Hi All! 

I'm new here and just introducing myself. My name is Mike Hess and i am going to open a cafe in palm springs. Cool, huh? Anyway I am looking for a 5k or 12lb roaster for around 10-15 thousand and any interesting tidbits about how i can know i'm getting a good roaster from somewhere distant. I'm in the middle of the desert. Everywhere is distant. Also if anyone has wisdom on how I should go about buying my beans I would be eternally grateful. I've looked over the site briefly and I love what I've seen. 

Mike

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Mike, 

 

Disclaimer:I hope I am reading this wrong. If I am, then you will find the following amusing.

 

This may come off as harsh, but I am certain that I am not the only one that reads what you are saying as the following, -- to paraphrase,

"Hi, I'm Mike. I've never roasted coffee, in fact, I'm not even sure how to go about getting beans. I think I'll drop some cash on a roaster and open a cafe. Easy as pie! Right?"


A couple of things. First, I like to see people succeed. So I'm trying to impart some words of wisdom here.

Secondly, you need to be much more prepared if you are going to open and run a cafe. And roasting? Many would take offense that you think it's as simple as grabbing a roaster, some beans, and magical coffee will come forth (not to mention running the business too)!

 

Opening a cafe is easy!

Opening a cafe that will be survive to be successful is tough work. Slow down. Save your money. Take the time to educate yourself. Yours are very basic questions that you shouldn't need to ask anyone the answer to. If your first instinct is to ask others rather than do research yourself, you really are not ready to open.

Take your time and do it right. What's the rush?

 

Hi Mike.

Just looked over your profile and looks like you've been at this for a while. Welcome to the community.

Buying used equipment can be a crapshoot. Since you've used them for years, you have an advantage - you can talk with sellers and find out how they've been maintained. I don't know if there is a good source for used, though... perhaps others can share their experience?

No help at all on the "buying greens" side of things. I'm sure you're already considering working with the people (importers) you've worked with before, and are looking for alternative ideas?

There are probably lots of good suggestions for you here, but without knowing better where you are, its hard to give you an idea of where to head next. Some more detailed background on you would be really helpful.

Good luck!

Mike,

It was late. I'm glad to be wrong here. :)

Rely on your experience. 

Best of luck!

Thanks, this is a great site! As far as the beans goes, my supplier was 15 years ago and while I'm sure they are still around they didn't have fair trade organic beans. And I think I want to keep with that route. 

I am in Palm Springs California, US. If my best bet is to visit the growers where they are so be it. Gotta be one of the better percs of this industry.

Brady said:

Hi Mike.

Just looked over your profile and looks like you've been at this for a while. Welcome to the community.

Buying used equipment can be a crapshoot. Since you've used them for years, you have an advantage - you can talk with sellers and find out how they've been maintained. I don't know if there is a good source for used, though... perhaps others can share their experience?

No help at all on the "buying greens" side of things. I'm sure you're already considering working with the people (importers) you've worked with before, and are looking for alternative ideas?

There are probably lots of good suggestions for you here, but without knowing better where you are, its hard to give you an idea of where to head next. Some more detailed background on you would be really helpful.

Good luck!

Hope all is going well with your project, Mike!  If I may name-drop a green coffee suggestion, Coffee Shrub is a great, noncommittal, low-volume (though higher volume is easy for them) green supplier based in Oakland.  They grew out of the well-known home-roasting arm of the business Sweet Maria's (which is an awesome roasting resource!).

Will you have a sample roaster?  Highly recommended, and will help to avoid blind purchases and the occasional buyer's regret-related headache.

Cafe Imports does a great job with quality spot offerings.  Royal is pretty good for some coffees, especially Kenyas at good prices.  Swiss water is dependable for spot decafs, though I do love Mountain Water process coffees (Royal, I think, distributes them?).

Best of luck!

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