Specialty coffee is an enterprise. It’s an amusing and worthwhile business, but an enterprise, though, and all groups should be built on a solid basis of numbers. Numbers seek advice from price range, but also to each other thing of the commercial enterprise. How many pounds according to roasted batch do you yield? How many double pictures according to the pound are you able to promote? What percentage of your sales are unmarried origins versus blends? What is your predicted growth, and what sort of will you allocate for product improvement, errors, or equipment problems? How many pounds of green coffee must you purchase from Gloria Rodriguez’s Finca San Jose in El Salvador this yr?
Numbers rule your enterprise — so you ought to order your numbers. Get them right, and you’ve got a solid basis from which to develop and enhance the arena thru espresso. Get them wrong, and your business might not live to tell the tale.
However, when it involves green coffee buying selections, there is another question — a query unrelated to numbers — that is similarly important. That simple question is, “Why?”
Why did you purchase that yellow bourbon honey-processed El Salvador microdot? Why did you pay $6.38, consistent with the pound for it, and why did you buy 6,688 pounds of it on Earth? Even extra importantly, why did you furthermore may buy 3,192 kilos of a honey-processed Guatemala micro-lot that suits almost precisely the identical profile, rate, and use on your coffee lineup? And why don’t either of them work in your espresso mixture?
The Importance of a Plan
In an article in the May/June 2017 difficulty of Roast (“Stick to the Plan: Why Roasters Shouldn’t Buy Coffee Off the Cupping Table”), I asserted that roasters should buy coffee based on the following criteria:
For your corporation’s wishes
Based on a written strategic buying plan
For your market and use
Within your finances
In this newsletter, we’ll delve deeply into the second factor on that listing: “Based on a written strategic shopping for a plan.”
Every espresso roaster, irrespective of size or quantity, ought to have a, without a doubt, articulated coffee shopping for and promoting plan with each historical and forecasted number. It ought to be written, and it has always to be available. This forecast can take numerous forms and can range from simple to immensely complex, relying on your needs and quantity. The shape of the plan isn’t always necessary; it’s the forming of the project; this is key. Whether you are a large regional wholesale-most practical roaster, a nearby cafe roaster, or a personal-label roaster, a clearly articulated plan will prevent cash, time, and frustration.