Choosing The Right Coffee Roaster for Your Coffee Shop
Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes
It is common for coffee shops to roast their own beans for a variety of reasons. Others may simply enjoy providing customers with freshly roasted coffee as a means of diversifying their income.
The experience of roasting your own coffee can be a rewarding and enjoyable one over time, both financially and personally.
In the beginning, however, one of the most important decisions you will have to make will be selecting a machine. For commercial coffee roasters, a variety of factors will be considered when selecting machines, but for coffee shops, the criteria are completely different.
A wide variety of machines are available, each with its own style, function, and feature. So, it can be difficult to find a roaster for your coffee shop.
For the most part, coffee shops buy their beans from wholesalers. During the early stages, this is extremely useful. When you’re learning your way around a new coffee shop, having a consistent source of roasted coffee will make it easier to settle in. By partnering with a well-known roaster, you may attract more customers.
However, roasting coffee in-house can reduce costs and increase profitability if it is done at scale. Once you own a roaster, you can reduce your supply costs by buying green coffee and roasting it yourself.
In addition, you will become more precise. You will ensure that you are never short or oversupplied of coffee by roasting exactly at the amount you will sell. It is not only a great way to experiment with new flavors, but it is also a great way to save money.
Moreover, you get to know the unique stories and personalities behind each cup, which opens up a whole new world of opportunities. The insight and knowledge that you gain from talking directly to importers and farmers makes it that much more interesting.”
As a result, not only will you be able to serve your customers better, but you will also be able to achieve a competitive edge by offering new, exciting flavors. Further, as you gain experience roasting, you can package and sell roasted coffee to supplement your income.
It is even more important during a pandemic. Several coffee shops around the world have been forced to shut their doors or limit their operations in some way. In the same period, online sales of roasted coffee have risen significantly.
Now that you have decided you want to roast your own coffee, you need to select a machine. Making a decision involves considering the following factors:
The roasting process is complex. In spite of years of practice, success is not guaranteed. Starting out with roasting your own beans can be challenging, so it’s best to choose a roaster that is more user-friendly. Although there aren’t many roasters aimed at those with little experience, there are some.
If you want to get the most out of roasting, you need to understand that it is a continuous process of refinement no matter what roaster you choose. In the long run, trial and error is an effective teacher despite the fact that it may not appear to be the most efficient method of learning.
In order to minimize this learning curve, you should examine your work closely, scrutinize the results, and listen to feedback from others.
A good way to start is to consider the environment in which you will work. In many independent coffee shops, the floor space is limited due to a variety of factors.
Space is usually a major factor when roasting. While the space required for a roaster varies depending on its capacity, you’ll also need to store and package beans in a separate area. Be sure to keep the roaster out of high-traffic areas. Keeping your roaster out of the way while your baristas pull shots, steam milk, and converse with customers is essential to your business’ success.
The advantage of going with a small roaster is that it is possible to keep a compact commercial roaster with a maximum capacity of 850g (1.87lb) in a side room or behind your coffee bar.
Roasting will require a financial investment. Besides the machine’s cost, you also need to consider the amount of time a member of your staff will have to spend operating it.
Some coffee shops will assign a member of their existing staff to handle this task. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire someone with roasting experience, or to upskill a staff member. Costs are involved in either scenario, whether it is in the form of existing staff time or cost of hiring new employees.
As a result, coffee shop owners should select roasters who can reduce their long-term costs (and thus save their time).
An example of this is the “auto-replication” feature of profiles. This can be used to record and replicate previously recorded roast profiles without requiring operators to stand over the roaster all the time.
By doing this, teams can multitask more freely without requiring someone to remain seated and watch the roasting process constantly. Therefore, operating costs are reduced, and the team becomes more efficient.
Environmentally friendly brands are increasingly in demand among modern consumers. Consequently, operating your coffee shop in an energy-efficient manner can have an impact both on the number of customers and your utility bills.
Traditionally, most roasters run on natural gas, a process that consumes a significant amount of energy. However, the number of fully-electric roasters has increased in recent years. Your business can benefit in the long run from an energy-efficient roaster because it will reduce your impact on the environment.
As with any other piece of equipment, a coffee roaster will require extensive research on your part. So, before you buy, think about how the machine will affect your barista’s workflow, how it will affect your energy bills, and where you will put it.
Fair Trade and Organic certifications are valuable, but consumers desire more context than these seals can provide. Consequently, more companies are establishing direct long-term relationships with growers, which yields social, economic, and environmental benefits that can be passed on to customers.