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Where To Buy Coffee Beans For Coffee Shop

Choosing Your Coffee Roaster

Tips For Buying Coffee Beans

How To Decide On Your Wholesale Coffee Roaster

As a coffee business owner, you have one important question:

Where will you get your coffee from?

Choosing a local, wholesale coffee roaster is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a coffee shop owner. That is, of course, if you’re not roasting your own coffee beans.

After all, coffee is your business.

It represents you and your entire coffee shop business.

My recommendation is that you choose a passionate, local coffee roaster who delivers specialty coffee.

I say this because some new coffee shop owners might decide to sacrifice quality over cost and buy cheaper, burnt, and what I would call commodity coffee.

You don’t really want to be that kind of coffee shop owner?

Consider the logic with any other retail shop. Would a wine shop owner or a cheese shop owner only serve low-quality wine or cheese? Probably not.

If you are interested in roasting your own coffee beans, read our post, Should You Roast Your Own Coffee Beans?

Training Staff And Roasting In

Even if you do have answers to all these questions installation, sourcing, profiling, and ventilation its still important to have the right expertise in-house to have consistent quality.

Roasters and baristas require fundamentally different skill sets to do their job properly and expecting that baristas will just learn to roast on the job can be a big mistake for coffee shop owners.

For starters, look at training and development. An entry-level roasting course can make a difference you can also consider hiring someone with more roasting experience to join your team. However, this may be costly, take time, and can be difficult to justify if youve already invested in equipment to start roasting your own coffee.

Christos adds that Roastelier is simple to use, and says it allows the barista and any other passionate coffee professionals to roast on the spot, without the need to invest in extensive training.

Because of the Prime Roast coffee and Roastelier system, people do not need to go through heavy roasting training. Personnel can easily be trained to operate the solution in-store, choosing between predefined roast profiles for the different origin coffees to improve consistency.

People can use the interface to create their unique signature blends for their shop, the season, or even for the day. It helps to make the coffee experience special for their consumers.

What To Consider When Choosing Your Coffee Roaster

What should you look for when choosing a wholesale coffee roaster for your coffee shop? If you have contacts with local roasters, you will want to talk with them first. They could give you some advice and recommendations on how to open a wholesale account. However, consider the following variables:

  • Local brand coffee recognition The coffee you select doesnt necessarily need to be a household name. Still, in local coffee circles, you want to serve coffee from a reputable local coffee roaster. Additionally, you should be able to justify why you are choosing to offer this specific coffee. It could be because you enjoy their coffee profiles, you like their philosophy, or that they work with you to help you deliver great-tasting coffee.
  • Is the coffee locally roasted? Coffee is a perishable product, especially after it’s roasted. It has a certain shelf-life that is perfect between 7 to 14 days after being roasted. Having locally roasted coffee can often determine freshness. Additionally, supporting local businesses is always a wise and endearing philosophy to undertake.
  • Does your coffee roaster offer free coffee training or coffee equipment? Many roasters, both big and small, offer the use of coffee equipment, coffee education sessions, or training for your baristas and staff members. This perk is very common in the United States. Sending your staff to coffee regular coffee training can deliver benefits to you and your business.

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Best Sustainable Coffee: Peace Coffee

Out of Minneapolis, Peace Coffee has become synonymous with fair trade practices and sustainable farming. Youll enjoy sipping the roasters work as well as knowing your money is going to something worthwhile. Peace Coffee was founded by the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy, a non-profit devoted to equity in farming and fair agricultural practices.

Always Seek Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans

Fairtrade coffee beans

Coffee beans are an agricultural product. Theyre the seeds of a cherry that grows on a treetheyre not produced in a factory somewhere.

Like all agricultural foods, coffee beans are best when brewed fresh. At peak freshness, just a few days after being roasted, the sugars are sweet, the natural oils put off vibrant aromas, the acids are crisp and balanced, and theres very little bitterness.

However, the beans start to decay quickly. The sugars disappear, the oils evaporate away, the acids break down into bitter compounds, and the once-clear flavor becomes muddy and indistinguishable.

Read: Why Your Grinder Is The Most Important Piece of Coffee Gear

This loss of flavor and freshness can damage the fullness of your daily brew, which means its harder to really appreciate the coffee and truly enjoy the moment.

Heres the rule: coffee beans are only fresh 2-3 weeks after being roasted. Pre-ground coffee? Those grounds only have 20-30 minutes of peak freshness before they start decaying rapidly.

Heres how to tell how fresh the beans are before you commit to buying a bag:

  • Avoid best by dates on bags. The dates are always months in the future, which means the roasters trying to make you think that the beans are at peak freshness for months, not weeks .
  • Look for roasted on dates. Roasters that publish the exact date the coffee was roasted arent afraid of telling you the truth. This is the mark of a transparent, quality-forward roaster.

Fresh is best. Always.

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Coffee Roast Levels 101

Roasting coffee in the specialty world looks a lot different than commodity roasting. In the commodity world, very dark roasts rule the day because they sort of knock out the bad flavors of low-grade coffee beans.

In the specialty world, however, we dont have to roast away bad flavors. Our goal is to emphasize the good onesand that normally happens by roasting the coffee a little lighter.

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Sparrows Coffee All Seasons Blend

Sparrows Coffee All Seasons Blend

Living up to its name, this clean, sweet cup is perfect all year round featuring notes of sweet cherry and smooth chocolate.

In a place like Michigan, where Sparrows Coffee roasts the Ethiopian and Colombian beans to perfection, its not uncommon for the notoriously inconsistent Midwest weather patterns to make you feel as if youre experiencing all four seasons in a single day. Thats why the All Seasons blend just makes sense the medium-roasted java tastes good at any time of the year.

As you sip on a cup of coffee brewed from this blend, note the citrus, milk chocolate, floral, and honey flavors all bundled up in a sweet and smooth package simply delicious on a crisp spring afternoon or a cozy winter evening.

Before Ordering From A Wholesale Roaster

Coffee shop owner tries growing coffee beans in garden

Before ordering your coffee from a wholesale roaster, I would strongly recommend tasting their coffee. I would visit them directly and attend a coffee cupping or coffee tasting. Many wholesale roasters regularly schedule open tastings and cuppings that you should take advantage of. They get tons of calls for samples, so you might need to pay for shipping and nominal coffee fees, but it’s worth it.

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What It Means For Your Daily Coffee Ritual

If you want to participate in the global effort to bring fair and just wages all the way down the coffee supply chain, buy your coffee carefully.

A big part of this is knowing how to read coffee packaging. When you can diagnose a roasters values and practices based on their packaging, you can avoid buying coffees from sources that are not as globally conscious as you. See our guide to Reading Coffee Packaging.

Once youve read enough coffee bags, youll realize that $10 bags dont add up. They dont display the signs of high quality, sustainably sourced coffee. This rules out most supermarkets and low-end coffee shops.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but there is no easy way to say what I am about to tell you: Ethical coffee will most likely run you $15-25 per bag.

Coffee at this price point was likely purchased at high performing farms at a premium price. At this price point, producers are encouraged to grow and leave their fear behind. Here, communities are slowly beginning to thrive in a new way.

Coffee at this price point is changing the lives of millions around the world.

Read: Starbucks VS Specialty Coffee: What’s The Difference?

How Much Money Can You Save By Buying Wholesale Coffee In Bulk

Buying coffee beans in bulk can help to save your coffee shop money. For example, when buying coffee beans in bulk, you can purchase coffee beans in a 160 oz bag for about $89. In contrast, if you buy a 12 oz bag of coffee beans at a local grocery store, it will cost you about $8 to $10 per bag.

Therefore comparing cost per oz, the 160 oz bag of coffee beans will cost you about 56 cents per oz, whereas the smaller bag from a grocery store will cost you about 70 to 85 cents per oz.

Learn more about roasting your own beans HERE.

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Best Ground Coffee: Brooklyn Roasting Company

Why Choose Arabica Coffee Beans?

Brooklyn Roasting is one of the better East Coast roasters. Even better, the company grinds just about everything it makes, in a variety of coarse levels depending on how you like to make your perfect cup. The outfit makes some great beans and does so in a socially conscious way thats worth supporting.

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Coffee Beans And Your Coffee Shop Costs

The roasted coffee that you offer your customers will not only impact your customer experience, but it will impact your bottom line too.

Besides your rent costs, barista payroll, paper products, and taxes, your coffee beans expenditures will be among the biggest variable expenses you regularly incur as a coffee shop owner.

The quality of your coffee is one of several determining factors of your successful coffee shop business. The higher the quality of coffee, the rarer the crop, the pricier it will cost. This will increase your ongoing variable costs.

In the United States, costs are determined per pound. The fluctuation in prices can impact your bottom line.

Keep in mind that one pound. Of coffee makes approximately 22 double espresso shots of espresso.

The amount of coffee you serve based on every pound of coffee you buy will impact your coffee shop profits. In another post, we’ve calculated the cost of selling 100 cups of coffee. It’s worth a read.

Many coffee shop owners often choose cheaper coffee because it delivers higher margins, but in reality, it may not really serve them well in the long run.

Id rather serve better, tastier, and higher quality coffee and spread the costs over 22 double espresso shots than serve cheaper coffee and develop a reputation for serving low-grade coffee.

If you are a coffee shop owner, you want to serve the best possible coffee beans available to you. Your customers deserve the best.

The same should be true for coffee shop owners.

Where Does The Money Go

There have been a few studies that map out the flow of money from coffee consumers to coffee farmers. It can be shocking to find out what the farmer gets, compared to what the average consumer spends at a coffee shop.

The SCAA released a variety of surveys and conclusions in 2014 titled Economics of the Coffee Supply Chain. Within this research is a general blueprint for following the trail of money in coffee:

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How To Find The Right Coffee Bean Wholesaler

Coffee will be your big seller, the star of the show. Dont give your customers a lack-luster main act. If a higher quality coffee is a few more dollars more per pound, get it! In the end you can always make up for this price difference by increasing the price by a nickel or dime a cup. Higher quality coffee at slightly higher prices will bring in more customers than it will turn people away.

When choosing your coffee roaster there are a few things for you to ask before doing so:

  • Does this roaster source only the highest quality of coffee beans?
  • Do they have an extensive knowledge about roasting?
  • Do they produce a consistently good roast?
  • How often does this roaster roast the coffee you want?
  • Does the roaster open date or indicate on the package when the coffee was roasted?
  • Should You Roast Your Coffee Beans

    Where to buy coffee beans | DeLonghi | The excellence of Italian roasters

    I like the idea of coffee shops roasting their beans. However, the decision to roast your coffee beans should fall on a couple of factors.

    First, do you have the physical space? Roasting your coffee beans requires installing a coffee roaster that is minimally the size of a vertical washer and dryer set. It also needs to be installed in a safe fire-resistant location with a flue that expels the exhaust.

    Second, do you have the money to purchase the coffee roaster, which can cost $10,000 to $150,000?

    Finally, do you have the expertise to roast the coffee? Roasting coffee in a manner that takes delicious takes training and practice.

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    Huckleberry Roasters Bom Senso Blend

    Huckleberry Roasters Bom Senso Blend

    With a big, chocolaty body, cozy roasted almond nuttiness and tons of balanced caramel sweetness, this Trade-exclusive cup is just about as comforting as you can get.

    Youve no doubt heard of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but have you ever heard of the Adventures of Huckleberry Roasters? The company was birthed in Denver, Colorado, with the intention of serving good java that makes coffee drinkers happy, and to be sure they accomplish these goals, the roasters strive to be socially conscious and encourage collaboration.

    The Bom Senso blend is one of the coffee roasters darker roasts and is made with high-quality beans from Latin America. The rich medium roast is littered with nutty and milk chocolatey flavors, and the full-bodied brew is the perfect drink to enjoy when you want to curl up in a cozy blanket with a cup of coffee in hand.

    Best Flavored Coffee: Java Pura

    Houstons Java Pura is doing great things in the Lone Star State for coffee. The company does fine cold brew, makes a surprisingly good batch of decaf , and even has a barrel-aged series of coffee beans. You can always count on big, memorable flavors with this roaster, including a tasty espresso blend.

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    French Vienna Italian And Other Super

    We strongly suggest avoiding darker-than-dark roasts. These roast levels are so dark that all of the pleasant flavors of the coffees are roasted away.

    That crisp acidity? Gone. Refreshing sweetness? Gone. Vibrant aromas? Gone. What you have left are flavor notes of ash and carbon, followed by a harsh bitterness.

    These are not fun coffees.

    What Makes Us Different

    How to Choose the Right Wholesale Coffee Beans for Your ...

    Like so many other down-to-earth coffee lovers, we were tired of choosing between stale but inexpensive grocery store coffee and painfully overpriced boutique brews. Setting gimmicks and pop-culture trendiness aside, our direct to consumer model and common sense commitment to roast-to-order freshness makes quality coffee accessible to anyone with a computer and a mailbox.

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    What To Consider When Choosing Where To Buy Hawaiian Coffee

    Whether you buy Hawaiian coffee online or from a store, these are a few shopping considerations to ensure you get the best Hawaiian coffee beans.

    • Check the coffee grade and roast level: You can generally check the Hawaiian coffee grade and roast level on the packaging. The grade refers to a quality designation based upon specified criteria.
    • Read the product description: The advantage of buying from an official website is that it usually contains the necessary information about a Hawaiian coffee product.
    • Be cautious about the Kona label: Some people take advantage of the Kona name because of its popularity. If you want to taste pure Kona coffee, look for the 100% Kona label. This ensures that the pack only contains Arabica Kona beans and is not combined with other varieties.
    • Consider reviews: People have varying opinions about their experience with Hawaiian coffee. However, having firsthand experience buying and drinking it can give you an objective assessment of the product.
    • Buy directly from the producer: Purchasing Hawaiian coffee beans directly from the producer’s website or farm ensures there are no additional fees for middlemen. Additionally, most of them offer local and international shipping.
    • Check the payment method: You should comfortably input credit card details without opening suspicious apps. Make sure that the website provides an invoice and receipt of your payment.


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