • 5+ years’ experience working in coffee.
  • An experienced and licensed Q Grader. 
  • Ability to manage own priorities in line with timeframes and priority of delivery
  • Relevant technology degree or equivalent
  • A passion for quality and contributing to the quality culture within the team
  • Ability to continuously develop relevant skills on the job
  • Analytical and creative mind set
  • Logical and methodical with excellent attention to detail
  • Calm under pressure

Useful but not Essential

  • Experience of social media advertising and marketing
  • Experience of operating or taking part in Microlot coffee auctions


  • A salary commensurate with experience
  • Permanent and full-time employment
  • Flexible working
  • Remote working during Covid19
  • Working and being a part of a progressive workplace and company with a ‘Be Sensible’ approach. 
  • We have no-blame culture where we all benefit and learn from our mistakes; even the Managing Director. 
  • Be part of a company who believes in ethical business. We have aspirations to work towards BCorp Certification.
  • 20 days holiday per year + an extra 3 days in between Christmas and New Year + Bank Holidays.

Application Process

Please in the first instance send a covering letter and CV to the following email address: