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Training for coffee roasting and blending

edited January 1970 in Roasting - How To do it
Hi,
I am living in Tasmania and shortly I will be in the process of setting up and operating my own cafe.
Few years ago I have seen one cafe in Sydney with it's own small roasting are behind glass.
The aroma from roasting coffee was so nice that no one could pass that place with out stepping in for coffee.
I Iwould like to have the same or similar setup with little coffee roasting facility in my cafe.
To successfully achieve my aim I have a couple questions to ask.
What courses and what practical training I need to do before being able to roast and blend my own coffee in my own cafe?? This is not for comercial sale outside cafe.
Do you know where and who can provide on the job training??
Thanks
Andy

Comments

  • Hi Andy, A few questions?  Have you roasted coffee before commercially or run a cafe/business?  If you haven't maybe your best starting point would be to get a job with a roaster/cafe that roasts on site to learn the ropes.  Roasting coffee is a pretty complex operation and it takes time and skill to develop.  Once you've got learned on the job it would make it a whole lot easier to start your own business.  Also probably starting off small, so start the cafe with some quality commercially roasted beans, and branch out later into roasting would be better unless you have an experienced team behind you. I know Peter Wolff offers eduction stuff, but I've never been to one but I know a few members here rave about him and his knowledge.  http://www.wolffcoffeeroasters.com.au/index.php/education I'm sure a few others will be here to help you.  Good luck mate.
  • Hi Andy and welcome. If you are starting a new cafe business with little experience it would be wise to take Lacehim's advice and start with a quality commercially roasted bean, Trying to learn to roast at the same time as you are getting started is thwart with danger, coffee drinkers are a feisty lot one bad brew and your business will suffer. Roasting takes many years to learn and one course certainly won't make you a roaster, was given all the above advice when I started my coffee journey not so many moons ago.  Great people and great advice on this forum, they will support you and offer direction all with the intent of helping you make good decisions, even when they are disagreeing with your thoughts. Good luck on your cafe Chester
  • Suggest you contact a number of local coffee roasters and develop a relationship with someone so that you can successfully build your cafe business first..........before trying to do everything from scratch. Let them roast the coffee so you can focus on being successful and serving it and your clients. If you have not started a cafe from scratch before, don't under-estimate just how darn hard it is to get the food, coffee and service working properly. Owners can struggle for 2 years before they see returns. As soon as it's humming, something happens like a new place opens up nearby or a key staff member departs, etc. and you are back struggling again with less than ideal efficiencies. I just don't get this whole "lets plop down a piece of shiny metal" to bring in the patrons concept. Take a trip up to Melbourne and cruise the seriously successful cafes - none of them will have a roaster running in the shop whilst customers are around - that's just a fantasy that is neither sensible or financially viable. Shop roasting is a gimmick that is basically yesterday's news. The average coffee drinker wants a well-prepared coffee and will regard this as a priority way over and above any sort of "theater" you may believe emanates from roasting equipment props. Most of the cafes that have a roaster in-house are owned by someone that worked previously as a roaster for a commercial coffee company and have many years of experience behind them on how to roast and extract coffee. They have already eliminated the risks you can't. Roasting is an acquired skill - just like tennis or golf, it takes an incredible investment in time. Training is just teaching you how to hold the racquet or club - does not mean you can use it. Roasting emits smoke, heat, dust and noise. It is just as unsuitable for an enjoyable customer experience as having a car serviced in your cafe. Roasting requires complete focus and attention. We have seen cafes with roasters catch on fire at least 3 times in the last 2 years. Roasting requires quite a lot of space for equipment and stock - you can generate 15x the returns from serving cups of coffee and selling food. Bums on seats = $$ in your till. Shop roasters have variable batch quality ranging from shocking to acceptable. They do not achieve the same level of consistency in terms of quality as a commercial industrial roaster. The smaller the batch size, the higher statistical variance and the greater risk of defect. I personally know 4 cafe owners who have roasters in their cafes. 3 of the roasters are never used (because of smoke issues and complaints from nearby traders) and the 4th roaster is only used once a fortnight at night time (again, because of smoke) - this owner also wishes they had a separate facility to roast the coffee as it's an absolute pain roasting in their shop - they only roast a handful of single origins to sell from their shop and ironically, their house blend is roasted by someone else (not in their shop). Focus on a few things and do them well.
  • Welcome andy!  I can't add anything more valuable than 'good luck mate!' My family runs and has run very successful restaurants and cafes in NQ.  Their modus operandi reads like MyCuppa's post, except they never claimed to roast in-house!  They did make everything on site however using farm-fresh ingredients.  The variety and quality of their food was their selling point because they were unmatched.  My Aunty Deirdre's chocolate cheesecake is still the begs cheesecake I've ever eaten, anywhere.  Thats what they did and do well, and they make good money... but they work really long and hard for it!
  • Yes... I guess nothing is easy but everything is worth of try that's why I am asking about the course or traning. Working for couple of years for expirienced roaster would be a great idea but obviously that depends on where one lives... Doeas any one knows coffee roaster in Tasmania??? I supose I can get ready roasted and blended coffee but the whole idea was for the customer to see, feel and smell the coffee when it is prepared and when the whole process its happening. Does any one know who is roasting and supplying coffee beans from Papua New Guinea ?? andy
  • My advice is to undertake a lot of research before you decide to do anything. From your comments, it appears you are wanting to make a roastery that is a cafe rather than a cafe that occasionally roasts - with the emphasis on the "occasionally". The identity of your proposed venture is vitally important. Such concepts already exist in both small and large scale and some have been successful - a large fitout in NSW was a huge capital investment and the key person was already well experienced in the industry. If you are not aware of any roasters in Tas, then it sounds like you are starting from a low base. Have you owned or worked in a cafe before ? Are your barista skills good ? Go and spend a lot of time hanging out in the best cafes in TAS - watch what they are doing, study the type of clients they have and where they are coming from and what they are buying in the cafe. Selling roasted coffee beans in a cafe is not going to cover your rent. PNG coffees can be found amongst the majority of Australian coffee roasters - many use them as a staple. Not all will sell them as a single origin.
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