As the market for speciality coffee grows bigger and bigger, the demand increases not just for great barista made coffee, but also for great quality beans. More and more coffee businesses are branching out and starting their own micro-roasteries to sell beans both directly to consumers, and also wholesale to places like coffee shops, restaurants and hotels.
It seems like a natural progression for coffee shops due to opening up additional markets for local and national trade, but it’s definitely a big commitment. If you’ve been thinking about roasting your own beans but aren’t quite sure, here’s a run-down of some of the things you’ll need to consider before you make the leap.
Obviously the most important bit of kit for a roasting business is the roaster itself, so picking the right one is key. Which one you should buy depends largely on how much coffee you’re going to be producing, so understanding the local market and building some contacts/leads in advance would be a very wise plan. Small 1kg roasters probably seem like they will fit your needs to begin with, but if you quickly outgrow it you may find yourself in the position of having to upgrade sooner than you had planned. If you’re already running a coffee shop, you’ll have the advantage of already having at least one loyal customer!
Location location location
A commercial coffee roasting business can take up a lot of space, so you may need to consider finding an additional site for your roastery to operate out of. Obviously roasting your beans at the same location as the coffee shop will have some major financial benefits, as well as being a draw for your shop, but it’s not always quite so simple. You will have to consider the space for your equipment and stock, as well as the additional staff needed to run it. If you are lucky enough to have the additional space, you could always start on-site, and then look for an external site as the business grows.
The natural first thought when branching out from a coffee shop to a roasting business is to use the same name and branding as your coffee shop, but this may not always be the best choice. If you’re planning on selling your coffee beans to other shops, they may not be overly keen on displaying your coffee shop’s logo on their counter tops. Consider what markets you’re looking to sell to and build your brand around that, or you may risk wasting time and money on rebranding after a relatively short amount of time. Work on your online presence right from the start too, as having a solid website with an online store and building a following on social media can really help you to break into national or even international markets.
Know your beans
The process of roasting coffee will vary depending on the kind of machine you have bought, but to run a successful business you will need to become a real expert in not just roasting, but also tasting coffee. The ability to taste slight differences in blends and roasting times will help you to both perfect your roasting process and to source the best beans for your blends. Learning how to cup is just as important as learning how to roast if you want your business to succeed.
Use a great coffee machine
Once your coffee is perfectly roasted, you’ll need to make sure you’re using a coffee machine that helps you get the best out of your beans. The WMF Espresso is ideal for speciality coffee shops and restaurants, automatically providing perfectly crafted espresso for hand-made coffee drinks. With fully automated grinding, tamping, and portafilter detection, the WMF Espresso keeps your business running as efficiently as possible, without compromising on quality.
Download a brochure to see the full range of WMF coffee machines and related products.