If you’ve been wanting to get started in the coffee industry, you may have considered opening your own coffee shop. But there’s another route that for some is even more satisfying (and profitable): becoming a professional coffee roaster. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A Commercial Coffee Roaster Machine
You can’t roast coffee beans without the right equipment. You’ll probably want to start with a small batch coffee roaster, which should easily meet your demand without your needing to make too large of an initial investment. While there are different kinds of roasting machines, all work by moving the beans (sometimes with what’s called a fluid bed, and sometimes in a drum) around above a heat source. Expect to spend about $5,000 for an affordable model that will still deliver quality results.
- A Coffee Roasting Education
A lot of processing happens to coffee between the time it’s grown and the time it’s served as a cup of hot or cold coffee. The coffee cherries, as they’re called, are picked, de-pulped, dried, milled, roasted, ground and finally brewed. But roasting is actually the step in this process that has the greatest influence over the final taste and aroma of the coffee.
A lighter roast tends to allow the characteristics of the specific beans — what variety they are, what type of soil they were grown in, etc. — to come through, whereas a darker roast provides a more predictable, robust flavor. You’ll want to learn everything you can about roasting in order to provide the best possible product to your customers.
- A Passion for Coffee
While it’s possible to run a business purely for the financial benefits it might provide, it helps to have a deeper interest in the industry and its products. Learn to taste the subtle differences between the types of coffee, and make it your mission to provide the freshest, best-roasted beans to your customers, whether you’re supplying a coffee shop or going straight to consumers. Your dedication to great coffee will shine through.
What else do you think makes for a successful professional coffee roaster? Join the discussion in the comments.