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snwcmpr
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· 03/25/2020 11:49 AM
New Rochelle in the news. I think of you every time I hear it. ... Please stay safe.

allenb
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· 03/21/2020 7:36 AM
Good morning homeroasters morning Everyone is hopefully staying healthy through this. Hang in there and stay safe!

JackH
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· 02/11/2020 1:10 PM
The shoutbox is meant for short announcements and will disappear in time. Please create a post in the forum if you have questions.

jqaman
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· 02/11/2020 9:35 AM
The Behmor lol

snwcmpr
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· 02/10/2020 10:25 AM
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Starting a Home Roasting Business (First Post!)
EPCC
Hello everyone! (Just joined, first post. Happy to be here!)

I have been thinking about a coffee roasting side hustle for years now and recently decided to dip my toes in the water. I am learning that there is a lot more to coffee roasting than I originally thought, but it's been fun to learn! I have been roasting on a SCTO, but I think I'm ready to upgrade to a "real" roaster.

From my research, I am leaning towards the Behmor 1600+ because of the cost to capacity ratio and it seems to have good reviews. Any other suggestions? My next step would probably be to upgrade to a sample roaster from Mill City or something comparable.

Has anyone else on here roasted and sold beans before? I have lots of questions. Would love to chat!

Here are a few things I've been thinking through / questions I have:
- What is the best starter machine? Next upgrade?
- How do I know if my coffee is good enough to sell? (How can I test quality?)
- Has anyone navigated health codes, cottage industry, etc...?
- Best place to buy bulk beans?
- Shipping cost strategies?
- Best (free or cheap) educational resources. Could be groups, books, forums, YT channels, etc...
- What obstacles am I completely overlooking?! (Any seasoned veterans with sage advice?)

Thanks in advance for the help!
Phillip (EARTH PERC Coffee Co.)
 
JackH
Welcome to the forum!

Most folks here roast for their own use but there are also some that roast to sell. Hang on a bit and I think you will see some responses to your questions.
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
Jwheld
Also curious!
 
pisanoal
Welcome to the forum!

First off my disclaimer: I have not sold any of my roasted coffee although I too will be dipping my toes into those waters, it will just be on a "to friends" type of deal. I do however have a good friend of mine who roasts coffee as part of his main income. He started a business a couple of years ago and roasts about 200# a week for local shops and his own coffee truck. I am currently building him a roaster to better accommodate his needs.

As for your first choice of a roaster, from what I have seen of the behmor it does not seem like a good choice for a roasting business. Of course a lot depends on volume, but the things I've read of that machine include issues like long roast times. You definitely don't want long roast times at 1lb of greens if you are trying to sell coffee at any kind of volume over the occasional few pounds a week.


- What is the best starter machine? Next upgrade?

My buddy started with a 1lb roaster, but he was using a bbq drum roaster, and the cycle times are around 9-12 minutes for a 1lb load. Worked really well for him. Depends on your budget for a machine and your goal volume. On the higher end side, you could also source a 1 kg "Mill City" roaster from their manufacturer in China. Same machine for several thousand less. Just have to deal with the import side. If your handy, a 2 lb fluid bed roaster should not be a hard build, and could be done "cheap" with short cycle times.

- How do I know if my coffee is good enough to sell? (How can I test quality?)

Give it to people first, ask their honest feedback. If you have coffee snob friends, definitely get their feedback. Buy some coffee from a roaster you like, get the same origin green beans if you can, and see how yours compares. It doesn't have to be better, but do your coffees that are supposed to taste fruity taste fruity for example? Learn roast defects and unwanted taste. Cup lots of coffee roasted in various ways (some perhaps intentionally bad) and pick out the cupping notes both good and bad.

- Has anyone navigated health codes, cottage industry, etc...?

My friend is currently navigating this. It all depends on if coffee is regulated as a food or not. In his state it is, so moving past the exemptions for direct to customer sales requires commercial kitchen space with all the regs that come with that. Check with your state to see what department regulates food and give them a call. They are typically helpful if you ask before you make the mistakes. If they find you in violation, not so much.

- Best place to buy bulk beans?

I was just pointed to Royal New York recently. Great prices, seems to be good customer service. When I set up my account, they called me to see what my needs were and quoted my some different shipping method prices. Have full sacks of coffee as low as 1.75 per pound at times. Just keep in mind a full sack weighs 150# or more depending on origin.

- Shipping cost strategies?

Every place I have bought from passes shipping cost on to customers. I have only ordered from a few different places, but they are reputable roasteries. Shipping was always extra.

- Best (free or cheap) educational resources. Could be groups, books, forums, YT channels, etc...

Not cheap but Scott Rao's The Coffee Roasters Companion is a great book all around. Talks a lot about profile strategies and avoiding off flavors. Also about evaluating your coffee for roast defects. Has insight into different roasting machines etc. $45 ish I think

- What obstacles am I completely overlooking?! (Any seasoned veterans with sage advice?)

Again leaning on my friends experience. Do your homework on your area and target market. Do people in your area want premium single origin coffee? Or do they want an Iced Peppermint Mocha - extra whip, extra syrup. He wanted to provide the former, but in an area devoid of coffee culture, people expected to get his premium coffee for Walmart prices. In that case you have to make sacrifices. Don't buy an $8 per pound Ethiopian if most of the people actually enjoy and prefer McCafe.

Best of luck to you. Keep us posted!
 
JackH
Thanks Pisanoal, for that very detailed response!
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
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