Coffee Roasters and Crafts-people of all sorts, Connoisseurs & Entrepreneurs, Beware!
Have you heard about the coffee bloggers who are scamming companies out of specialty coffee but most importantly time? They parade as real coffee bloggers but are they really the "Coffee Bible" as they claim (it is called something else actually, but I am being nice)?
One of these so-called "coffee bloggers", who somehow has an impressive over 50,000+ Twitter followers, reached out to us by finding us on Facebook. We no longer use Facebook as a social platform but he as extremely desperate. This "blogger" obviously doesn't want to pay for his own high-end specialty coffee, which is fine, but the hassle that many small and larger brands may go through being scammed by this guy is what I want to talk about. His name is Allen Glines and now is a good time to pay attention if you don't want this annoyance.
Alan Glines frames himself as a typical coffee drinker. The deal is a blog for a free bag of specialty coffee reserve after he reaches out and begs for it. You may or may not hear back from him until he is "ready" to write your blog a month or six later... maybe years. I would still like to think maybe I am mistaken about the fact he scammed our small business but he did. This is after telling us in multiple receipts that he adored our coffee. Plus, it's specialty coffee roasted to order that he had already claimed to have love but "was working on the blog". It's not about the specialty coffee but the actions he took and the time he wasted. A collab is a collab. The biggest faux paux is when someone ghosts you with product in hand after you have gone out of your way to send 3 different specialty reserve coffees. That's an exchange where only one party has come through.
Allen was excited when he reached out and THRILLED, to say the least to try the Toro Coffee brand. He even states that he is most excited to hear back from us, as we are most interesting to him out of any brand he had spoken to in his entire "coffee bible" blogging life. We have receipts.
He explained that he would write a no-frills blog about our company profile. It is what he calls the coffee bible, the point is to write something about all the coffee companies in the USA.
We even spoke to Allen candidly about the many requests we get for free farm to cup coffee and how people use "blogging" as a scam. This was October 2016. Update it is 5/29/2019* and I re-reading this asking myself if it is too petty but Nah, he deserves. I started working on his order with so much love and passion as I do all my orders as a professional craft roaster, hoping he wouldn't scam us and would taste the love of what we do. He received the coffee in a beautiful package, but we never got the blog. Typical.
Allen Glines was taking so long to write the blog we wondering if he would turn on us just for following up. Some coffee companies openly do follow up with him online, but it is clear they are going through the anguish of potentially a PR conflict by having a bad blog written by a typical dude with no credentials other than he has 50k followers and that he likes coffee.
You can see the more coffee companies send him coffee for free publicity even if it is for his lazy writing. The problem is, the smugger he gets about the free high-end goods you send. He is some random dude passively aggressively, threatening craft coffee shops on Twitter and then gets defensive when these companies openly ask: "Hey bro, where are your part of the bargain and why is it taking months if even ever?"
I have been a roaster for a long time. I am not only a roaster, but I am also a 5th generation coffee entrepreneur. I have slept next to these beans in a tent by myself as a woman in the highest altitudes of the coffee belt. Humblebrag here, along with the fact, when we get a review it is always 5 stars. We take coffee seriously. When this dude came to us with enthusiasm about our brand and desperately wanting to try our coffee, with hesitation, we agreed because we always want to believe in people.
Does he have lots of followers? Yes. I believe he built them at the height of Twitter when they were throwing out Twitter verifications like candy. Does he actually do reviews? Sometimes. You can find a lot if basic worded reviews that are not worth the anguish of this guy getting some of your high-quality beans, time, or products.
Toro Coffee Co. did try to reach out to him but we still got no reply. We thought about Twitter, but again, the retaliation. He didn't say he wanted to review it, but I am always ready for such an occasion. We always micro-batch our high graded coffee from either our family farms or the greatest sourced farms we work with. We roast on everything from our Huky500t to the largest commercial machines. I am so proud of Toro Coffee Co. we actually sent him three different roast styles.
I feel that Allen doesn't know what he is doing. I believe he WANTS to be a real blogger but has problems writing content that actually matters. I see more and more random posts, that he calls blogs speaking about the numerous coffee companies that continue to shut him down. I wish Toro Coffee Co. had been one of them.