Got a note from our supplier today, after eight years of purchasing between 60-100 cans of 3 kilo size Illy Espresso per order... they are getting pressure from Illy because we are not buying from the authorized distributor for the area.

Now before you go getting excited about that, there are some things to be aware of. Firstly they didn't exist as a distributor when we began doing business so our relationship with our supplier predates them and secondly we tried to do business with them but their business is low end pod machines with maint. contracts to restaurants. The prices they quoted us were about 30% higher than what we were paying.

Frankly a stupid move on the part of Illy, we are a more high profile retail operation and actually buy more of their product than this wholesaler...

So... need some suggestions about an awesome espresso bean. I have a hundred kilo a month habit.



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Not sure where you're from, but I would find a good, local roaster myself. You'll get tons more support.
do you know how far off roast those illy beans were? seems like they'd be stale by the time you got them.

and yes, find a local guy who at least gets his stuff from a specialty middleman (café imports, royal, etc) and doesn't burn it.
Best across-the-board espresso I've used thusfar is a SO Brazil Ipanema. It is roasted at 2 different temperature levels then blended. Extracted around 200 degrees, 16-17 grams gives excellent bittersweet chocolate notes as well as nutty sort of taste and buttery smooth texture. Have tried many blends over the last few years and I still go back to this for our commercial setup. Works great straight (hot/iced) or in milk based drinks.

According to our roaster it is the lightest espresso they roast and he said most establishments that order from them choose something darker, oily, etc. Just can't understand why that is the case. Almost like some coffeeshops don't like to explore new things looking for better results.
Personally, I like Fonte Coffee. But I might be biased. ;-) Seattle isn't exactly local to Cayman but we roast to order and you'd end up with beans 7-9 days out of the roaster. I'm not a sales person so I can't speak to price but I've been in the coffee industry for 18 years and Fonte is good coffee. As good as any of the big names in the 3rd wave movement.
Perhaps you can describe what style of espresso you are looking for. Then people may be able to better help you.
Hi guys; ... Thanks for the suggestions so far. A little background, I am on a little sandbar 400 miles south of Miami.

Everything gets shipped to Miami and then four days on a boat, another couple of days out of customs. So the day I get it it's already two weeks old. There are no roasters on island ... But I am starting to think about doing it just to set myself apart ... We have four locations ... Medium high traffic locations...

Check "friends of cafe del sol" on facebook...

The roasting thing is starting to appeal to me... But we are completely clueless ...

Should start with a decent medium higher quality espresso for now....

Illy was costing me $85 for a six pound can ... $14 a pound ....

Actually, Marek, Fonte has a few accounts in the Carribean and we are familiar with shipping internationally. If you are interested in getting a couple of samples of our coffee we can arrange that. PM me if you are interested.

Shadow said:
Best across-the-board espresso I've used thusfar is a SO Brazil Ipanema. It is roasted at 2 different temperature levels then blended. .

^I'm going to try this tomorrow with my hottop. I just got in some DP Brazil I'll use.

Holy Bagoli $14 a pound!? I sure hope that is with the shipping! I don't know your figures - but it would seem that you can easily pay for hiring a roaster. I think I remember reading somewhere that the caymen Islands only has an import tax - is that why it's so expensive? Even with a 25% tax on importing coffee - you'd be ahead financially and if you source quality coffee and have a roaster that knows what he/she is doing - you will have a far superior product (provided you prepare it properly of course) ;-D
Love all the replies, having major issues with my ISP email server the past few days. "IT RAINED"

Mike & Dr. John... sending you both a reply once email is up...

Gary T... ja mon, Cayman has a 22% import duty... but God Bless em... 'COFFEE IS EXEMPT"...

Have thought about a roaster... even putting it storefront downtown and appealing to our 1.9 million annual cruise ship passengers ...

Cost of living and accordingly salaries here are high... if you're freaked at $14 a pound... my average electricity bill runs between $1,800 to $2,200... per month... and our average location rent runs $72 a square foot...


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