Home Roasters Should Buy Coffee Online to Source Specialty Beans

buy coffee online

Home roasters can easily buy coffee online and globally source specialty coffee beans.

It is a great time to be a coffee roaster. Just ten years ago it was nearly impossible to source fresh coffee beans for home roasting. One would have to purchase wholesale through an importer, or buy unroasted coffee direct from a café. Now with the internet it is extremely easy for roasters to buy coffee online. A world of specialty coffee beans are a few clicks away, then shipped right to your door so you can begin home roasting.

Buying Coffee Online

If you’re wondering where to buy coffee online, there are numerous options to choose from. There are pros and cons to shopping over the internet, and one must weigh these before making a purchase.

The pros are simple:

  • Convenience
  • freshness of product
  • and more options to choose from

The cons are:

  • you can’t sample the beans beforehand
  • you may not have heard of the roaster you are purchasing from
  • you are often stuck with high shipping costs

Buying the Best Coffee Beans

source specialty coffee beans from home

The internet has allowed roasters to source specialty coffee beans from home.

There are typical ecommerce resources out there like Yahoo, but bulk wholesale distributors like that don’t offer fresh product (and often don’t sell green coffee). Their beans sit in a warehouse for months on end until they are purchased and shipped out to the customer. Bulk wholesale coffee distributors also sell the product of many different roasters, and often focus only on margins, product availability and distribution channels, rather than specialty coffee scoring, cupping awards, taste, and quality and consistency of product.

The best place to buy coffee beans online is usually direct from a small batch craft roaster. These artisan roasters source their beans direct from the farms of origin, undergoing a thorough vetting process of the producers. They are often held to SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) standards, which sets standards for growing, roasting, and brewing coffees. Their quality control also includes the producer, exporter and importer chain, so you’re sure to have the highest product available if you go that route.

Roasting Your Coffee Beans at Home

Once you have found a trusted source to buy coffee online, you must then approach the craft of home roasting. We recommend HotTop Roasters, in particular the KN-8828B-2K, which is the favorite here at Cafe37. There are numerous online guides available if you’re just looking to get started with home coffee roasting.

Here are my tips to get you going:

  • Choose a quality home roaster (again, the HotTop KN-8828B-2K is a good choice)
  • Choose your green coffee (all about finding the right vendor to buy coffee online from)
  • Roasting your first batch
  • Watch as your beans will turn from green to yellow
  • Then the beans will start to steam as they heat up
  • Now you’ll start to smell the sweet aroma of the beans beginning to roast. The beans will crack as this process happens.
  • Next the beans begin to plump and the roast will darken
  • If you hear a second crack you’re getting closer to a Vienna roast.
  • If you keep roasting, they smell will get more intense and you’ll head to a French roast profile.
  • That’s where we leave off, as anything darker than a French roast is burned in our opinion.

We hope that these tips on the home roasting process were helpful as we explored everything from sourcing your beans and buying coffee online to purchasing a roaster and attempting your first batch. Enjoy!

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How to make Cold Brew Coffee

cold brew coffee

For a summer treat, consider cold brew coffee for the perfect cup of iced coffee.

As we’re nearing the warmest times of the year we will begin to see another climb in the popularity of cold coffee drinks. Cold brew coffee is a unique spin on the chilled coffee drinks. Instead of brewing a pot of coffee in the traditional way with hot water, and then chilling it post-brew, most people find that for cold coffee it is better to simply brew it cold. The reason cold-brews are preferred for chilled coffee is that the acidic quality of the coffee is toned down which makes for a much more refreshing summer drink. Cold brewing takes a lot longer, but the outcome is worth the wait. Here are some simple instructions on brewing cold coffee:

  1. You will need a jar, pitcher or French Press for your brew. You will then just need ground coffee, water, and some kind of filter or mesh sieve to remove the grinds (unless you are using a French press).
  2. Next you need time: since heat is not used to brew the coffee, and you are brewing it at room temperature, you need to allow the coffee to sit for 12 hours or so (sometimes easiest to make and let sit overnight).
  3. Measure your coffee to water ratio: with a cold brew you want to create a coffee concentrate. Typically this is approximately 1 part coffee to 4.5 parts water.
  4. Gently mix the coffee and water and then allow it to sit for 12 hours.
  5. Remove the grinds by pouring it through a filter or sieve.
  6. Keep your concentrate in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and enjoy! Since it is a concentrate it needs to be diluted. Try 1 part coffee, 3 parts water. You can also add ice, milk, cream etc. You can experiment with different ways to enjoy your coffee concentrate and find your signature cold brewed coffee drink.
  7. Try blending! Pull out your blender and concoct some coffee shakes, using ice, ice cream and milk! This is another refreshing way to enjoy your cold brew.

This summer enjoy cold brewed coffee from home, it is a much more cost effective way of enjoying summer coffee drinks. It allows you to get creative and try out some new ways to enjoy coffee!

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Barista Basics: How to Set the Climate of Your café

cafe barista

Baristas have the power to set the climate of their café.

Running a café has its challenges. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of a café is the climate, which is set by the Baristas. It is vital that you find that right staff and then follow through with good training. Create a café where the staff respects you, respects the product and is continuously learning and growing in their skills. Putting together a great team is the key to succeeding in this industry. Once you have your team make sure that training is thorough and continuous.  Here are 6 tips to ensuring that you build the team you need:

  1. Hire Passionate People: look for attitude and work ethic, and people who are excited about your product. Find people who want to learn more about coffee, and who are go-getters.
  2. Have Regular Cupping Sessions: in order to make a good cup coffee you have to first be able to recognize a good cup of coffee. Cupping sessions are similar to wine tasting events. It is important to have your staff know how the drinks taste, not only how to make them. This allows the staff to be able to describe and recommend coffee drinks to your customer base.
  3. Don’t limit creativity: once you have a good staff, allow room for creativity. You may find that some of the best drinks are held within the minds of your staff. They may hold the key to one of the café’s new signature drinks. Set boundaries, but don’t limit creativity.
  4. Encourage healthy competition: Barista competitions are a great way to increase your staff’s skill levels. These competitions can be between your staff, or you can support your barista to go to competitions outside your café. This in turn, will help your staff hone their skills.
  5. Always lead by example: be an active learner, know your trade, and get your hands dirty. When a staff sees you engaging in the nitty-gritty work this will increase moral and encourage greater team work.
  6. Have continuous learning opportunities: in the coffee business there is much to be taught. The industry is constantly evolving and so there is never a time when you have learned everything you need to know. Make sure that you are creating a culture in your café of constant learning and growth.
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The 8 Most Common Coffee Roast Levels

Coffee Roast Levels

There are 8 main coffee roast levels. What is your favorite?

There are eight common coffee roast levels. After our coffee cherries are picked and the coffee beans are separated from the berry, the green coffee beans are processed (wet or dry) and milled before they are ready for roasting. The roast levels depend of the temperature the coffee beans are cooked at – think popcorn the less time in the micro-wave the lighter the popcorn and the longer in the micro-ware the more done the popcorn.

The coffee roasting process can vary in duration significantly by roast method and roast level. A general rule of thumb for commercial coffee roasting is that it will take between 8 and 15 minutes.

Cinnamon Roast: 385 F
Although Cinnamon Roast is the first level in roasting hardly any coffee shop serves coffee with Cinnamon Roast coffee beans. Cinnamon Roast occurs just before first crack.

Coffee Roaster

There are many variables a coffee roaster must consider when setting their roast profile.

Light Roast: 401
Light Roast coffee is the number one consumed coffee in the world. The light the roast the more flavorful the coffee will be. The darker the roast the more burnt the coffee will taste.

City Roast: 426 F
City Roast beans are commonly used when producing specialty grade coffees.

Medium Roast: 435 F
Medium Roast is the number one consumed coffee by offices around the USA because it’s right between light roast and dark roast.

Full City Roast: 437-446 F
For the coffee consumers who like a roast with some flavors and a lot of character the Full City roast is right for them. Full City is also at the beginning of second crack.

If you’re drinking a coffee between a Full City and Vienna brew it will pair well with peanut cover M&M’s.

Vienna Roast: 446-465
Vienna Roasts can also be known as a light french roast. This is a shinny bean that is in the middle of second crack and has a bittersweet taste.

French Roast: 464-474
French Roast beans are at the end of second crack. These are skinny beans with hardly any of the original coffee flavors remaining.

Italian Roast: 473-486
These coffee beans are so dark brown they are almost black. These shinny beans are burnt and don’t hold much of a body.


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