Suggestion needed! Please help this newbie


New member
Aug 12, 2010
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Hello everyone,

I am thrilled to be a new member of coffee forums :eek:
I have been in the restaurant/cafe business for about five years, serving sandwiches and smoothies in the mall. We served regular/decaf coffee but I have realized that we need to offer espresso drinks.

I will have the super automatic machine installed soon, but I deciding where to get the coffee beans for wholesale and how much to order a week. I was reading some of the blogs and people were saying they go through about 100 pounds a month, and i was shocked how much people were ordering! How much did you order when you first opened the shop or started the business?
I talked with a couple roasters and they range their beans from $7-9.

During the month of september, the mall is pretty dead because kids are back in school and not many events going on for shopping. So this month would be our trial month of trying/tweaking different drink recipes. So i in need of your great coffee business knowledge!

Can any successful coffee shop experts give me insights?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance


Well-known member
Aug 15, 2005
Central North Carolina
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Why a super auto? You may get decent quality/repeatable espresso from this choice of machine, but I highly doubt it will be superb compared to something more hands-on such as a semi or auto (volumetric dosing) that is properly dialed in.

100 lb. a month might sound like a killer amount, but not really for some locations. We are mobile and less than 1 year old in a not-so-great location daily and we use 40-45 lbs. monthly. This is combining espresso and drip (20 lbs. for espresso/20 lbs. for drip/2-4 lbs. of decaf used for both brew methods)... I've read of some places using upwards of 100 lbs. weekly. This can also vary based on seasonal changes. We've been doing alot of iced coffee, smoothies, etc. for the last 4-5 months but that is slowly changing.

I recommend ordering 10-15 lbs. for espresso and see how that works out for you. When you get down to maybe 3-5 lbs. order more. Personally I don't believe in ordering every week, but choose to order every 2 weeks to allow the beans to age a bit. The bean origin/roast level I order is best once rested at least 5 days and then is good for about 2 weeks after that, hitting it's prime by day 8-10. After the 2.5 week point if I have any leftover I use it for drip or sell as whole bean. If you order weekly your espresso roast(s) never really has enough time to mature, leaving you with something too fresh. That is unless you like something super dark.

Bean price can vary based on bean origin, location, volume, etc. $7~ is right about what I think is the reasonable MAX. Any higher and I'd look for other options. Later!


New member
Dec 27, 2004
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From what I've seen and heard "on the street", most coffee roasters are raising their prices due to high prices for green coffee that we haven't seen in a long time. Stockpiling by Brazil and Colombia, unfavorable growing seasons in several areas, commodity speculating, increased world demand, etc., are all combining to drive up prices. I'm sure prices will come back down some, but I think the consensus is that they won't get back down to previous low levels for a very long time, if ever.

I would agree that $7/lb. is not unreasonable for most roasted specialty coffee.