I use an agent for all business travel but sometimes a flight between two foreign locations is crazy expensive on the carriers she can see on her system. In those instances I search on my own for lower costs carriers who service that region - many of whom do not show up on the systems that travel agents use (nor do they show in Web search aggregators like Kayak). I then call her back to see if she can book that leg on the alternate carrier. When she is unable to do that I book the odd leg on my own. I've seen flights as high as $600 on major carriers that I booked for $100 or less on respectable low cost carriers.
Also, in some rare instances when a flight seems ridiculously high. Don't hesitate to check prices for a train to another city and a flight from there. This is not likely to be useful in coffee growing regions but I recently found my only option from Bern Switzerland to Frankfurt Germany to be priced at $900. A train from Bern to Zurich at $80 enabled me to take a $300 flight instead.
New York Central Coffee Roasters