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Starting Coffee Business with $2000 in Your Pocket


Daniel Smith from First Fruits Specialty Coffee is a former military guy. He will tell you how to start a business with almost zero dollars in your pocket!
I love his story and I love his innovative ways of thinking out of the box. You will like this one!

Links mentioned in the podcast:
ARTICLE: How YOU Can Make Career Out of Coffee Roasting
First Fruits Specialty Coffee Website
First Fruits Facebook Page

Daniel’s Favorite BOOKS
The Coffee Roaster’s Companion
Everything but Espresso

Espresso Extraction: Measurement and Mastery
The Professional Barista’s Handbook: An Expert Guide to Preparing Espresso, Coffee, and Tea

Daniel’s Favorite WEBSITES
Jim Seven
Barista Hustle

Benjamin Myers – 1000 Faces Coffee – Listener Q&A


Thank you for your questions posted in coffeeis.me Facebook group. This entire episode was recorded based on them and it is dedicated to you guys!

Benjamin Myers from 1000 faces Coffee will answer your coffee and coffee business management related questions.

He was also kind enough to share his 3 articles.


Benjamin Myers – 1000 Faces Coffee – Starting, Managing and Growing a Coffee Roasting Company


In this episode, I talk with Benjamin Myers about how he started his coffee roasting company, 1000 Faces Coffee.

He started the company with one roaster, one container of coffee and an idea to prove to coffee growers that it is possible to make a living while producing coffee with sustainable growing practices in mind.

Ben tells us about the initial investment they put into this project, and how a slow-growing company can be an advantage when your goal is also to learn through the process of building the company.

We will talk about our experiences of getting our initial wholesale customers, and Ben will give you a roadmap for how to approach your first wholesale customer.

The key word here is compassion — understanding the place your potential wholesale customers are coming from, what are their needs, and what is their view on life.

Ben will also reveal why he enjoys making mistakes and why should you make mistakes too, and sometimes even need to fail.

1000 Faces is using Diedrich as a production roaster and Behmor 1600 for sample roasting. Before they got their Behmor 1600 they used a barrel sample roaster. Why did they decided to “downgrade” ?

I love to discuss how people select their coffee portfolio, and Ben was kind enough to share. We will talk about the advantages of having a small vs. big portfolio, and why you should select one over the other.

In 2013, 1000 faces won the Good Food Award. For me it was a great opportunity to ask if a coffee award like this makes a difference in our business? Is it the same as winning the Aeropress World Championship?

1000 Faces Website
Chain Collaborative website
Vortex Doughnuts

Ben Recommends:
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food
Growing a Business
Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered

The Importance of the Coffee Importer


Have you ever wondered what coffee importers do besides taking our hard-earned money? Well if you did, this episode is for you.

In my experience a good relationship with a coffee importer is vital to create a successful coffee portfolio.
In this episode I interview Jean Heylen from 32 Cup (Tree to Cup), one of the coffee importers I use in my European business.
I had the chance to meet him in person at the 2015 World Aeropress Championship where he stood next to me when Green Plantation won the title.

I can’t help thinking that perhaps … he was our lucky charm.

More importantly, I loved how open he was to discussing the sensitive issues we roasters sometimes have with importers.
I believe that he gives an excellent insight into how importers think and what kind of weapons to use against them. 🙂

In this episode, Jean will tell us how the coffee gets from its origin to our roasters.
I asked him his opinion on direct trade–when roasters buy coffee directly from the farmer. He will give you the good and the bad aspects of this kind of relationship.
I tortured him with questions about samples: when is he happy and when he’s not happy to send out samples to his customers.
If you decide to go and source your own coffee, listen to him explain his ways of finding gems in the coffee-producing world.
I get so many requests for helping to unload green coffee, and finally I had the chance to ask how farmers and producers can contact a coffee importer who can help them to sell their coffee.
Finally Jean will reveal what is the ideal customer relation for a coffee importer.

There is much more, so go and listen NOW!

List of green coffee importers from all over the world
32cup website
Coffeeis.ME Facebook Group

Barista vs Roaster Thoughts on Coffee Roasting and Quality Standards


In this episode we will discuss roasting related topics with Gwilym Davies. We start with our take on dark roasts, and after that Gwilym will reveal some cool insights into how he assesses lighter roasts for espresso by testing the solubility of coffee. He ran tests on our coffee from Green Plantation Did we pass?
Here is what Gwilym uses for testing solubility:
Here is what I offer as a cheap alternative (Gwilym is not a fan of this one) :
And here are some forum articles on how to do it:
and another
We will also discuss what is the specialty coffee industry’s market share and why it is so important to share and stick together if we want to succeed.
In the interview we mention a rising star in the coffee industry – Standart Magazine.  Check them out — it is a great read for any coffee nerd.
We will also touch on problems with consistency during roasting.  Gwilym thinks the problem is caused by  the nature of the coffee roasters, which are notoricaly temperature unstable. I take a slightly different approach: I see the problem in the nature of the always-changing ingredient – coffee. We agree that we have to recognize this issue and we have to work with it in mind.
What if a coffee roaster ruins a batch? We’ll give you a few tips on what to do with coffee that is not up to your standards.
Speaking of standards, Gwilym will tell you how they define standards at Prufrock Cafe and how they can help you to stay in harmony with the expectations of your customers.

Starting a Successful Cafe with Gwilym Davies


What is the next logical step after a coffee cart? More coffee carts? In this episode, Gwilym Davies will talk about synergy, starting a joint venture with a business that shares your values but is in a different industry. This was one of Gwilym’s stops on the way to opening his Prufrock Coffee.
We will talk about the importance of passion when building your coffee business. We will try to avoid cliches. According to Gwilym, you might not need expensive equipment to start a cafe, all you need is to … DO IT. He reveals the example of a very successful cafe where customers were waiting in line for 45 minutes — and the cafe didn’t even have an espresso machine.
There is much more in this episode, including why you should not copy existing businesses if you really want to succeed, how important the quality of your coffee is, and the ideal relationship between the cafe owner/barista and the roaster.
Gwilym shares many other ideas, and if you want to discuss them or you have a question, join our Coffeeis.ME Facebook group.

If you like this podcast or you want to share your thoughts on the content or the quality I encourage you to leave me a review and feed my obsession. Do not forget I am still gathering iTunes reviews, but if you do not use iTunes you can also leave a review on Stitcher, TuneIn or Soundcloud. One reviewer will be rewarded with a 3-month Boot Camp Barista Membership.
This week’s reward goes to 3rabbits, JMPretzel and CoreyW50. Drop me an email or contact me on Facebook and I will set you up with an account.
If you are interested in testing out Coffee Courses, use the coupon code from the podcast and check out this product: Basic Barista Skills.
Some links mentioned in the podcast:
Andrew Barnett’s Linea Cafe SF
Interview with Gwilym Davies at European Coffee Trip
Few More Links:

How to Start a Trendy Coffee Cart with Gwilym Davies


In this episode I will interview Gwilym Davies, who changed the coffee scene in London, won the 2009 World barista Championship, and, despite the fact that he trains the best baristas on the world and is a judge in the most prestigious barista competitions, once said that “espresso is disappointing”.

In this episode, we will talk with Gwilym about his experience starting and running a coffee cart in London.
Coffee carts are one of the best ways to get into the coffee business; they are very low risk and tons of fun.

We will talk about the business versus creative side of a venture. A lot of us wanted to start a business because we love coffee, but is having a coffee business the same as working with coffee?

Gwilym will reveal a risk factor for coffee roasters that cafe owners do not have and enjoy! You will hear from my voice that I got a brain freeze.

He will tell you what made him start his coffee cart, how he found a partner in crime, how they built their business and run it on a very tight budget, and much more.


Coffee Courses with Gwilym FB page

Coffeeis.ME Podcast – Crowdfunding your Coffee Business with Ryan O’Rourke


Ryan will share his experience with crowdfunding his business.

He raised $6000 on IndieGoGo, which will help him to start his coffee roasting business. Ryan will share also other perks of doing crowdfunding like letting the world know that you are coming or finding real estate or other potential investors.

I will share Green Plantation‘s story of funding Handground on KickStarter.

Ryan’s Ironclad Crowdfunding Campaign Page

10 Secrets of Highly Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

Become a Crowdfunding Wizard

Crowdfunding on Wikipedia

List of Crowdfunding Platforms

HandGround Kickstarter Campaign

Facebook Coffee Roaster’s Forum

Thank you for listening to the Coffeeis.me podcast. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, TuneIn radio so you don’t miss a single episode. You can support us by leaving an honest review on iTunes. Most interesting reviews I will reward with 3 months Boot Camp Barista membership. Thank you!

Coffeeis.ME Podcast – Starting a Coffee Roasting Company #2 with Ryan O’Rourke


Thank you for all your input, reviews and support! You guys rock.
In the second episode of our podcast we will talk about:
How to select your brand name. I will share a mistake I made when selecting the name of my company – Green Plantation – and how we fixed it.
How to get an time proof logo for your brand starting from $5.
Developing a social media strategy before you launch your company, and about Ryan’s planned website.  We will have a short discussion on how popups can help build your email list. Would they annoy your customers?
Do you like this podcast? Review us on iTunes and help us to get more listeners. Thanks!
Hanah England – Ryan’s Logo Designer
Barde Mucko – Designed logo for coffeecourses.com
Jana Esser – Green Plantation Logo Designer
Fiverr – Get services (like logo) for $5. The intro to this podcast is from fiverr.
Elance – Hire a Elancer for your logo
99 designs – create a logo design contest
Get Response – amazing tool for your email marketing
Kriss Sagan – Instagram artist’s Behance portfolio
Instagram – Green Plantation
Maggie Josie – Ryan’s WordPress web designer
Green Plantation – runs+ WordPress + Woocommerce
IronClad Coffee – Ryan’s website

Thank you for listening to the Coffeeis.me podcast. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, TuneIn radio so you don’t miss a single episode. You can support us by leaving an honest review on iTunes. Thank you!



Coffeeis.ME Podcast – Starting a Coffee Roasting Company #1 with Ryan O’Rourke


Thank you for listening to the Coffeeis.me podcast. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, TuneIn radio so you don’t miss a single episode. You can support us by leaving an honest review on iTunes. Thank you!

In this episode I will interview Ryan O’Rourke about how he prepared to start a coffee roasting company.

Ryan is starting Ironclad Coffee Roasters in Richmond, Virginia. In this episode, Ryan talks in detail about how he selected his production roaster, how he goes about buying green coffee and selecting an importer, his portfolio and pricing policy.

I will reveal how Equator Coffees and Teas, Sweet Maria’s and Ethiopia Nekkisse changed my and Green Plantation Coffee‘s life.

The AHA! moment for Ryan came through getting to know Has Bean and its coffee subscription service. Ryan also mentions his virtual mentor  Stephen Leighton , CEO of Has Bean.

We have  a short chat about the advantages and complications of connecting a cafe with a roastery.

Ryan reveals why he decided to start his venture in Richmond and we talk about his competition: Lamplighter Roasting CompanyBlanchards.

We finish with Stephen Leighton and his amazing strategy for keeping coffee fun and avoiding snobbery.

Ryan’s choice for the roaster – US Roasters 12kg Millenium

The article we mention –  How to Buy a Coffee Roaster and not Get Burned

List of Coffee Importers  From All Over the World

Ryan brings up these coffee importers as ones he is considering:

Cafe Imports
Royal Coffee
Balzac Brothers
Coffee Shrub

Not an importer but a high level producer – The Ninety Plus Coffee

Has Bean and their videos, In My Mug
Barn Coffee – the roaster from Berlin 



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