Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
You must login to post a message.

· 06/05/2020 5:38 PM
peveleth, It is better if you start a post in the forum with your question. These shouts go away in time.

· 06/05/2020 3:10 PM
For Gene Cafe Roasters I have an older Gene Cafe Roaster. Temp fluctuates probably showing age. Question: For recent owners of the newer Gene Cafe Roaster, your opinions?

· 06/02/2020 9:10 AM
keep healthy bro, love roaster form home

· 05/27/2020 10:14 AM
Anyone else have issues seeing the whole window of a thread when accessing from a mobile phone? Any fixes?

· 04/02/2020 4:50 AM
Morning Ed, I haven't done any green coffee hoarding yet but am hoping the supplies don't end up like the toilet paper isles!

Users Online
Guests Online: 2

Members Online: 0

Total Members: 6,595
Newest Member: peveleth
In Memory Of Ginny

Latest Donations
Anonymous - 5.00
Anonymous - 5.00
renatoa - 2.00
JitterzZ - 2.01
renatoa - 2.00

View Thread

Who is here? 1 guest(s)
 Print Thread
Selling coffee?
So, if you can affiliate with a known, certified kitchen, then at their leisure they can hire you to roast some coffee for them as a guest chef? Brilliant.

Maybe that's why the McRib is regularly available at McDonalds for limited times. If they offered it all the time, the "meat" would be subject to USDA law. If it's a "guest meat" then, who cares where it comes from!


Edited by seedlings on 01/20/2009 4:00 PM
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
I don't think anyone can safely assume that their local health department won't know what to do with coffee roasting. But there is a bigger issue here.

You are cooking food for the public, and the public has the right to expect it be safe, properly prepared, and served. All this talk about trying to "work the system" for your benefit by selling coffee to the public that hasn't been prepared in an inspected kitchen is not only illegal, it is unethical, too.

Doing so might hurt the public, you, and artisanal roasters everywhere. :@
Where's that "tongue in cheek" smiley?

Dan, I'm pretty sure none of us want to prepare a food to sell in a known unsatisfactory environment. You make good points. There is NO harm in asking the local health department. That's what I'd do... or ask a local small-business, like the one who offers cookies and muffins for sale on the counter, at the register of the Gas Station Mart you patron.

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
qajariaq, You might want to join [URL=""]Roasters Guild[/URL]. It is an organization for commercial roasters and they can better advise you on business/legal/certification issues than us hobbyists. Dan

Can you confirm- you need a professional membership with SCAA ( $400 / yr ) in order to join the Roasters Guild ( another $100 / yr ) ?


Anyone can register to participate on their public forum and ask these questions. Many of the commercial roasters respond. You might want to do a search for this topic, too.

Thanks for the heads up about the Roasters Guild! I'll check out their forums and see what I can find out!

Certainly someone at the state level knows about coffee roasting (there are several commercial roasters throughout the state) but in all the online documentation I have yet to find any reference specific to coffee roasting (commercial or home-based). Seems like it would fall under dry or baked goods in NC.

The regulatory agency that any food product falls under depends on weather or not it is packaged for resale or sold as "ready-to-eat" (i.e. like a burger at the drive through). Packaged goods are under regulation through the state Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, while anything sold in a restaurant environment falls under county health department jurisdiction.

It looks like a bit of a fork in the road, as packaged coffee will require more stringent label information and possibly a UPC, and periodic testing of the product's water activity. For small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and sales volume of less than 100k units per year, nutritional information is not required in many cases (coffee is also exempt since it is not of significant nutritional value). If its sold as "ready-to-eat", there's not much in the way of package or label requirements, but you then must have your place of business inspected and a permit issued. It doesn't appear that you can roast at home and sell coffee as "ready-to-eat" without the same kind of permit as any other restaurant, even if you are not running a cafe (even mobile food stands or carnival vendors with no permanent location require a permit).

Which brings me to those mobile food stands - they are often outdoors, and often cook or otherwise prepare food outdoors, so that's my next avenue to explore.... That might be the "loop hole" I was looking for!

Also, I hope I don't sound like I am trying to game the system. I've been on the unfortunate end of a food processor not following regulations, and spent a couple days in the hospital because of it. I don't wish that on anyone, nor do I want to deal with potential legal action or fines should I try to run a business without the necessary approval(s). Shock
Edited by qajariaq on 01/21/2009 3:15 PM
qajariaq, I know you aren't trying to side-step the process. I did think that some of the replies were doing just that.

In my state, the difference between County and State level is based on retail versus wholesale sales, not if it is packaged or not.

Here, food doesn't fall into the State level until I hit a certain percentage of sales for retail versus wholesale. If 100% of my sales are prepackaged and retail, then it stays at the county level. Something to check into.

My labeling requirements are company name and address, ingredients: coffee, and weight. That's all, but it is required.
Hoomin Bean
Q: While coffee is packaged, most people don't consider it ready to eat! Well, I knew one guy... but he was pretty much a caveman. That's actually the reason coffee falls between the cracks - it is not a finished food, like a burrito or a hamburger. The consumer purchases it and takes it home, and "cooks" it.

Also, it is not a hazardous food (like meat, dairy, etc) so there is no motivation to figure out how to regulate it. Rather, there is no need to regulate it - it's not hazardous. Having said so, I think all coffee roasters should be inspected for sanitation. Yes, I'll admit it.... If I'm packaging coffee and sneeze or cough into my hand, I'll go wash my hands. So you should have a handwash sink. Regarding the three basin sink - every inspector will probably require it. Then your scoops that fall on the floor and your mixing pans that build up oils can be washed and sanitized.

I wouldn't worry to much about labelling. It might be a thick chapter in the food code you're looking at, but it's just coffee. 100% coffee. If you call it "Qajariaq's Coffee" you've labelled it. Plus, as Dan points out, enough info for a consumer to find you. On my label, a reference to my website was sufficient. And weight of course.

I haven't heard of a regulatory agency requiring a UPC (yet!) but it is conceivable for tracking. But they don't require us to have GPS units implanted in our heads, either. (yet!) Many retailers - if you are trying to wholesale it - do require UPCs, but at the local grocery/farm market/ bookstore cafe level, the retailer often doesn't care, and is already carrying non-UPC products.

Regarding mobile and festival vendors, that was my gig for 3 years, with many different regions and inspectors. The two categories are distinct. A festival vendor gets a 'transient vendor' permit that is good for a day or two. You are required to identify your commissary, where you will go to dump waste, wash pots, etc. You create a temporary kitchen under your tent, you are a certified food manager, and you are trusted that you will observe food safety procedures and prepare goods from scratch - which is always safer that transporting something like already cooked meat. Most municipalities will not allow you to get more than 3 or so temporary permits in a year. After that, you have to get a mobile license and are looked at more stringently. Makes sense, since you are feeding people in their jurisdiction more regularly. The next level, in most places, is that if you try to be someplace everday, or even once a week, you are looked at closer yet. However, for this conversation, remember that coffee is not hazardous, and they are far more worried about the hot dog vendor in front of the courthouse.

Good luck with your inquiries,


I don't think anyone can safely assume that their local health department won't know what to do with coffee roasting. But there is a bigger issue here.

You are cooking food for the public, and the public has the right to expect it be safe, properly prepared, and served. All this talk about trying to "work the system" for your benefit by selling coffee to the public that hasn't been prepared in an inspected kitchen is not only illegal, it is unethical, too.

Doing so might hurt the public, you, and artisanal roasters everywhere.


There is no way to know what any local entity may require. I am not suggesting that a member decide to "pull one over on the local folks."

I am stating that MOST local/regional/state people do not have many "micro-coffee roasters" around to know what to do/where to put them. I can roast peanuts/popcorn at the "family/inspected/clean" local market or on the street.

I cannot roast coffee which never touches my hands in some of these local places because they are not sure what to do with a coffee roaster.

Clearly I am not suggesting that any one of us put the public in danger.


Edited by EddieDove on 01/25/2009 9:52 PM
My county health inspector knew instantly where I would fit in the food preparation industry and what my kitchen requirements were. He was very helpful and encouraging.

The upshot is, anyone reading this needs to make the phone call to their local health department and take everything here with a grain of salt. We are only hobbyist roasters here.
Edited by EddieDove on 01/25/2009 9:41 PM
Dan, Ed, Ginny, all...

What is the best way to word this question, and does the call go to the City Health Department? Are there any buzz words that help them categorize us nanoroasters? I may call locally just to report what they say. In my city there is one coffee company that roasts on-site in a small room in the front of their shop.

"Hello, my name is _______ and I am calling to find out the regulations for roasting coffee at home, packaging it, and selling it to the public."

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
One the best local roaster in this area is operating -legally- out of a commercial garage bay with a roll-up door and sells to many restaurants and businesses. Another is roasting -also legally- in a (big) one-room wood frame playhouse in his back yard and sells at the farmer's markets. Both also sell on-line. I guess everything depends on what your county official says is legal.

I think one other consideration is taxes, where a separate facility might be necessary or helpful in claiming business deductions.
11 years old... forever!
>home-built roasters and fair trade
Chad, Some of us have done that already and reported here. Like many of us have already said, the regs vary widely by state and by county. So what you find will only apply to the county you live in, and not the other 3000 counties in the US.

You would call the County Health Department and say you are looking into opening a small buisness for roasting coffee in order to sell the whole beans to individuals and restaurants and perhaps a small amount packaged for retail sales. You want to check into what your kitchen requirements would be, labeling requlations, and anything else they might require. Dan
Each and every local entity is different. You must live in a much more progressive place then I do!!

I am sure your local health department person knew exactly where you would fit!!

Edited by EddieDove on 01/25/2009 9:37 PM
I think suggesting starting with a good business plan including getting the necessary permits as being encouragement.

Edited by EddieDove on 01/25/2009 9:37 PM
Neither nor the owners, administrators or participants thereof would in any way shape, manner or form encourage, condone or otherwise promote any practices that are illegal, unethical or immoral.

Member posts have been edited.

Keep the conversation civil. ThumbsUp
Edited by ginny on 01/30/2009 11:24 AM

Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference
Guys, I want to extend my thanks for this thread. After reading it and looking at equipment, I met with my attorney this afternoon. During a 3 hr lunch, I decided to pull the trigger and will be heading toward the cofee business. He advised me to seek out commercial space as soon as i can to promote sales to restaurants. He also declined a fee and insisted on paying for his own lunch with the promise of two half pound blends for him to select. He also wanted the designation as Customer No. 1 as an account. I will be ordering the commercial roaster to put in my basement while I am in the hobby development stage. I am eagerly looking forward to becoming a coffee roaster. :trink29:
Edited by Clifford on 01/27/2009 5:10 AM
May the Force be with your cup
Way to go Cliff! By the way, the term for the initial stages of production is called "pilot operation", not "hobby stage." :)

Dan, thanks for your input, my attorney specifically informed me that I was to have a hobby while I learn to roast in my 8 lb capacity home roaster and that i am to give away samples to church groups and possible customers, and not to officially start as a business until i can go to a commercial location. His wife has a specialty cheesecake business and he will provide introductions once I am set up. So I am going to follow his advice.

It will be a hobby while I build my customer base and learn to use the equipment. Legal distinctions, maybe, but he is politically connected and will guide me step by step theough the process.
May the Force be with your cup
Jump to Forum:

Similar Threads

Thread Forum Replies Last Post
Store green coffee in freezer to kill ants? Green Coffee 1 05/28/2020 10:40 AM
TC4+ Arduino coffee roaster shield (TC4-compatible) Dataloggers/Controllers/Rate of Rise Meters 182 05/19/2020 7:49 PM
Favorite Green Coffee Vendors? Green Coffee 200 05/08/2020 5:14 PM
Bean blend for iced coffee BLENDING COFFFE 7 05/07/2020 3:22 PM
Green and Roasted Coffee Bean Sorter Equipment re-builds, reviews, fix it's and more 5 05/02/2020 4:18 PM
Homeroasters Association Logo, and all Content, Images, and Icons © 2005-2016 Homeroasters Association - Logos are the property of their respective owners.
Powered by PHP-Fusion copyright © 2002 - 2020 by Nick Jones.
Released as free software without warranties under GNU Affero GPL v3.
Designed with by NetriX