My girlfriend and I just started a mobile coffee business. We go to different markets selling all kinds of espresso drinks.
I need some opinion on what brand of beans should we use since we only do 3 days a week to keep beans fresh?
I don't agree with Lavazza or Illy. Both are overpriced and stale when received. Illy has an fantastic operation if you are buying and using them the same week, but by the time they make it here they're trash. I'd say buy wholesale (if possible) from places like Intelligentsia, Metropolis, Counter Culture, etc. You'll have much better results and happier customers. Later!
Source local. Freshness, quality and access to support is important when getting into the industry. While a Illy or Lavazza will give you a brand, they will not give you necessarily the best quality espresso bean available in the markets you re selling in.
Even if there is no local-local roaster of quality in your town, I would bet there would be a handful to chose from within a 50-100km radius from where you are based. John and I are not Italian bashing, as some Italian roasters I have had the privillage of visiting and cupping are excellent. However generally these brands are smaller and regional- you often do not see them even nationally in Italy...somewhat similar to the quality local roasters found anywhere around the world.