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What should I charge to roast beans for someone who supplies their own beans ???

friend833

New member
Sep 15, 2020
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Canada
I have been approached by another party to do Coffee Roasting for them and they will provide the beans. I have no idea what I should be charging them. Im giving 2 prices one price is if I bag the coffee in one 1 lb bags and the other price would be if I just roast and then I give them a tub full of beans and they bag. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should charge?
 
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You need to properly understand what it costs you to perform a single roast.
It's easy to overlook certain items and undervalue how much it all costs you.
I've probably forgotten some items.
Here's my list:

1. Decide on the value of your time per hour.
Decide on how much time you will spend per roast.
Include once per day warm up and cool down time.
Include a suitable value for daily/weekly/monthly maintenance.
I allow for 30min per roast including all of the above as a rough guideline.

2. Calculate the cost of energy needed per roast.
This should include electricity and gas costs, plus a share in the warm up/cool down costs.

3. Share of building costs used to house your roasting operation.
Divide this by the number of roasts for this cost period to get the per roast building cost.

4. Decide how many roasts you want to amortize your roaster over.
Then divide the cost of the roaster by the number of roasts and you have the per roast depreciation cost.

5. Bagging is another cost.
You must know the price you paid per bag, how many bags per roast.
Don't forget the cost of labels.
You need to know how much time you spend bagging per roast.
Also you need to depreciate any bagging equipment costs.

Cost per roast is the sum of all the above numbers.

That's what it really costs you.
Then the concept of making a profit comes into it (hopefully).

My recommendation: DON'T UNDERCHARGE.
 

topher

Super Moderator
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Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
What size roaster do you have? I have a 60 and only do toll roasting for a select few. I prefer wholesale. I have a 60 kilo and can make about $240 an hour toll roasting(not bagging) I only toll roast for a select few since the money isn't worth it. If you have a 5 kilo just forget about it because then its under $25 bux an hour. Sure you could charge more but they usually say its too expensive.
 

expat

New member
May 1, 2012
430
1
Ireland
My experience, to quote my Italian friend with the pointy shoes and bulge in his coat pocket, 'Fuggedaboudit'. Especially if they are your friends. Probably whatever you're going to charge they'll, as Topher says, think its too much.
 
While we are on this type of subject, I have found it is a good idea to have a backup plan in case your roaster fails for some reason.
I have made a deal with a roaster in the next town over.
If my roaster fails, I can use his and vice-versa.
We have both agreed a reasonable fee for using each others roasters while awaiting spares/repairs.
It works well because we both have sufficient spare capacity to handle the other's roasting load.
It sure beats buying a second roaster in case of failure.
We also have a deal whereby we will roast for each other, should either of us become incapacitated.
It's good to have friends!
 

topher

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Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
LOL! Be careful. I had a roaster try to make a plan like that with us. He didn't realize his phone wasn't hung up when he told his partner that he will tell us that his roaster is broken and have us do the stuff they can't keep up with. When he called me a week later saying his roaster was broken, I explained what I had heard. He thanked me for my time.
 
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friend833

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to NORTHSOUTH !!

thank you! that was a huge help! Gave client a price and I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm overcharging. I explained about my overhead and wear/tear etc. So hopefully I don't see them again! I should have went even higher!
 
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friend833

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hi Topher,
I have 50 lb roaster. I only roast for our business and would like to keep it that way, I think. The way I look at it is every time I have to spend time talking to them that is my time which is money. so that puts the price up also.
 
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friend833

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that is a good plan. Where we are located not any roasters around for hours. I have learned to keep a back up blower motor in stock, and a couple switches. So hopefully if something does happen I'm covered. Have had to wait for a blower motor for a week before not fun!
 
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friend833

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expat!

you are right! and they aren't friends, just a couple who would like to start a coffee sales distribution business with out putting money out! Im too expensive for them, which suits me just fine.
 

Musicphan

Well-known member
May 11, 2014
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Kansas City
It sounds like this may be solved for but keep in mind keep the charge per lb on green weight vs. roasted. Don't skimp yourself by the 15% moisture loss.
 

topher

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Aug 14, 2003
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Musicphan...I charge a dollar a lb to just roast it. I charge on the finished weight. I once had an ex employee call me and ask for me to toll roast for him. I agreed and told him I could for a buck a lb. He said thats crazy! He said he figured it would be $.80 or so. I said I guess I can come down to $.90 green. He was stoked. lol. That was the worst toll roasting gig I have ever done. They basically bought floor sweepings from the warehouses. It was about 15k lbs he needed. It took us 2 days for us to knock it out. My wife both nights threw my clothes out. They smelled like liver and mold. That was the worst coffee ever!!!
 

Musicphan

Well-known member
May 11, 2014
1,575
29
Kansas City
Musicphan...I charge a dollar a lb to just roast it. I charge on the finished weight. I once had an ex employee call me and ask for me to toll roast for him. I agreed and told him I could for a buck a lb. He said thats crazy! He said he figured it would be $.80 or so. I said I guess I can come down to $.90 green. He was stoked. lol. That was the worst toll roasting gig I have ever done. They basically bought floor sweepings from the warehouses. It was about 15k lbs he needed. It took us 2 days for us to knock it out. My wife both nights threw my clothes out. They smelled like liver and mold. That was the worst coffee ever!!!

LOL... gotta keep the wife happy! I just base my toll roasting off green weight... that way I don't have to worry about finish weight and it makes it easier for me. That was actually the suggestion by the customer ... he had his roaster go down and I roasted for a few months during the transition. But whatever works!
 

almico

Member
Feb 17, 2015
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0
Charge a lot. Basically sending the polite message that you do not want to do it, but if they pay you too much, you'll make an exception.
 
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