When it comes to roasting coffee for your coffee business, there are numerous factors to consider. This is a completely different line of work. You’ll be in charge of more than just roasting coffee beans now. You’ll also need to keep up with roaster maintenance, buying and storing green coffee, correct packing if you plan to pre-package your coffee (which is usually not a smart idea; more on this later), and designating and keeping a distinct location for roasting.
There’s also a potential that if word gets out that you roast your own coffee beans in your shop, other stores, cafes, restaurants, and other businesses will want to purchase your product wholesale. Make an effort to plan for this, as it may result in the creation of a new revenue stream. This, however, is entirely up to you.You may find more information at Whisk Bakery & Coffee.
Do not solely consider the expense of roasting your own coffee beans when making your choices. Aside from green prices being double what they were a year ago, roasting your own coffee is still less expensive than buying it from a roaster. However, there are some aspects of coffee roasting that you should be aware of before you begin roasting your own coffee, as I will explain later in this post.
You’ll also have to spend money on a coffee roaster now. Whether you pay cash or finance it, you’ll have to repay the loan or recuperate the money you spent on the roaster, which means you’ll have to pay extra debt service. If you’re planning to build a coffee shop, this expense will add $10k to $30k to your total equipment cost. Coffee roasters aren’t cheap, to be sure.
If you decide to roast your own coffee beans, you’ll need to determine whether to use a gas or an air roaster. The gas roasters are, in my opinion, the best. The heat source is an open flame on a revolving drum, and they can run on natural or propane gas. The inside drum heats up in the same way as an oven does. Before you get into industrial-sized roasters, you may roast small quantities of 5-30 pounds. However, I believe that flame drum roasters provide a more level roast and a better flavour profile for your coffee beans.
The other alternative is a fluid bed roaster, which is an air roaster. It makes use of hot, pushed air that is heated either by a flame or by electricity (heating element). Inside the roasting chamber, the force of the hot air blowing maintains the beans suspended in the air for even roasting. Consider the old air poppers used to make popcorn. Fluid bed roasters, in my opinion, are superior for bigger capacity roasting of 250 pounds or more at a time. The air is much hotter now, and the roasting time has been cut in half.
Determine how many coffee beans you wish to roast: just for your business or for other shops, cafés, and restaurants. Invest in the larger roaster if you intend to sell wholesale. To roast for wholesale, you’ll need a roaster that weighs at least 30 pounds. Roasting will take 2-3 times longer if you use less. The ability to roast 30 pounds of coffee as opposed to 10 pounds is clearly advantageous. For wholesale, a larger roaster will be useful. However, for your own shop, it will be a plus because you will be able to roast larger batches of coffee beans in a shorter amount of time, making it easier for you to wear all of your hats.
If applicable, the roaster must also be properly vented and linked to a gas or propane line. You’ll almost certainly need to hire a plumber to instal a gas line and/or an electrician to instal a power receptacle specially for the roaster. If your city mandates that the exhaust stack be installed by a licenced contractor, you may need to hire an HVAC contractor. Once you have your estimates, make sure you add this expense to your list.