Why Necessary?

By Evan Howe

Feb 01, 2023

In September 2019, shortly after Passenger’s fifth anniversary, we decided to launch a new roasting brand called Necessary Coffee. The decision to create Necessary was 100% motivated by our goal of expanding buying from the coffee producers who we were already working with to source coffees for Passenger’s Foundational menu. We chose to launch a fresh brand—rather than simply adding new coffees to Passenger’s menu—because this approach gave us maximum flexibility to embrace a different roasting style. Embracing a different roasting style seemed like the most strategic way to connect with a new customer base and build demand for excellent coffees that our partners were producing that were not an immediate match for Passenger’s menu.

We often describe Passenger and Necessary as “sister companies” to underline the fact that they are operated by the same team of people and share the same ethos with respect to sourcing, green coffee preservation, quality control, and customer service. In most cases, the coffee that we roast for Necessary is purchased from producers or producing communities that we were already buying from for Passenger.

While we approach our work for Necessary and Passenger in very similar ways, we do have different goals in terms of the cup qualities of the coffees that we select for each company’s menu. When choosing coffees for Passenger, we look for lots that are immaculately clean and bright with unique flavor qualities that truly shine when presented at a light roast degree. These coffees are often quite rare and highly sought after by specialty buyers, necessitating a higher price point. For Necessary, we select coffees with balanced, easy-drinking flavor profiles that are ideally suited to a more developed roast profile. While these coffees often require just as much work to produce, there is a much greater volume of these coffees produced around the world every year, making it possible for us to offer them at a lower price point while still paying a fair price to producers