coffee-forum.net
Promoting coffee discussion.

Main
Date: 13 May 2007 15:54:26
From: bernie
Subject: Question for the home roasters
I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking
to buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during
a roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls
and walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome
to poke around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around.
Obviously I prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm
curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
mail. Anybody have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters
who have no local access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in
and am not about to start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just
curious.My few green customers seem isolated from the home roast scene
in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
over cost if you are wondering.
Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)




 
Date: 16 May 2007 15:05:14
From: CoffeeKid
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On May 14, 7:09 pm, r...@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D. Ross) wrote:
> Jim:
>
>


  
Date: 17 May 2007 00:58:25
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters


   
Date: 16 May 2007 20:04:45
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters

"D. Ross" <ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu > wrote in message
news:464b9332.17538258@localhost...
>


    
Date: 17 May 2007 04:59:42
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters


     
Date: 17 May 2007 09:35:58
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Yup - they are only concerned about the 20% extraction "sweet spot" in the
article. It says nothing about how the coffee tastes or what the 20% is
made up of. You could brew using an espresso machine, cold brew, etc. ,
small particles, large particles, etc. and the coffees would taste very
different even though they were all 20% extraction.

I think the OP was just pointing out that 45 seconds was at least within the
20% "sweet spot" window for certain particle sizes - if that wasn't true,
there would be no hope at all. But hitting the sweet spot is a necessary but
not sufficient condition for good tasting coffee.


"D. Ross" <ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu > wrote in message
news:464be0af.2822798@localhost...
>


     
Date: 16 May 2007 23:23:08
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters

"D. Ross" <ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu > wrote in message
news:464be0af.2822798@localhost...
>


      
Date: 17 May 2007 22:00:48
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters


    
Date: 16 May 2007 22:43:25
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Wed, 16 May 2007 20:04:45 -0700, "Johnny"
<removethis.huuanito@hotmail.com > wrote:

>The latest Roast mag, that they were giving away at the SCAA, has an article
>by Daniel Ephram discussing how this might be possible:
>the chart "Optimal Brew Time vs Particle Size" indicates that for 45 secs a
>particle size of around 425 microns is the ticket.

That's an intresting article. I think it's time to do some obvious
experiemts:

-- Brew a fine grind for a few minutes to get a 20% solids extraction
-- Brew a coarser grind for a few more minutes to get the same 20%
extraction
-- Etc.

And cup.

I've been going to coarser grinds and longer steeps as my cupping and
brewing roasts get lighter, since I find the resulting brew better
defined and sweeter in flavor. I suspect this may be one problem with
the Clover.

If it is, it could be a serious problem, since the commercial
attraction is the speed at which it produces a single cup, and that it
can be done while the barista/preparer chats with the customer (this
benefit claim from the latest CG podcast).


     
Date: 17 May 2007 07:21:45
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
jim schulman wrote:
> On Wed, 16 May 2007 20:04:45 -0700, "Johnny"
> <removethis.huuanito@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> The latest Roast mag, that they were giving away at the SCAA, has an article
>> by Daniel Ephram discussing how this might be possible:
>> the chart "Optimal Brew Time vs Particle Size" indicates that for 45 secs a
>> particle size of around 425 microns is the ticket.
>
> That's an intresting article. I think it's time to do some obvious
> experiemts:
>
> -- Brew a fine grind for a few minutes to get a 20% solids extraction
> -- Brew a coarser grind for a few more minutes to get the same 20%
> extraction
> -- Etc.
>
> And cup.
>
> I've been going to coarser grinds and longer steeps as my cupping and
> brewing roasts get lighter, since I find the resulting brew better
> defined and sweeter in flavor. I suspect this may be one problem with
> the Clover.
>
> If it is, it could be a serious problem, since the commercial
> attraction is the speed at which it produces a single cup, and that it
> can be done while the barista/preparer chats with the customer (this
> benefit claim from the latest CG podcast).

All else being equal I can't see how the Clover would be much different
than a vac pot. But all else isn't equal and it would seem that the
Clover produces an underdeveloped cup.

R "of course I haven't tried it!" TF


     
Date: 16 May 2007 23:27:09
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters

"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:chjn43psd0h44uelv44vsqc2hl6ovlnkfv@4ax.com...
> On Wed, 16 May 2007 20:04:45 -0700, "Johnny"
> <removethis.huuanito@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >The latest Roast mag, that they were giving away at the SCAA, has an
article
> >by Daniel Ephram discussing how this might be possible:
> >the chart "Optimal Brew Time vs Particle Size" indicates that for 45
secs a
> >particle size of around 425 microns is the ticket.
>
> That's an intresting article. I think it's time to do some obvious
> experiemts:
>
> -- Brew a fine grind for a few minutes to get a 20% solids extraction
> -- Brew a coarser grind for a few more minutes to get the same 20%
> extraction
> -- Etc.
>
> And cup.
>
> I've been going to coarser grinds and longer steeps as my cupping and
> brewing roasts get lighter, since I find the resulting brew better
> defined and sweeter in flavor. I suspect this may be one problem with
> the Clover.
>
> If it is, it could be a serious problem, since the commercial
> attraction is the speed at which it produces a single cup, and that it
> can be done while the barista/preparer chats with the customer (this
> benefit claim from the latest CG podcast).

And that is a very interesting observation on your part. I shall be most
interested to see the results of such a cupping.
May just have to do some experimenst of my own as well.




  
Date: 16 May 2007 19:18:22
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
If you think about how coffee sample cupping is done (which is sort of the
opposite of the Clover - long infusion, keeping the bloom) then people who
have long experience with traditional cupping methods will notice the
missing elements from the Clover the most.



"CoffeeKid" <Coffeekid@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1179353114.339600.162180@u30g2000hsc.googlegroups.com...
>
> Also, I've been trying to stir up talk (lol - there's a pun there)
> about how the bloom is excluded from most of the Clover's brewing
> process - only really introduced / used in the initial stirring. The
> more I've thought this out, the more I'm convinced bloom and all
> associated with it is an integral part to presenting body, mouthfeel,
> etc into cup... **but** at the expense of killing off the super
> delicate notes the Clover is famous for bringing out to an experienced
> palate.
>
> So I accept that, and when accepting that, I marvel at the Clover. I
> marvel at tasting some definite nuances, in all their tea-like glory,
> that no other brewing method may be able to present in the cup. But
> the ultimate representation of everything a coffee has to offer?
> Puuuleese.
>
> Interesting though to find out people like Tom, George Howell and
> others are not fans.
>
> Mark
>




 
Date: 15 May 2007 21:36:44
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On May 15, 10:38 am, "Jack Denver" <nunuv...@netscape.net > wrote:
> To the extent I can decipher your prose (never an easy task) I think I ag=
ree
> w/ you - Tom is the very model of the specialist retailer. He knows his
> product and provides you with information above and beyond what 99.9% of =
all
> retailers provide. Waaay above the average retailer where the information
> usually ends with the words "Colombia" or "Espresso" on the bean bin, or=
if
> you are really luck, "Colombia Supremo". And yet he is not so "proud" a
> specialist that he is not willing to sell you a $3 filter cone or a packet
> of Urnex Descaler. He is the green bean specialist par excellence but if =
for
> some reason you don't roast coffee, hell, he'll even roast it for you - y=
ou
> have no excuses not to buy from him.

To buy goods from Tom, I'd be running, on average, 25% premium over
present sources, on a minimum purchase allotment of 5 pounds;- for a
markup on the next lowest increment, the figure advances almost 100%
over;- beyond 5 pounds it's at price parity. I've lately taken to
questioning a validity of Tom and information provided among
representative peer roast groupings. Just roasters qualified as well
for selling green SO, usually a few blends, and only as commerce most
widely perceived, such as business suitable for conducting on the
internet. Narrows the field considerably, maybe 25 to 50 business
profiles to put the screws and cogs into.

How is what Tom says - say, El Conquistador information he provides -
different from sourced information provided me by local Cubans I
bought my last batch of Costa Rican coffee. These Cubans didn't say
I'll be drinking a winey-like cup of coffee. Nor that it's from extra
red and ripe cherries. All the Cubans tell me is it's a hard bean,
Tom further implicates for a high-altitude attribute. Tom's El
Conquistador is also a Great Dota among the micro-region of Tarraz=FA
coffees, which I needn't presume my Cubans ascertained.

I do know sour, different from rancid or bitter, more alike wine but
just coffee. Interesting to me at this juncture, is after all that
information has been said and done -- is it worth paying Tom something
extra over what the Cubans charge? Apart from which, I didn't offhand
notice publicly traded equities while looking for Tom's Oakland
business charter. He may be operating privately, as well within an
affiliation of Small Axe Coffee Alliance procurement interests
[including those of whom names are recognizable major players in the
roasting-SO game].



 
Date: 15 May 2007 21:36:19
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On May 15, 10:38 am, "Jack Denver" <nunuv...@netscape.net > wrote:
> To the extent I can decipher your prose (never an easy task) I think I ag=
ree
> w/ you - Tom is the very model of the specialist retailer. He knows his
> product and provides you with information above and beyond what 99.9% of =
all
> retailers provide. Waaay above the average retailer where the information
> usually ends with the words "Colombia" or "Espresso" on the bean bin, or=
if
> you are really luck, "Colombia Supremo". And yet he is not so "proud" a
> specialist that he is not willing to sell you a $3 filter cone or a packet
> of Urnex Descaler. He is the green bean specialist par excellence but if =
for
> some reason you don't roast coffee, hell, he'll even roast it for you - y=
ou
> have no excuses not to buy from him.

To buy goods from Tom, I'd be running, on average, 25% premium over
present sources, on a minimum purchase allotment of 5 pounds;- for a
markup on the next lowest increment, the figure advances almost 100%
over;- beyond 5 pounds it's at price parity. I've lately taken to
questioning a validity of Tom and information provided among
representative peer roast groupings. Just roasters qualified as well
for selling green SO, usually a few blends, and only as commerce most
widely perceived, such as business suitable for conducting on the
internet. Narrows the field considerably, maybe 25 to 50 business
profiles to put the screws and cogs into.

How is what Tom says - say, El Conquistador information he provides -
different from sourced information provided me by local Cubans I
bought my last batch of Costa Rican coffee. These Cubans didn't say
I'll be drinking a winey-like cup of coffee. Nor that it's from extra
red and ripe cherries. All the Cubans tell me is it's a hard bean,
Tom further implicates for a high-altitude attribute. Tom's El
Conquistador is also a Great Dota among the micro-region of Tarraz=FA
coffees, which I needn't presume my Cubans ascertained.

I do know sour, different from rancid or bitter, more alike wine but
just coffee. Interesting to me at this juncture, is after all that
information has been said and done -- is it worth paying Tom something
extra over what the Cubans charge? Apart from which, I didn't offhand
notice publicly traded equities while looking for Tom's Oakland
business charter. He may be operating privately, as well within an
affiliation of Small Axe Coffee Alliance procurement interests
[including those of whom names are recognizable major players in the
roasting-SO game].



 
Date: 15 May 2007 09:39:58
From: shane
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On May 15, 11:31 am, bernie <bdig...@zianet.com > wrote:
> Jack Denver wrote:
> > A larger apron than my wife and daughter would prefer.
>
> > The commute may be a bit of a problem - I know that out West people often
> > drive long distances to work but 2000 miles each way may be stretching it.
>
> > Seriously though, I think that between the zero service we get in big box
> > stores and the tendency of young people (who often make up the retail sales
> > force) to want to act "cool" and indifferent like the zombie expressioned
> > fashion models you see in ads (and the fact that they don't care about sales
> > anyway since they get the same lousy wage whether they "upsell" or not) I
> > think that people actually MISS hearing an expert sales pitch ("Would you
> > like fries with that" doesn't count). How else can you explain the appeal
> > of infomercials - you can change the channel in an instant if you want and
> > yet people must stop and watch them (or they wouldn't be on)?
>
> > You sell roasted coffee and you DON'T sell paper filters? You're kidding
> > right? What do you think your customers are using to brew their coffee? A
> > dirty sock? You don't even have to say a word - just put the things next to
> > the register and they will sell themselves. Though you should. Every time
> > you sell a lb. of coffee - "are you low on filters?" Customer - "come to
> > think of it, I could use another package - thanks for reminding me." You
> > don't have mugs, T-shirts, etc.? College kids, visitors from out of town,
> > etc. love stuff with logos (especially if the design is attractive and has
> > "local color") and people will be paying money to advertise your
> > establishment. I'm weeping at the thought of all the money you are leaving
> > in your customer's pockets that could be yours.
>
> > "bernie" <bdig...@zianet.com> wrote in message
> >news:464925b9@nntp.zianet.com...
>
> >> Okay, you're hired. What size apron do you wear? I'd love to see you out
> >>on the floor selling...wait, I have to order some mugs, descaler, filters,
> >>cones, gear and so forth. I'll get back to you on this, Jack.
> >>Bernie
>
> I don't sell filters. I do have a case of the new Baratza grinders in
> the back. I should bring them out front, eh? We do have mugs with our
> logo on it. I think those are on top of the pastry case, but it's a tall
> one so you can't see them. They are next to the hats that are in an
> unmarked box and you can't see them either. The t-shirts are in a good
> spot. You better get out here, Jack. Things are looking grim.
> Bernie- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

If I reacall correctly, wasn't it the amount of plastic coffee filter
brewer cones or something that caused Howard Schutz to take notice of
Starbucks?
So, it would seem that selling a few brewing devices and filter media
along with roasted coffee might be a good idea.

Shane



  
Date: 15 May 2007 13:37:06
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Schultz was working for Hammerplast and noticed he was getting a lot of
orders from this place in Seattle. IIRC, Kroc (the Schultz of McDonalds)
was selling milkshake machines and noticed he was getting a lot of orders
from the McDonalds brothers drive in restaurants. So it's interesting that
sometimes people working at the supplier level have more insight than those
down in the trenches who can't see the potential in what they are doing.

"shane" <shane.olson@juno.com > wrote in message
news:1179247198.658816.140450@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
>
> If I reacall correctly, wasn't it the amount of plastic coffee filter
> brewer cones or something that caused Howard Schutz to take notice of
> Starbucks?
> So, it would seem that selling a few brewing devices and filter media
> along with roasted coffee might be a good idea.
>
> Shane
>




   
Date: 16 May 2007 12:16:25
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jack Denver wrote:

> Schultz was working for Hammerplast and noticed he was getting a lot of
> orders from this place in Seattle. IIRC, Kroc (the Schultz of McDonalds)
> was selling milkshake machines and noticed he was getting a lot of orders
> from the McDonalds brothers drive in restaurants. So it's interesting that
> sometimes people working at the supplier level have more insight than those
> down in the trenches who can't see the potential in what they are doing.
>
> "shane" <shane.olson@juno.com> wrote in message
> news:1179247198.658816.140450@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
>
>>If I reacall correctly, wasn't it the amount of plastic coffee filter
>>brewer cones or something that caused Howard Schutz to take notice of
>>Starbucks?
>>So, it would seem that selling a few brewing devices and filter media
>>along with roasted coffee might be a good idea.
>>
>>Shane
>>
>
>
>

Okay, Jack. Yesterday I ordered a load of french presses, Mellita
cones and filters, put out the travel mugs and hats, rearranged the
t-shirt display and added a display rack that had been sitting idle in
the warehouse. I'll let you know how it goes and thanks for the impetus.
Bernie (oh, yeah. Let me price that thing...)


    
Date: 16 May 2007 16:04:16
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Good luck and don't blame me if those things don't sell :-)

Seriously, nothing "sells itself" - don't be shy about pointing them out to
the customers and instructing your staff to do the same. "Do you need any
filters today?" or if someone buys a lb. of a fancier coffee, "Have you
ever tried this in an FP?"


Don't forget "cupcake" style filters - a lot of Mr. Coffee and other
American brands of autodrip use this style.


"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:464b4a78$1@nntp.zianet.com...
> Jack Denver wrote:
>
>> Schultz was working for Hammerplast and noticed he was getting a lot of
>> orders from this place in Seattle. IIRC, Kroc (the Schultz of McDonalds)
>> was selling milkshake machines and noticed he was getting a lot of orders
>> from the McDonalds brothers drive in restaurants. So it's interesting
>> that sometimes people working at the supplier level have more insight
>> than those down in the trenches who can't see the potential in what they
>> are doing.
>>
>> "shane" <shane.olson@juno.com> wrote in message
>> news:1179247198.658816.140450@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
>>
>>>If I reacall correctly, wasn't it the amount of plastic coffee filter
>>>brewer cones or something that caused Howard Schutz to take notice of
>>>Starbucks?
>>>So, it would seem that selling a few brewing devices and filter media
>>>along with roasted coffee might be a good idea.
>>>
>>>Shane
>>>
>>
>>
>>
>
> Okay, Jack. Yesterday I ordered a load of french presses, Mellita cones
> and filters, put out the travel mugs and hats, rearranged the t-shirt
> display and added a display rack that had been sitting idle in the
> warehouse. I'll let you know how it goes and thanks for the impetus.
> Bernie (oh, yeah. Let me price that thing...)
>




     
Date: 16 May 2007 19:40:55
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters

"Jack Denver" <nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote in message
news:C_qdnUn2O8Vd_tbbnZ2dnUVZ_hqdnZ2d@comcast.com...
> Don't forget "cupcake" style filters - a lot of Mr. Coffee and other
> American brands of autodrip use this style.
>
bunn...




     
Date: 16 May 2007 20:56:28
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Howdy Jack!
Do you think he should mosey on down to the local used car lot & get some
pointers from them?

Let's see..."Owned by a little old lady that only drank one decaf latte
after church every Sunday.", or "Only had 500 actual shots gently pulled
from it.", or maybe "Sure it's a lot of money, but it makes you look 20
years younger or 20 pounds lighter" or "I do believe your hair looks thicker
when you're holding that"!

Do you think he should have an employee of the month for whoever sells the
most accessories each month - maybe with a preferred parking spot for the
winner?
--
Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
newsgroup!) Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.
"Jack Denver" <nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote in message
news:C_qdnUn2O8Vd_tbbnZ2dnUVZ_hqdnZ2d@comcast.com...
> Good luck and don't blame me if those things don't sell :-)
>
> Seriously, nothing "sells itself" - don't be shy about pointing them out
> to the customers and instructing your staff to do the same. "Do you need
> any filters today?" or if someone buys a lb. of a fancier coffee, "Have
> you ever tried this in an FP?"
>
>
> Don't forget "cupcake" style filters - a lot of Mr. Coffee and other
> American brands of autodrip use this style.
>
>
> "bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote in message
> news:464b4a78$1@nntp.zianet.com...
>> Jack Denver wrote:
>>
>>> Schultz was working for Hammerplast and noticed he was getting a lot of
>>> orders from this place in Seattle. IIRC, Kroc (the Schultz of
>>> McDonalds) was selling milkshake machines and noticed he was getting a
>>> lot of orders from the McDonalds brothers drive in restaurants. So it's
>>> interesting that sometimes people working at the supplier level have
>>> more insight than those down in the trenches who can't see the potential
>>> in what they are doing.
>>>
>>> "shane" <shane.olson@juno.com> wrote in message
>>> news:1179247198.658816.140450@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
>>>
>>>>If I reacall correctly, wasn't it the amount of plastic coffee filter
>>>>brewer cones or something that caused Howard Schutz to take notice of
>>>>Starbucks?
>>>>So, it would seem that selling a few brewing devices and filter media
>>>>along with roasted coffee might be a good idea.
>>>>
>>>>Shane
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>> Okay, Jack. Yesterday I ordered a load of french presses, Mellita cones
>> and filters, put out the travel mugs and hats, rearranged the t-shirt
>> display and added a display rack that had been sitting idle in the
>> warehouse. I'll let you know how it goes and thanks for the impetus.
>> Bernie (oh, yeah. Let me price that thing...)
>>
>
>




      
Date: 16 May 2007 19:13:45
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
I think we are so afraid of the "hard sell" that people end up doing "no
sell". Last time I looked it wasn't a crime to remind a customer that they
might be low on filters. I'm not suggesting that you block the exits and
force them to sit thru a 2 hour video presentation on Meilitta filter
technology, just a simple yes/no question would do.

And BTW, it's not a crime to give your employees performance incentives
either.

"Robert Harmon" <r_h_harmon@Zhotmail.com > wrote in message
news:0eK2i.10513$Ut6.964@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> Howdy Jack!
> Do you think he should mosey on down to the local used car lot & get some
> pointers from them?
>
> Let's see..."Owned by a little old lady that only drank one decaf latte
> after church every Sunday.", or "Only had 500 actual shots gently pulled
> from it.", or maybe "Sure it's a lot of money, but it makes you look 20
> years younger or 20 pounds lighter" or "I do believe your hair looks
> thicker when you're holding that"!
>
> Do you think he should have an employee of the month for whoever sells the
> most accessories each month - maybe with a preferred parking spot for the
> winner?
> --
> Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
> newsgroup!) Harmon
> --
> http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
> http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
> http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.
>
> Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.
> "Jack Denver" <nunuvyer@netscape.net> wrote in message
> news:C_qdnUn2O8Vd_tbbnZ2dnUVZ_hqdnZ2d@comcast.com...
>> Good luck and don't blame me if those things don't sell :-)
>>
>> Seriously, nothing "sells itself" - don't be shy about pointing them out
>> to the customers and instructing your staff to do the same. "Do you need
>> any filters today?" or if someone buys a lb. of a fancier coffee, "Have
>> you ever tried this in an FP?"
>>
>>
>> Don't forget "cupcake" style filters - a lot of Mr. Coffee and other
>> American brands of autodrip use this style.
>>
>>
>> "bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote in message
>> news:464b4a78$1@nntp.zianet.com...
>>> Jack Denver wrote:
>>>
>>>> Schultz was working for Hammerplast and noticed he was getting a lot of
>>>> orders from this place in Seattle. IIRC, Kroc (the Schultz of
>>>> McDonalds) was selling milkshake machines and noticed he was getting a
>>>> lot of orders from the McDonalds brothers drive in restaurants. So it's
>>>> interesting that sometimes people working at the supplier level have
>>>> more insight than those down in the trenches who can't see the
>>>> potential in what they are doing.
>>>>
>>>> "shane" <shane.olson@juno.com> wrote in message
>>>> news:1179247198.658816.140450@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
>>>>
>>>>>If I reacall correctly, wasn't it the amount of plastic coffee filter
>>>>>brewer cones or something that caused Howard Schutz to take notice of
>>>>>Starbucks?
>>>>>So, it would seem that selling a few brewing devices and filter media
>>>>>along with roasted coffee might be a good idea.
>>>>>
>>>>>Shane
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> Okay, Jack. Yesterday I ordered a load of french presses, Mellita
>>> cones and filters, put out the travel mugs and hats, rearranged the
>>> t-shirt display and added a display rack that had been sitting idle in
>>> the warehouse. I'll let you know how it goes and thanks for the impetus.
>>> Bernie (oh, yeah. Let me price that thing...)
>>>
>>
>>
>
>




       
Date: 17 May 2007 10:31:47
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jack Denver wrote:
> I think we are so afraid of the "hard sell" that people end up doing "no
> sell". Last time I looked it wasn't a crime to remind a customer that they
> might be low on filters. I'm not suggesting that you block the exits and
> force them to sit thru a 2 hour video presentation on Meilitta filter
> technology, just a simple yes/no question would do.
>
> And BTW, it's not a crime to give your employees performance incentives
> either.
>
> "Robert Harmon" <r_h_harmon@Zhotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:0eK2i.10513$Ut6.964@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
>
>>Howdy Jack!
>>Do you think he should mosey on down to the local used car lot & get some
>>pointers from them?
>>
>>Let's see..."Owned by a little old lady that only drank one decaf latte
>>after church every Sunday.", or "Only had 500 actual shots gently pulled
>>from it.", or maybe "Sure it's a lot of money, but it makes you look 20
>>years younger or 20 pounds lighter" or "I do believe your hair looks
>>thicker when you're holding that"!
>>
>>Do you think he should have an employee of the month for whoever sells the
>>most accessories each month - maybe with a preferred parking spot for the
>>winner?
>>--
>>Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
>>newsgroup!) Harmon
>>

We do have incentives for exemplary performance. I hand out $50 once
in a while when someone has done a really good job. I also will pad the
tip jar if we are a little slow. Both things I could do more often if I
weren't so focused on other things which really are probably less
important. My manager is a top performer in some areas like up-sales.
"Would you like a tasty treat with that coffee?" is something that rolls
off her tongue with each cup, and it doesn't hurt that she has one of
those engaging smiles and an Australian accent. It balances the guy who
I can't seem to pay to smile and engage with the customers. He is a very
good worker, but totally deadpan with the customers.
This has been a great discussion for me because it has reminded me of
the things I too easily let slip by which are so vital to a business. I
have actually increased my time in the store and with the staff
substantially in the last few days after realizing I'd sort of let them
go on autopilot. Reminding them that these customers pay the bills and
buy the beer has helped. Changing some displays around after reading
Jack and Roberts comments has actually spruced up the visuals a bit
which you don't notice have gotten a bit dull if you see them every day.
I appreciate the comments, everyone. It guess it is the old "broken
window" phenomenon in some sense that urban planners or city managers
took notice of not so long ago. If you don't stay on every single piece
of graffiti and broken window pane it will soon be the case that all the
windows are broken and all the walls covered. Much easier to hit each
little detail as it comes up and stay ahead of the curve, both in retail
appearances and urban appearances. Again, thanks to all for the headsup.
Bernie


        
Date: 17 May 2007 13:47:32
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
In that case, for his job description, I'm not sure he really is a "good
worker". Maybe if his job was washing dishes then social skills should not
be a job requirement but he is part of the public face of your business and
will influence how people will perceive your establishment and whether and
how often they come back (and how much they spend each time they visit). If
he's not a naturally bubbly people person, then he should take lessons from
he fellow employees and learn to fake it real good or you should re-assign
him to a non-customer contact job. Do you in fact track sales by employee -
can you compare this guy's average ticket with that of your up-selling
manager? Do you know how much Mr. Deadpan is costing you in lost sales?



"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:464c8372@nntp.zianet.com...
It balances the guy who
> I can't seem to pay to smile and engage with the customers. He is a very
> good worker, but totally deadpan with the customers.




         
Date: 17 May 2007 14:51:34
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jack Denver wrote:

> In that case, for his job description, I'm not sure he really is a "good
> worker". Maybe if his job was washing dishes then social skills should not
> be a job requirement but he is part of the public face of your business and
> will influence how people will perceive your establishment and whether and
> how often they come back (and how much they spend each time they visit). If
> he's not a naturally bubbly people person, then he should take lessons from
> he fellow employees and learn to fake it real good or you should re-assign
> him to a non-customer contact job. Do you in fact track sales by employee -
> can you compare this guy's average ticket with that of your up-selling
> manager? Do you know how much Mr. Deadpan is costing you in lost sales?
>
>
>
> "bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote in message
> news:464c8372@nntp.zianet.com...
> It balances the guy who
>
>>I can't seem to pay to smile and engage with the customers. He is a very
>>good worker, but totally deadpan with the customers.
>
>
>

We don't track sales by employee. If I did, I would be dumbstruck if
this guy even showed up on the tracking report. My fault. I'm thinking
with the opening up of the commissary bakery he can find a very useful
spot. No face time at all with the public and he is dependable to work
on his own. Perhaps losing a girl and a job in San Francisco is still
having an effect. He worked with that outfit that got into trouble with
"Grand Theft Auto", the video game, and his life turned upside down. You
are right as to his costing sales and it has only been a short time he
has been with us, but long enough to have figured out that the smile is
part of the job.
Bernie


  
Date: 15 May 2007 10:53:36
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
shane wrote:

> On May 15, 11:31 am, bernie <bdig...@zianet.com> wrote:
>
>>Jack Denver wrote:
>>
>>>A larger apron than my wife and daughter would prefer.
>>
>>>The commute may be a bit of a problem - I know that out West people often
>>>drive long distances to work but 2000 miles each way may be stretching it.
>>
>>>Seriously though, I think that between the zero service we get in big box
>>>stores and the tendency of young people (who often make up the retail sales
>>>force) to want to act "cool" and indifferent like the zombie expressioned
>>>fashion models you see in ads (and the fact that they don't care about sales
>>>anyway since they get the same lousy wage whether they "upsell" or not) I
>>>think that people actually MISS hearing an expert sales pitch ("Would you
>>>like fries with that" doesn't count). How else can you explain the appeal
>>>of infomercials - you can change the channel in an instant if you want and
>>>yet people must stop and watch them (or they wouldn't be on)?
>>
>>>You sell roasted coffee and you DON'T sell paper filters? You're kidding
>>>right? What do you think your customers are using to brew their coffee? A
>>>dirty sock? You don't even have to say a word - just put the things next to
>>>the register and they will sell themselves. Though you should. Every time
>>>you sell a lb. of coffee - "are you low on filters?" Customer - "come to
>>>think of it, I could use another package - thanks for reminding me." You
>>>don't have mugs, T-shirts, etc.? College kids, visitors from out of town,
>>>etc. love stuff with logos (especially if the design is attractive and has
>>>"local color") and people will be paying money to advertise your
>>>establishment. I'm weeping at the thought of all the money you are leaving
>>>in your customer's pockets that could be yours.
>>
>>>"bernie" <bdig...@zianet.com> wrote in message
>>>news:464925b9@nntp.zianet.com...
>>
>>>> Okay, you're hired. What size apron do you wear? I'd love to see you out
>>>>on the floor selling...wait, I have to order some mugs, descaler, filters,
>>>>cones, gear and so forth. I'll get back to you on this, Jack.
>>>>Bernie
>>
>> I don't sell filters. I do have a case of the new Baratza grinders in
>>the back. I should bring them out front, eh? We do have mugs with our
>>logo on it. I think those are on top of the pastry case, but it's a tall
>>one so you can't see them. They are next to the hats that are in an
>>unmarked box and you can't see them either. The t-shirts are in a good
>>spot. You better get out here, Jack. Things are looking grim.
>>Bernie- Hide quoted text -
>>
>>- Show quoted text -
>
>
> If I reacall correctly, wasn't it the amount of plastic coffee filter
> brewer cones or something that caused Howard Schutz to take notice of
> Starbucks?
> So, it would seem that selling a few brewing devices and filter media
> along with roasted coffee might be a good idea.
>
> Shane
>

Oh, jeeze, yes. It's a great idea. It also happens to be one of my
most glaring failures when it comes to marketing. I've had a guy asking
me for weeks about that press pot he wants to buy. Have I ordered a
case? No. I have a case of brand-spanking new Baratza grinders in the
back sitting on a shelf. Have I priced them and put them out? No. Here
we have the classic conundrum of the entreprenuer vs. the businessman.
Never the twain shall meet. It drives my brother-in-law over the edge
everytime he walks through the door and sees the place packed with
people who would gladly part with another $5 if I had something nice to
offer. And I've admitted from day one that there is some sort of mental
block that keeps me from actually stopping the merry-go-round and
getting in place the high margin items that ice the cake. Hep. Hep me.
Bernie (thinking of ordering today-but just thinking)


 
Date: 15 May 2007 12:18:44
From: Neal Reid
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
In article <46478912@nntp.zianet.com >,
bernie <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote:

> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking
> to buy green beans which I'm happy to do.
I wish! My current favourite roaster is VERY inventory aware. He
orders what greens he knows will sell as roasted.

When I've broached the idea of supplying greens, he's responded
that he's an artisan roaster and can't support the idea of
homeroasting 'cutting into his turf'!
> I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
> over cost if you are wondering.
When I could buy greens from my (old) roaster, he charged full
price minus weight loss in roasting. That is, roasting was "free"
relative to getting the coffee, storing it in a facility, handling
et. al. It sold at $X / roasted 100 gm, roasted or not (used 20%
as a weight loss figure so $/100 gm roasted - $/120 gm unroasted)

--
M for N in address to mail reply


  
Date: 15 May 2007 13:26:01
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
At least he was honest about why. This is typical of the "guild" mentality -
can't have amateurs butting in on our turf. This only works if you can
maintain a monopoly - otherwise you are shooting yourself in the foot -
you're not going to stop the amateur anyway and now instead of a lesser
profit on the green beans you have no profit at all from him because he's
going to order on the internet. Good luck maintaining a monopoly in the
internet age.



"Neal Reid" <NealReid@Nagma.ca > wrote in message
news:NealReid-96A7DE.12184315052007@news.isp.giganews.com...
>
> When I've broached the idea of supplying greens, he's responded
> that he's an artisan roaster and can't support the idea of
> homeroasting 'cutting into his turf'!




   
Date: 16 May 2007 01:18:20
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Tue, 15 May 2007 13:26:01 -0400, "Jack Denver"
<nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote:

>At least he was honest about why. This is typical of the "guild" mentality -
>can't have amateurs butting in on our turf. This only works if you can
>maintain a monopoly - otherwise you are shooting yourself in the foot -
>you're not going to stop the amateur anyway and now instead of a lesser
>profit on the green beans you have no profit at all from him because he's
>going to order on the internet. Good luck maintaining a monopoly in the
>internet age.

That happened to me. My neighborhood roaster would only discount 20%
for green. So, for the year or two I was home roasting I went mail
order.

Marshall


 
Date: 15 May 2007 06:14:45
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On May 14, 7:28 pm, "Brent" <m...@privacy.net > wrote:
> I agree with your sentiment Jack, in my case the up to 2 months from oreder
> to receipt of green coffee means it is a real issue, and not one I am keen
> to pursue at present.
>
> When we have significant green stocks my attitude will probably change :)
>
> I can understand Bernie selling for those few who want it at a nominal
> price - probably similar to how I would wind up doing it. No margin sort of
> implies no comebacks. And hell I am sure Bernie appreciates the interaction
> more than the sale :)
>
> Brent

Model marketing is simply whatever the market will bear. What people
pay is no sense a determination apart from a probability given across
generic and historic structure analysis. What sellers offer the
market is themselves as an equatable extension. They're an equation
of a personality that matches the market, a successful allowance while
somewhere between driven profitability and survivorship bias.

Attention to specific detail - a specialist's market is viable. As
well would a generic attention to non-specifics - at another form of
specialism promoting good and services across a least common
denominator, commonly from a less discriminating market level.

I've notice in Tom's SO descriptors, some care given to emphasize his
and Small Axe Coffee Alliance's role in contacting the grower
affiliation, for presenting himself as a part in hand-selecting estate
origins. Perhaps an individual bent given in assessing capital means
relevant to a market model. Tom, the driven, purporting to travel to
source origins, to disambiguate concerns other than that the freshest
quality is punctually procured at a strike price reason gives him to
apply.

He's hedging both ends with the boutique aspect of his origins, and
pretty well everything else and between apt to be expected from a
Walmart approach to one-stop internet coffee connoiseuring. Savvy,
slick, and upbeat from the business standpoint. Wonder since his 1977
charter what tends and profit percentages are significantly, if at
all, now derived from green compared to roasted.



  
Date: 15 May 2007 10:38:37
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
To the extent I can decipher your prose (never an easy task) I think I agree
w/ you - Tom is the very model of the specialist retailer. He knows his
product and provides you with information above and beyond what 99.9% of all
retailers provide. Waaay above the average retailer where the information
usually ends with the words "Colombia" or "Espresso" on the bean bin, or if
you are really luck, "Colombia Supremo". And yet he is not so "proud" a
specialist that he is not willing to sell you a $3 filter cone or a packet
of Urnex Descaler. He is the green bean specialist par excellence but if for
some reason you don't roast coffee, hell, he'll even roast it for you - you
have no excuses not to buy from him.


"Flasherly" <gjerrell@ij.net > wrote in message
news:1179234885.206439.105800@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
> Model marketing is simply whatever the market will bear. What people
> pay is no sense a determination apart from a probability given across
> generic and historic structure analysis. What sellers offer the
> market is themselves as an equatable extension. They're an equation
> of a personality that matches the market, a successful allowance while
> somewhere between driven profitability and survivorship bias.
>
> Attention to specific detail - a specialist's market is viable. As
> well would a generic attention to non-specifics - at another form of
> specialism promoting good and services across a least common
> denominator, commonly from a less discriminating market level.
>
> I've notice in Tom's SO descriptors, some care given to emphasize his
> and Small Axe Coffee Alliance's role in contacting the grower
> affiliation, for presenting himself as a part in hand-selecting estate
> origins. Perhaps an individual bent given in assessing capital means
> relevant to a market model. Tom, the driven, purporting to travel to
> source origins, to disambiguate concerns other than that the freshest
> quality is punctually procured at a strike price reason gives him to
> apply.
>
> He's hedging both ends with the boutique aspect of his origins, and
> pretty well everything else and between apt to be expected from a
> Walmart approach to one-stop internet coffee connoiseuring. Savvy,
> slick, and upbeat from the business standpoint. Wonder since his 1977
> charter what tends and profit percentages are significantly, if at
> all, now derived from green compared to roasted.
>




 
Date: 14 May 2007 18:04:31
From: Felix
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jack Denver writes:
> I don't agree with your "disappoint your regular
> customers" thing.

Neither do I, but I also don't believe customers should assume that
there is an optimum business model. A business relationship is a
relationship. If the vendor prefers to sell a particular product to
its best customers, doing something that undermines that strategy is
bad for your relationship, even if it helps the business. If I have to
wait for service or keep a secret in order to help a business I care
about, I will. The relationship outweighs the philosophy, and (almost)
everything else. It's not what you know ... i.e. don't tell me how to
run my business!

> If a bean is truly in high demand and short supply,
> the classic economic solution would be to keep
> raising the price [...]

I agree. Even if demand isn't high (e.g. because there isn't enough
supply to establish it), I prefer dealers who increase their margin
and wait patiently, instead of promoting the product to people who
want the latest deal/fad. Customers who appreciate superior products
are willing to pay a premium and they return, whereas the price-
sensitive are loyal to no one.


Felix



  
Date: 15 May 2007 15:00:55
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
>
>> If a bean is truly in high demand and short supply,
>> the classic economic solution would be to keep
>> raising the price [...]
>
> I agree. Even if demand isn't high (e.g. because there isn't enough
> supply to establish it), I prefer dealers who increase their margin
> and wait patiently, instead of promoting the product to people who
> want the latest deal/fad. Customers who appreciate superior products
> are willing to pay a premium and they return, whereas the price-
> sensitive are loyal to no one.
>
>
> Felix
>

you forgot to include the service that those ustomers are invariably looking
for :)




 
Date: 14 May 2007 20:18:17
From: The Other Funk
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Finding the keyboard operational
bernie entered:

> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and
> asking to buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show
> up during a roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on
> the controls and walk them through a roast while talking roasting.
> They are welcome to poke around and sift through the green supplies
> while I'm around. Obviously I prefer they not be in the beans when
> I'm not present. I'm curious as to the percentage of green beans you
> guys have to source via mail. Anybody have a good guess as to the
> percentage of home roasters who have no local access to green? I
> don't sell other than to walk-in and am not about to start so this
> isn't a market survey. I'm just curious.My few green customers seem
> isolated from the home roast scene in many respects. I usually sell
> the green at about fifty cents a pound over cost if you are wondering.
> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)

We will sell green bean to anyone who asks but we don't advertise it. We
maintain such a small inventory that a 5 pound greeen bean sale is
significant. I know that one customer didn't believe me when I told him that
I couldn't sell him a pound of green because I had a bunch of internet
orders to fill. I felt like he could only see the almost full sack.
We price our green at 50% of the roasted price. We make a little that way
but it isn't much more then mail order by the time you add in shipping.
Bob
--
--
Coffee worth staying up for - NY Times
www.moondoggiecoffee.com



 
Date: 14 May 2007 17:49:30
From: Steve
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Sun, 13 May 2007 15:54:26 -0600, bernie <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote:

> I'm
>curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
>mail.

Actually Bernie, unless I get an HB/a.c/Guild member near to me that
will tolerate incessant questioning I will continue to buy from SM.
I know that Thom knows beans.
Hmmmm, that somehow sounds wrong. ;- )


 
Date: 14 May 2007 09:38:57
From: prosenfe@atl.lmco.com
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Fante's in the Italian Market also sells green beans. I've tried them
a few time. They're fine, but they have no origins or high quality
beans. I really notice the difference between these generic
"Columbian", etc. and some of the origins or other selected beans I've
mail order. If I'm going to the trouble to have really freshly
roasted beans for my coffee, they should be of good quality, too. So
I continue to mail order most of my beans.

On May 13, 9:13 pm, "Jack Denver" <nunuv...@netscape.net > wrote:
> I have to source maybe 99% of my green mail order. There are very few shop
> roaster in Phila. There was a guy who did shop roasting a few years ago in
> the 'burbs and sold green for a reasonable price but he went out of
> business.
>
> There is one shop roaster (Olde City Coffee) that sells green for $1/lb.
> less than roasted (which is around $10/lb.) I've pointed out them that
> $1/lb. doesn't even cover the weight loss from roasting but the message
> doesn't seem to get thru. Once they had a special on some Indian arabica
> coffee -5 lbs. for $20 roasted so I said I'd take 5lbs. for $15 unroasted
> and they suddenly remember that their policy (contrary to the posted sign)
> was $1/lb. or 10% off, whichever is the lesser discount. It's as if they
> WANT to discourage the sale of green . BTW, the green is right there
> underfoot behind their counter so it's not like it would cause them
> inconvenience to sell it. It's a mystery to me why they would have such
> self-defeating policies but I think there's a mentality that maybe if word
> of this home roasting thing gets around it would not be good for business in
> the long term if your business is roasting coffee.
>
> I have seen green for sale locally at ethnic groceries - Indian and Arab.
> It's maybe $4 to $5/ lb. and is just marked "green coffee". By appearance
> its a washed arabica but I have no idea from where.
>
> "bernie" <bdig...@zianet.com> wrote in message
>
> news:46478912@nntp.zianet.com...
>
> > I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking to
> > buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during a
> > roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls and
> > walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome to poke
> > around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around. Obviously I
> > prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm curious as to
> > the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via mail. Anybody
> > have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters who have no local
> > access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in and am not about to
> > start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just curious.My few green
> > customers seem isolated from the home roast scene in many respects. I
> > usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound over cost if you are
> > wondering.
> > Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)




 
Date: 14 May 2007 06:20:40
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On May 13, 5:54 pm, bernie <bdig...@zianet.com > wrote:
> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking
> to buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during
> a roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls
> and walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome
> to poke around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around.
> Obviously I prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm
> curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
> mail. Anybody have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters
> who have no local access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in
> and am not about to start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just
> curious.My few green customers seem isolated from the home roast scene
> in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
> over cost if you are wondering.
> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)

Shouldn't be much an issue, a local roaster, although I support one.
I still mail order, locally paying them to freight it, when it
sometimes arrives on my porch the day after. Comes from an entrenched
Cuban community that's been around here awhile, I'd imagine. Their
prices are certainly fair, not a huge SO offering, maybe a dozen
selections, so it's more personal bias than anything else. Had
dealings with a few others, but can't say I've found distinction
between second-tier green suppliers and/or roasters, and those with
higher profiles (say an operation with an article from Business Week
or Time to their credit) to justify double and up pricing on first-
tier select greens. My take, SO beans - not being much on blends.
Chasing around for connoisseur-grade green at bargain mail order
prices without other than self-imposed standards for assurance of
quality seems hit and miss. I've never actually received bad mail-
ordered coffee, whether I paid $6 or $3lb. for it, pre-roasted or
green. It's convenient to keep non-perisible green and roast for
fresh, smaller quantities, rather than have any sizable bulk roasted
to maintain. Someday, maybe, I'll run into a reproducible quality of
select greens and change suppliers. Maybe not. They'll all taste
pretty good to me.



 
Date: 13 May 2007 23:15:20
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters

"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:46478912@nntp.zianet.com...
> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking
> to buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during
> a roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls
> and walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome
> to poke around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around.
> Obviously I prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm
> curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
> mail. Anybody have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters
> who have no local access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in
> and am not about to start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just
> curious.My few green customers seem isolated from the home roast scene
> in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
> over cost if you are wondering.
> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)

When I first started I used to buy small quantities of beans from a local
roaster here in San Diego, Pannikin, but they charged like someone else
mentioned, about only a $1 or so off the roasted price although you could
get an amazing variety.

There is one ethnic food market in my neighborhood that sells green by the
pound. A few years back I used to buy 10 pound bags of Sidamo from them at
$3/pound and it was very good. They bought sacks of the Sidamo and packaged
it into 10 pound lots or you could buy as much or as litle as you wanted out
of one of those upright dispensers normally used for roasted in
supermarkets, or from a sack on the floor. The next year the Sidamo wasn't
as good so I quit buying any from them.

I could buy by the sack from a local importer but I don't have the need for
that much coffee of one type.

So right now I buy close to 100% of my beans online from 2 main sources:
Sweet Marias and the green coffee coop.

Sometimes I also buy from other green sites such as some of those who supply
samples to Jim and Bob at http://www.coffeecuppers.com
I've also bought greens from Barry one time.

Also occasionally buy greens in person from Jones Roastery in Pasadena and
have at least once ordered online from them.
The local cafe where we hold our our home roasters meetings
http://www.caffecalabria.com has recently started selling greens I think,
but they haven't marketed them to us so I have no clue how much they charge
and it doesn't seem to be on their website but I'll bet it is more than you
charge.

To veer slightly from the topic: it will be very interesting to see how well
the Behmor roaster sells when it goes on the market in a couple of months. I
have no real handle on the number of home roasters in the USA but there are
some 840 green coffee coop members so I doubt there'd be more than 10 to 20
times that number home roasting if even anything like that many. That might
change for a while if the market penetration of the Behmor reaches outside
of traditional home roasters which I suspect it will need to to get ROI. It
must be difficult to sell enough of a specialty appliance like that to make
a return on investment. Of course the Behmor will likely end up selling
internationally but even so I seriously doubt that home rosting will ever
account for more than a minute percentage of overall coffee consumption.

Johnny




 
Date: 14 May 2007 02:11:04
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
I roast a bit more than most homeroasters in my 5 pound drum roaster, so I
usually buy a whole sack of beans at a time. I really value being able to
go over to a local roaster/coffeeshop and poke around in his beans and buy 5
or 10 pounds of several types of beans he has in stock. If I like them a
lot, I can buy a whole bag from the same place he gets his. It just cuts
down the time of requesting samples blindly from a broker. I can see and
smell the greens and get a better idea of what might be a winner. The
roasters input on what he likes is also very valuable to me. Most of his
beans I can get for $4 a pound green.
--
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************

"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:46478912@nntp.zianet.com...
> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking to
> buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during a
> roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls and
> walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome to poke
> around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around. Obviously I
> prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm curious as to
> the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via mail. Anybody
> have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters who have no local
> access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in and am not about to
> start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just curious.My few green
> customers seem isolated from the home roast scene in many respects. I
> usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound over cost if you are
> wondering.
> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)




 
Date: 13 May 2007 22:48:35
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:46478912@nntp.zianet.com...
> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking to
> buy green beans which I'm happy to do.

Hi Bernie,

It is nice that you are willing to do this. If you can do it and it isn't a
distraction and it doesn't amount to anything, anyway, just continue doing
what you are doing. These greens customers are probably sending you roasted
bean business if they like you enough to have raised the issue with you
personally when you never have attempted to sell green in the first place.

I have not bought green beans in person, although one roaster in another
city once gave me a few pounds of green to try out (as a favor, I think, to
his restaurant owner client who brought me in to see the roaster's
operation).

Some roasters are in a position to easily sell green coffee and some are
not. I have been fortunate to be able to buy green beans from roasters, and
often from one roaster in particular. The green bean retailing business is
a separate business from the roasting business and generally operates
through the internet or mail order. This is how I usually get my green
beans.

You might want to call Barry, who is a real player in the green bean supply
business.

ken




  
Date: 20 May 2007 23:50:36
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Sun, 13 May 2007 22:48:35 -0600, "Ken Fox"
<morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com > wrote:

>You might want to call Barry, who is a real player in the green bean supply
>business.


i am?




   
Date: 20 May 2007 22:17:16
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"Barry Jarrett" <barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote in message
news:smn153phf79umeev2hrkeidid8vemmluqo@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 13 May 2007 22:48:35 -0600, "Ken Fox"
> <morceaudemerdeThisMerdeGoes@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >You might want to call Barry, who is a real player in the green bean
> >supply
> >business.
>
>
> i am?
>
>

well, you sell the stuff, don't you?

I could have said you were a real player in the "big cookie cakes" space,
but being a greens seller has a better ring to it.

ken
;-)




 
Date: 14 May 2007 04:21:06
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Sun, 13 May 2007 15:54:26 -0600, bernie <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote:

> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking
>to buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during
>a roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls
>and walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome
>to poke around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around.
>Obviously I prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm
>curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
>mail. Anybody have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters
>who have no local access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in
>and am not about to start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just
>curious.My few green customers seem isolated from the home roast scene
>in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
>over cost if you are wondering.
>Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)

Consumers and most roasters don't cross paths very often, unless the
roaster has some kind of retail outlet or online consumer presence.
So, your survey results might be misleading.

I honestly don't know how many wholesale roasters would sell green to
consumers, if they were asked. But consumers might be surprised,
especially in smaller markets.

And, yes, Bernie, you're selling your green way too cheaply.

Marshall


 
Date: 13 May 2007 22:34:55
From:
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Sun, 13 May 2007 15:54:26 -0600, bernie <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote:

> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking
>to buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during
>a roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls
>and walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome
>to poke around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around.
>Obviously I prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm
>curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
>mail. Anybody have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters
>who have no local access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in
>and am not about to start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just
>curious.My few green customers seem isolated from the home roast scene
>in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
>over cost if you are wondering.
>Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)

My brother gave me 15 pounds of green beans for Christmas, and I'm
still working them off. I don't drink that much at home, so I'm going
through maybe 1 pound every 2 weeks. I have purchased green beans
from the local roaster here in Austin, but they don't want to sell
more than 1 to 5 pounds per customer (or it throws off their regular
roasting inventories). But, they don't have any really interesting
specialty beans, so I'll get my beans in the future from Sweet Maria's
by mail order.


 
Date: 13 May 2007 21:08:03
From: Steve Ackman
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
In <46478912@nntp.zianet.com >, on Sun, 13 May 2007 15:54:26 -0600,
bernie wrote:

> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)

Yesterday I roasted 45 lbs at home, and then today I
roasted 100 lbs on the Diedrich IRC12 I'd just repaired,
so I guess that makes me a home/workplace/journeyman
roaster & repairman all in one weekend.

It's a first (for me, anyway).


 
Date: 13 May 2007 21:13:28
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
I have to source maybe 99% of my green mail order. There are very few shop
roaster in Phila. There was a guy who did shop roasting a few years ago in
the 'burbs and sold green for a reasonable price but he went out of
business.

There is one shop roaster (Olde City Coffee) that sells green for $1/lb.
less than roasted (which is around $10/lb.) I've pointed out them that
$1/lb. doesn't even cover the weight loss from roasting but the message
doesn't seem to get thru. Once they had a special on some Indian arabica
coffee -5 lbs. for $20 roasted so I said I'd take 5lbs. for $15 unroasted
and they suddenly remember that their policy (contrary to the posted sign)
was $1/lb. or 10% off, whichever is the lesser discount. It's as if they
WANT to discourage the sale of green . BTW, the green is right there
underfoot behind their counter so it's not like it would cause them
inconvenience to sell it. It's a mystery to me why they would have such
self-defeating policies but I think there's a mentality that maybe if word
of this home roasting thing gets around it would not be good for business in
the long term if your business is roasting coffee.

I have seen green for sale locally at ethnic groceries - Indian and Arab.
It's maybe $4 to $5/ lb. and is just marked "green coffee". By appearance
its a washed arabica but I have no idea from where.


"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:46478912@nntp.zianet.com...
> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking to
> buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during a
> roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls and
> walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome to poke
> around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around. Obviously I
> prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm curious as to
> the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via mail. Anybody
> have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters who have no local
> access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in and am not about to
> start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just curious.My few green
> customers seem isolated from the home roast scene in many respects. I
> usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound over cost if you are
> wondering.
> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)
>




  
Date: 15 May 2007 01:51:25
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters


   
Date: 14 May 2007 22:50:05
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
This assumes that the stock of coffee is fixed. If I were in business I'd
want to sell a lb. of green to me AND a lb. of roasted to Harvey. Other
than Jim's farfetched scenario where I was going to run out of a particular
coffee, I can't think of any reason why I couldn't do both and make more
money that if I just sold to Harvey. My father had only a grade school
education but he understood this much.

"D. Ross" <ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu > wrote in message
news:46490e40.22853321@localhost...
>
> As for why the shop might not want to sell something when they have a
> customer, it kind of depends on whether they are certain they can move
> their
> stock. If I had a pound of coffee, and knew I could sell it to you
> unroasted for $6, or roasted to Harvey for $10, and my roaster was to be
> paid regardless, then the economic incentive would be to just wait until
> Harvey came by. Of course, if there was some expectation of building a
> green
> buying clientele, and it was regular enough to warrant the extra storage
> and
> extra label on the cash register, then that would be another matter.
>
> - David R.
> --
> Less information than you ever thought possible:
> http://www.demitasse.net




    
Date: 15 May 2007 06:21:38
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"Jack Denver" <nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote:



     
Date: 15 May 2007 10:27:14
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Inventory control and reorder frequency is something that ever merchant has
to deal with, whether he is selling only roasted or only green or some combo
of both. And luckily, while green coffee is somewhat perishable, it's not
as perishable as say strawberries, where a merchant really has to predict
demand closely. If there's some special limited production coffee that you
want to "save" for regular roasted buyers, then do that (put an asterisk on
you board saying "this one not available in green"), but the vast majority
of coffees are in good supply and you can reorder as much as you want. To
me, a customer is a customer - all customers start out as "new customers"
and if you treat them nice they all can become "regulars" and tell their
friends and they become "regulars" too. If you treat them like dirt unless
they are "regulars" and adopt a pricing formula for green coffee that
clearly sends a signal that you don't want their business, etc. then they
will never become regulars, so then you may wonder why you never see green
coffee buyers more than once - a self fulfilling prophecy.

"D. Ross" <ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu > wrote in message
news:46494f00.14334181@localhost...
> This is why I mentioned a "regular" green buying clientele. Unless the
> merchant knows that you'll be coming around regularly, he might get stuck
> with extra stock on hand, and might not want that.
>
>




      
Date: 16 May 2007 00:11:04
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Tue, 15 May 2007 10:27:14 -0400, "Jack Denver"
<nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote:

> but the vast majority
>of coffees are in good supply and you can reorder as much as you want

This simply isn't true for specialty coffee. Latest case in point:

Coffee Emergency was roasting a monstrously belgian chocolatey Mocha
Sanani in early April. After spending two weeks cupping sananis to
track it down, I found out that lot, brought in by Cafe Imports, is
gone.

Cafe Imports, very pleased that they were suddenly selling Sanani at a
record pace, has restocked by buying some of Royal's much more slow
moving ones, which, unsurprisingly, cup like flaking leather. People
reordering the "phenomenal belgian choclate sanani" from Cafe Imports
will be very surprised to get a flaking leather sanani instead. If
Cafe Imports is really as clueless as this seems, they will be making
up very creatively dumb reasons why the Sanai that sold so well in
April isn't moving at all in June.

Treating coffee as a commodity is good business for Folgers, but not
for specialty coffee people.


       
Date: 15 May 2007 23:34:16
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:gr3l43thvlk7g6uu7o49eltu5lb0h2uod0@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 15 May 2007 10:27:14 -0400, "Jack Denver"
> <nunuvyer@netscape.net> wrote:
>
>> but the vast majority
>>of coffees are in good supply and you can reorder as much as you want
>
> This simply isn't true for specialty coffee. >

> Treating coffee as a commodity is good business for Folgers, but not
> for specialty coffee people.

I don't know about you, Jim, but David and I are making a B-line over to
Jack Denver's law firm to have all our documents notarized!

ken




        
Date: 16 May 2007 07:34:50
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"Ken Fox" <morceaudemerdeSnipThis@hotmail.com > wrote:



         
Date: 16 May 2007 08:21:12
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"D. Ross" <ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu > wrote in message
news:464ab3e4.17473725@localhost...
> "Ken Fox" <morceaudemerdeSnipThis@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>


      
Date: 16 May 2007 04:15:12
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"Jack Denver" <nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote:



      
Date: 16 May 2007 10:17:46
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
> but the vast majority of coffees are in good supply and you can reorder as
> much as you want.

Until you really, really, really need one and your broker says "we are out
till the end of the year" in June, and then spend a week chasing brokers
around the world to track some down :(

But we aren't talking murphy's law here right?

Brent




    
Date: 15 May 2007 15:05:45
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
:)

I am forgetting the argument here, But I assuming you are paying not much
less that the retail price of the roasted coffee per pound? In which case -
go for it...

But I wouldn't

:)

Brent

> This assumes that the stock of coffee is fixed. If I were in business I'd
> want to sell a lb. of green to me AND a lb. of roasted to Harvey. Other
> than Jim's farfetched scenario where I was going to run out of a
> particular coffee, I can't think of any reason why I couldn't do both and
> make more money that if I just sold to Harvey. My father had only a grade
> school education but he understood this much.
>
>>
>> As for why the shop might not want to sell something when they have a
>> customer, it kind of depends on whether they are certain they can move
>> their
>> stock. If I had a pound of coffee, and knew I could sell it to you
>> unroasted for $6, or roasted to Harvey for $10, and my roaster was to be
>> paid regardless, then the economic incentive would be to just wait until
>> Harvey came by. Of course, if there was some expectation of building a
>> green
>> buying clientele, and it was regular enough to warrant the extra storage
>> and
>> extra label on the cash register, then that would be another matter.
>>
>> - David R.
>> --
>> Less information than you ever thought possible:
>> http://www.demitasse.net
>
>




  
Date: 14 May 2007 15:07:19
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
> There is one shop roaster (Olde City Coffee) that sells green for $1/lb.
> less than roasted (which is around $10/lb.) I've pointed out them that
> $1/lb. doesn't even cover the weight loss from roasting but the message
> doesn't seem to get thru. Once they had a special on some Indian arabica
> coffee -5 lbs. for $20 roasted so I said I'd take 5lbs. for $15 unroasted
> and they suddenly remember that their policy (contrary to the posted sign)
> was $1/lb. or 10% off, whichever is the lesser discount. It's as if they
> WANT to discourage the sale of green . BTW, the green is right there
> underfoot behind their counter so it's not like it would cause them
> inconvenience to sell it. It's a mystery to me why they would have such
> self-defeating policies but I think there's a mentality that maybe if word
> of this home roasting thing gets around it would not be good for business
> in the long term if your business is roasting coffee.
>

I can kind of see it both ways.

I am reluctant to sell green coffee, as it then messes with my already messy
and chaotic ordering and stock of green.

And sure - if your business is brown beans, why sell different shades? It's
not a mentality issue, it's as much a "this is what we do, why do we want to
bend over backwards for something else?" I think Bernie gives a good
description of where some roasters are at - engage them genuinely, and get
some really good info, and even coffee from them... at which point the price
becomes irrelevant surely? up until then, a green buyer in most roasters
shops is probably a distraction.

My thoughts for now...

Brent





   
Date: 14 May 2007 12:58:21
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
I dunno - these sound like kind of weak excuses to me. I grew up with a
small retail business (primarily an egg farm) and my Dad's philosophy was
that EVERYTHING was for sale so long as it yielded a profit - not just the
eggs, but the chickens, the manure, the outbuildings that were not being
used, the trees in the back field, the vegetables in the family garden,
etc. He was not in the "egg" business or the "brown bean" business but the
"making money" business. Every smart business is in the "making money
business". Gas stations used to only sell you gas, but now they run whole
grocery stores in gas stations. At the grocery store they sell garden mulch
and propane refills. At the garden center, they sell crafts in the "off
season". Nowadays, every time you have a real live customer in front of you
(something that is becoming increasingly rare - see below) you have to take
your shot at selling him every conceivable thing that he might be willing to
buy while you've got his ever so brief attention.

Here you have a product that is already present in your shop - there are no
extra inventory costs, no need to train the employees, no extra equipment
needed. It's no more difficult to measure and sell than roasted coffee -
all you gotta do is weigh the beans out. For inventory control purposes, if
your cash register was not sophisticated enough to track each variety of
green, you could print a simple tally sheet and mark off green sales with a
pencil - it would take about 2 seconds to scribble the #1 of lbs. sold next
to the name of the varietal. It doesn't seem that hard to me to work
backwards from your roasted coffee prices to come up with a price that will
yield your customary margins - subtract out weight loss in roasting,
roasting labor and energy and the capital cost of the roaster, etc. It
strikes me that 50 cents/lb. above green cost is too little (although I
appreciate that Bernie is doing this for his customers and maybe he's
gaining in goodwill whatever potential margin he is losing) but that only $1
off roasted cost of $10/lb. is WAAAY too much. Probably around 1/2 the
retail price for roasted would be "about right". Basic economics tells you
that you should charge a "market price" for your product because if you
charge too little you're leaving money on the table but if you charge more
than your competitors your volume will be very low or close to zero. If you
look at even the green sellers with the highest prices for a premium product
(and Olde City sells a lot of coffees that are much more generic), places
like Sweet Marias charge around $5/lb. for most typical origins, so what
make a local roaster even DREAM that he would be able to do any appreciable
volume (outside of the desparate or naive) at a higher price? And if your
volume would be higher at $5/lb. than at $9 (and economics and common sense
tells you that it would - at $4 or 5/lb. I might be willing to shift some of
my green buying to Olde City and I must not be the only one in a metro area
of 2 million plus people) then you are not making a rational pricing
decision but some kind of emotional one ("we're not in that business").

I just read an article today that mail order clothing has passed computer
parts as the #1 selling item on the internet. They used to think that people
would not buy clothing unless they could try it on first, see the colors and
the fabrics, etc. but apparently that ain't true anymore. Personally, I
PREFER to buy on the internet vs. going to a store whenever I can - it
saves me time and gas if I can order from my keyboard instead of risking my
life for an hour in traffic only to arrive at a store where the item is not
in stock or some mono-syllabic teen with his mind elsewhere offers me zero
information about the product (if I can find a live human being at all). And
usually for this inconvenience, the store charges me MORE for the product -
a higher price for an inferior experience is a recipe for going broke. So
the B&M retailer had either better start cutting his prices (hard to do if
you are paying huge rents for a prime location while your internet
competitor is in some warehouse paying $3/sf) or offering a better product
or service or else find another line of work.



"Brent" <me@privacy.net > wrote in message
news:5aq23pF2m4l38U1@mid.individual.net...
>
> I can kind of see it both ways.
>
> I am reluctant to sell green coffee, as it then messes with my already
> messy and chaotic ordering and stock of green.
>
> And sure - if your business is brown beans, why sell different shades?
> It's not a mentality issue, it's as much a "this is what we do, why do we
> want to bend over backwards for something else?" I think Bernie gives a
> good description of where some roasters are at - engage them genuinely,
> and get some really good info, and even coffee from them... at which point
> the price becomes irrelevant surely? up until then, a green buyer in most
> roasters shops is probably a distraction.
>
> My thoughts for now...
>
> Brent
>
>
>




    
Date: 15 May 2007 11:28:45
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
I agree with your sentiment Jack, in my case the up to 2 months from oreder
to receipt of green coffee means it is a real issue, and not one I am keen
to pursue at present.

When we have significant green stocks my attitude will probably change :)

I can understand Bernie selling for those few who want it at a nominal
price - probably similar to how I would wind up doing it. No margin sort of
implies no comebacks. And hell I am sure Bernie appreciates the interaction
more than the sale :)

Brent




    
Date: 14 May 2007 14:28:40
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Mon, 14 May 2007 12:58:21 -0400, "Jack Denver"
<nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote:

>It doesn't seem that hard to me to work
>backwards from your roasted coffee prices to come up with a price that will
>yield your customary margins - subtract out weight loss in roasting,
>roasting labor and energy and the capital cost of the roaster, etc.

Even if you price the green and roasted so the profit on each is the
same; there are other considerations. Roasters typically have
wholesale and other regular customers who they don't want to piss off
by running out of their favorite coffees. For instance, Barry still
jabs me on occasion for causing a run on the green Haimi he had a few
years back after I raved it up. He only had a few bags, and had to
disappoint some of his regulars.

Most roasters selling green on the internet don't sell their whole
list green becasue of this, but rather only the low volume, expensive
COE and auction coffees, along with beans which are plentiful at the
importers.

The last few years have been golden for home roasters getting very
high quality green coffees, mainly because the $25 plus per pound
roasted market isn't very large yet, and roasters are happy to have a
back channel. I'm getting hints that this is changing; and that these
prime coffees may get harder to find in green form.

Importers are going away from large generic lots, and "branding" more
and more coffees with grower and sometimes made up grower names. These
small lots aren't necessarily any better than large lots; since much
of it is just subdivided large lots with different labels. However, if
any of these small lots, no matter how it became a small lot, gets
good word of mouth, a good review somewhere, etc, they will sell out
very fast.

An example is the "Blue Batak" Sumatra, which seems to have been added
to every premium espresso blend I saw at the SCAA this year, but cups
much the same as all other well prepped Lintongs.

The high perceived quality of genuine COE, microlot and auction
coffees is prompting the aggressive branding of all sorts of green
coffees by all sorts of people. I think this may change the rules for
smaller shop roasters and home roasters, especially if consumers'
perceptions of brands moves from roasted to green coffees.


     
Date: 17 May 2007 06:37:57
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Mon, 14 May 2007 14:28:40 -0500, jim schulman
<jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

>by running out of their favorite coffees. For instance, Barry still
>jabs me on occasion for causing a run on the green Haimi he had a few
>years back after I raved it up. He only had a few bags, and had to
>disappoint some of his regulars.
>

i think the real issue was more along the lines of, "if i'd known it
was gonna fly out the door, i would have bought more!"


--barry "shanta golba arrives in june"



     
Date: 14 May 2007 14:22:02
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
jim schulman wrote:

> An example is the "Blue Batak" Sumatra, which seems to have been added
> to every premium espresso blend I saw at the SCAA this year, but cups
> much the same as all other well prepped Lintongs.
>
> The high perceived quality of genuine COE, microlot and auction
> coffees is prompting the aggressive branding of all sorts of green
> coffees by all sorts of people. I think this may change the rules for
> smaller shop roasters and home roasters, especially if consumers'
> perceptions of brands moves from roasted to green coffees.

Wow. I've not heard this before now. That would be a most interesting
development for us small roasters if customers started showing up asking
the branding questions. I'd love for more customers to ask those sorts
of questions. I used to meticulously put stuff like "Colombia
Bucaramanga" on the Colombia bin, but it seemed not to be of use to
anybody. Same with the "huehuetenango", "mandheling", etc. Sometimes I
think customers get overwhelmed by place and origin and are more
attracted to what they are comfortable with from past experience. Were
there any standout coffees at the SCAA this year?
Bernie


      
Date: 14 May 2007 16:46:36
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Mon, 14 May 2007 14:22:02 -0600, bernie <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote:

>Were
>there any standout coffees at the SCAA this year?

The Panama booth had the Geisha which was so-so by past standards and
an organic that took 2nd place which was really nice. Miguel of
Paradise brewed the Ilubabor for the masses, courtesy of the SCAA, and
it had promise.

Everyone else was using the Clover, which to me obscures the unique
taste of each coffee, so I couldn't tell what was good or bad.


       
Date: 14 May 2007 16:12:43
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
jim schulman wrote:
> On Mon, 14 May 2007 14:22:02 -0600, bernie <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote:
>
>
>>Were
>>there any standout coffees at the SCAA this year?
>
>
> The Panama booth had the Geisha which was so-so by past standards and
> an organic that took 2nd place which was really nice. Miguel of
> Paradise brewed the Ilubabor for the masses, courtesy of the SCAA, and
> it had promise.
>
> Everyone else was using the Clover, which to me obscures the unique
> taste of each coffee, so I couldn't tell what was good or bad.

I've not used or had coffee from the Clover. Not sure exactly how it
works but it seems to have gotten a lot of press.
Maybe someday there will be some sort of adjunct association of the
SCAA and their annual conference will be strictly coffee tasting on
different machines. What will we do when the simple Melita or french
press are the methods of choice?
Bernie


        
Date: 14 May 2007 22:26:36
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
>I've not used or had coffee from the Clover. Not sure exactly how it
>works but it seems to have gotten a lot of press.

Just my own opinion, but "muddy" is about the only way I can describe the
coffees I got from the Clovers scattered around the show floor. Lots of very
fine suspended sediment.


--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au




         
Date: 15 May 2007 02:09:43
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jim:



          
Date: 15 May 2007 00:17:58
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Tue, 15 May 2007 02:09:43 GMT, ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D.
Ross) wrote:

>Jim:
>
>


           
Date: 15 May 2007 07:00:33
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters


            
Date: 15 May 2007 10:34:56
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
D. Ross wrote:

>


            
Date: 15 May 2007 16:20:01
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Tue, 15 May 2007 07:00:33 GMT, ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D.
Ross) wrote:

>


             
Date: 18 May 2007 03:50:41
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Tue, 15 May 2007 16:20:01 GMT, Marshall
<mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote:

>This will provoke a counterrevolution, with other shops going low-tech
>brew-to-order. Watch for more French press and Melitta drips in more
>shops.

i'm working on that right now... although not as low-tech as some.
i'm tricking out a bunn brewer for use with melitta/chemex/presspot.



             
Date: 15 May 2007 13:09:53
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
I always wondered about the Clover - maybe if it offered a revolutionary
improvement in quality then you could justify it, but it seems to be the
opposite - very few people are extolling it on the basis of cup quality. So
what's left - it's a pricey high tech gimmick that allows a shop to offer a
"menu" of different drip coffees and maybe people who are dazzled by
gimmicks will pay more for a cup of Clover coffee than a cup of plain old
drip. Or maybe they won't? Can't I do the exact same thing with a hot
water dispenser and a dozen $2 Melitta cones or $10 FPs? And charge less
(and do more volume) because I don't have to recover the capital cost of a
Clover? If I have an espresso machine, can't I sell single origin
Americano's? Or bring an individual moka or flip drip to the table (this is
trendy in restaurants in Italy now, sort of retro-chic now that every corner
grocery store has an espresso machine). Wasn't the espresso machine
invented precisely so that you could make a fresh cup expressly for each
customer? Isn't this re-inventing the wheel?


"Marshall" <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote in message
news:12nj4352qrlht2t06ugd8tko7r0nrrd43n@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 15 May 2007 07:00:33 GMT, ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D.
> Ross) wrote:
>
>>


              
Date: 16 May 2007 01:16:22
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Tue, 15 May 2007 13:09:53 -0400, "Jack Denver"
<nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote:

>I always wondered about the Clover - maybe if it offered a revolutionary
>improvement in quality then you could justify it, but it seems to be the
>opposite - very few people are extolling it on the basis of cup quality.

That's an overstatement. It has a lot of fans on the pure quality
side.

> So
>what's left - it's a pricey high tech gimmick that allows a shop to offer a
>"menu" of different drip coffees and maybe people who are dazzled by
>gimmicks will pay more for a cup of Clover coffee than a cup of plain old
>drip. Or maybe they won't?

They will and they are. Then they buy a pound to take home.

> Can't I do the exact same thing with a hot
>water dispenser and a dozen $2 Melitta cones or $10 FPs?

Not the "same thing," since the brew is different, but similar. The
market will shortly tell.

> And charge less
>(and do more volume) because I don't have to recover the capital cost of a
>Clover?


> If I have an espresso machine, can't I sell single origin
>Americano's?

That's a very different brew from a drip or Clover. 9 bar brutalizes
most SO's. (Yes, I've had a few I liked very much, too). There is a
Venezuelan coffee shop in Beverly Hills that does most of its coffee
as americanos (they use a Spanish name for it that doesn't include
"american").

> Or bring an individual moka or flip drip to the table (this is
>trendy in restaurants in Italy now, sort of retro-chic now that every corner
>grocery store has an espresso machine). Wasn't the espresso machine
>invented precisely so that you could make a fresh cup expressly for each
>customer? Isn't this re-inventing the wheel?

Only if you can't tell the difference between drip and espresso.

Marshall


               
Date: 16 May 2007 03:28:28
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters



              
Date: 15 May 2007 17:34:57
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Howdy Jack!
There's a restaurant in D.C. that serves coffee brewed at the table using
Melitta-type cones. The waiter brings the setup to the table, inquires about
preferences (decaf or reg, strong or light, etc), grinds your choice of
coffee, doses the filter with coffee & hot water, and the customer gets a
very nice, fresh brewed cup of coffee that, even if the food weren't
terrific, keeps people coming back.

As an aside, the grinder is cool looking & I have no idea who made it? It
looks like an electric screwdriver attached to a housing for the burrs. It
grinds directly into the filter and is about half the size of a restaurant
pepper grinder. Next time I'm there I'll bribe the owner to let me have a
closer look.

Why can't a simplified version of this be incorporated into the coffee shop
menu. Priced at the Americano level it looks like a money maker to me.
--

Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
newsgroup!) Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.
"Jack Denver" <nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote in message
news:sJSdnT493_f8dNTbnZ2dnUVZ_gqdnZ2d@comcast.com...
>I always wondered about the Clover - maybe if it offered a revolutionary
>improvement in quality then you could justify it, but it seems to be the
>opposite - very few people are extolling it on the basis of cup quality.
>So what's left - it's a pricey high tech gimmick that allows a shop to
>offer a "menu" of different drip coffees and maybe people who are dazzled
>by gimmicks will pay more for a cup of Clover coffee than a cup of plain
>old drip. Or maybe they won't? Can't I do the exact same thing with a hot
>water dispenser and a dozen $2 Melitta cones or $10 FPs? And charge less
>(and do more volume) because I don't have to recover the capital cost of a
>Clover? If I have an espresso machine, can't I sell single origin
>Americano's? Or bring an individual moka or flip drip to the table (this
>is trendy in restaurants in Italy now, sort of retro-chic now that every
>corner grocery store has an espresso machine). Wasn't the espresso machine
>invented precisely so that you could make a fresh cup expressly for each
>customer? Isn't this re-inventing the wheel?
>
>
> "Marshall" <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:12nj4352qrlht2t06ugd8tko7r0nrrd43n@4ax.com...
>> On Tue, 15 May 2007 07:00:33 GMT, ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D.
>> Ross) wrote:
>>
>>>


              
Date: 15 May 2007 11:31:50
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jack Denver wrote:
> If I have an espresso machine, can't I sell single origin
> Americano's?

How? It sounds intriguing. My americanos are all double shot
espressos from the Swift. Are there places that do SO americanos? Why
didn't I get this memo? You would need another grinder, no? Adjusting
the grind would be tricky for our 15-20 SO offerings, but one could
offer fewer I suppose. I may give this a try. From what I'm reading and
hearing about the Clover they have some adjusting to do for time and
grind just as in a standard espresso grinder so that isn't any advantage
there. Hmmm. Anybody know of a place that does SO americanos from a
large offering slate?
Bernie


           
Date: 14 May 2007 23:44:23
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:g2gi43l89u6v8esiptagiqavv46elf6rll@4ax.com...
> > I think many people who regularly cup coffees are honestly mystefied
> by the hype.

I've only "experienced" the Clover twice; people haven't caught on to the
Clover in Idaho yet, I guess:-)

Neither time was I particularly impressed, but I just figured I don't have a
very fine taste for brewed coffee and it must be me. My impression was that
my $2 plastic Melita cone and paper filter produces brewed coffee at least
as good, but then, what do I know.

ken




           
Date: 14 May 2007 22:40:48
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters

"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:g2gi43l89u6v8esiptagiqavv46elf6rll@4ax.com...
> <snip/>
> I always thought I was the oddball on this. I didn't know Thom didn't
> like it.
<snip/ >
here's a reference:
http://www.themeyers.org/cgi-bin/nopre.cgi/HomeRoast/Topic17775.htm

iirc he also said something else about it recently also in a nother thread.




          
Date: 15 May 2007 02:30:55
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
>Is this a reviled minority view, or widely accepted?

Dunno. This was the first time I'd had the opportunity to taste coffees from
several different Clovers, rather than the teensy single sip I got at
Charlotte. In Aust. these machines would be a solution looking for a
problem, as there is zero demand for drip type coffee in cafes. No one I
know locally would think of spending +$10k for one.

All I can say is that, as usual, I call 'em like I see 'em, and none of the
Clover coffees I saw and tasted would encourage me to buy one.


--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au




         
Date: 14 May 2007 17:05:41
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Coffee for Connoisseurs wrote:
> >I've not used or had coffee from the Clover. Not sure exactly how it
>
>>works but it seems to have gotten a lot of press.
>
>
> Just my own opinion, but "muddy" is about the only way I can describe the
> coffees I got from the Clovers scattered around the show floor. Lots of very
> fine suspended sediment.
>
>

Interesting. Is there a way to describe how this machine works
mechanically without diagrams?
Bernie


          
Date: 14 May 2007 21:40:00
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
bernie wrote:
> Interesting. Is there a way to describe how this machine works
> mechanically without diagrams?

No, not without diagrams. :)

http://www.portafilter.net/2006/01/how-clover-works.html

--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


           
Date: 14 May 2007 21:01:55
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Andy Schecter wrote:
> bernie wrote:
>
>> Interesting. Is there a way to describe how this machine works
>> mechanically without diagrams?
>
>
> No, not without diagrams. :)
>
> http://www.portafilter.net/2006/01/how-clover-works.html
>

Thanks! It is an ingenious design. Pretty basic hydraulics if I can
recall all those training videos from John Deere and International
Harvester I watched while in diesel trade school. Wonder what would
happen if you figured out how to slip a better paper filter into the
brew stream?
Bernie


          
Date: 14 May 2007 19:05:08
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Mon, 14 May 2007 17:05:41 -0600, bernie <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote:

> Interesting. Is there a way to describe how this machine works
>mechanically without diagrams?

It's closest to a vacuum brewer. The coffee steeps a while, then it's
sucked (or low intensity pressured, not sure which) into a cup. Water
coffee ratios, water temperature, steep times and pressure can all be
adjusted, you can get different mesh sized filters, and yet, I've
never had what I consider a great or even very good cup of coffee from
a Clover. They've all tasted flattened out and dulled, especially when
it's brewing a coffee I know.

My take is that everyone loves the **idea** of a highly automated,
lots of different coffees on the chalk board, single cup brewer, and
are confusing that for love of the coffee it produces.

On the other hand, I appear to be one of a lonely handful of wierdos
who doesn't think it's the greatest invention since roasting the
beans.


           
Date: 18 May 2007 03:31:25
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Mon, 14 May 2007 19:05:08 -0500, jim schulman
<jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

>On the other hand, I appear to be one of a lonely handful of wierdos
>who doesn't think it's the greatest invention since roasting the
>beans.


it always reminds me of the emperor's new clothes....

i would like to sit down with one, somewhere quiet, and do some side
by side tastings against a melitta/chemex and vac pot. so far, i've
only been handed cups of coffee, with no comparison, and always
someone chanting on about "isn't it great?"

--barry "$11,000 cup of coffee"



            
Date: 18 May 2007 01:11:23
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Fri, 18 May 2007 03:31:25 GMT, Barry Jarrett
<barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:

>it always reminds me of the emperor's new clothes....
>
>i would like to sit down with one, somewhere quiet, and do some side
>by side tastings against a melitta/chemex and vac pot. so far, i've
>only been handed cups of coffee, with no comparison, and always
>someone chanting on about "isn't it great?"

I was able to taste a side by side at Terroir using the Eva Solo, a
Techniworm Drip, and the Clover. We argued whether the extra body of
the Solo or the extra clarity of the Tchnivorm tated better, but the
Clover tasted like peanut butter dissolved in water in comparison.
This may be an improvement on bad coffee, but for good coffees, it's a
killer.

I have no idea if their Clover was out of whack; but my other
experiences with it weren't that far off.

On a side note; after years of never getting as good a cup from French
Press than from cupping, I started decanting the steeped coffee
through mesh filter, which did the trick. The Eva Solo automates this
process. I have no clue how the press down in an FP manages to put a
tarry-bitter edge on the brew.


             
Date: 18 May 2007 18:20:52
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
When you say "decant" you mean you tip the FP over and pour thru the filter
with the filter near the top of the FP? I'll have to try this, because I
confess never really liked FP either. How muddy a cup do you get this way?
I don't mind a little residue at the bottom but I don't like a cup that is
"clear as mud".


"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:l6gq43llo7369ne8ru9drr5fhj5fceh4ab@4ax.com...
>
> On a side note; after years of never getting as good a cup from French
> Press than from cupping, I started decanting the steeped coffee
> through mesh filter, which did the trick. The Eva Solo automates this
> process. I have no clue how the press down in an FP manages to put a
> tarry-bitter edge on the brew.




              
Date: 19 May 2007 14:31:19
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Fri, 18 May 2007 18:20:52 -0400, "Jack Denver"
<nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote:

>with the filter near the top of the FP? I'll have to try this, because I
>confess never really liked FP either. How muddy a cup do you get this way?
>I don't mind a little residue at the bottom but I don't like a cup that is
>"clear as mud".

If you use a coarse grind that requires 4 to 5 minutes steep, you can
pour the coffee through a Swiss Gold with about a 10 second delay, and
get a slightly cleaner brew than using the same filter as drip. I've
never tried a paper filter.

I think the mesh on the Eva Solo is rougly the same as a Tea strainer
mesh (slightl more coarse than the Swis Gold) and it pours through
without any delay. So it would be easy to convert an FP to an Eva
Solo, simply by omitting the press and attaching the right sized
strainer.


               
Date: 20 May 2007 04:00:07
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters


             
Date: 18 May 2007 19:45:36
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters


           
Date: 14 May 2007 19:30:13
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters

"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:rpth435j8sn0vv1d1puh02r4m64gmfssm3@4ax.com...

> My take is that everyone loves the **idea** of a highly automated,
> lots of different coffees on the chalk board, single cup brewer, and
> are confusing that for love of the coffee it produces.
>
> On the other hand, I appear to be one of a lonely handful of wierdos
> who doesn't think it's the greatest invention since roasting the
> beans.

A cafe I was at recently has a Clover and the owner expressed just exactly
those sentiments, as did Tom from Sweet Marias recently in a post on the SM
mailing list so you are not as alone as you might think.

I liked the Sidamo from was it 49th Pararllel roasters at the SCAA but then
without trying that same coffee made by other methods I can't really say in
that case.

Then I had several cups from one recently and was not impressed especially
since in the latter case I was able to taste the same coffees brewed by
other methods. To me the CLover product lacks body compared to the same bean
brewed by other methods. Very clean but IMO a bit too clean.

It's hard to beat a brew bar such as they have at Santa Cruz Coffee Roasters
on PacificAve. in Santa Cruz when it comes to lots of diferent coffees on
the chalk board and easy prep. I know David L doesn't have much good to say
about them recently but I have had many exceptional cups brewed in that
location but then it was a long while ago.




     
Date: 14 May 2007 15:56:30
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
I don't agree with your "disappoint your regular customers" thing.

1st of all, once you equalize your margins, green buyers ARE your regular
customers - when you sell a lb. of roasted, you are also one lb. closer to
running out of that lot, but so what - who thinks that way? Coffee is by
nature an annual crop and you are going to run out of this year's crop of
any particular lot of coffee (or it will go stale) in a few months, one way
or another. If a bean is truly in high demand and short supply, the classic
economic solution would be to keep raising the price until supply and demand
are balanced and you sell the last lb. just before the new crop arrives.

The big roasters like Illy figured out decades ago that there is more than
one way to skin a cat and not to hitch their wagons to any particular origin
let alone a single lot or estate, and yet they are able to produce vast
quantities of a consistent high quality blend without ever disappointing
their customers. I know it is every coffee vendors and every coffee
estate's wet dream that some day coffee will be like wine and there will be
coffee "brands" like some of the "garage wines" that will demand
stratospheric prices from those who crave the best but I don't see it
happening - for one thing a lot of the wine trade is driven by investors who
believe in the greater fool theory - as much as they overpay for a bottle of
wine, they expect to find a greater fool who will pay even more for it
later. Because of coffee's perishable nature it's more like grapes than wine
and has no resale value.



"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:5sch439ka27tgs7hf8736kf1v64mcivhr9@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 14 May 2007 12:58:21 -0400, "Jack Denver"
> <nunuvyer@netscape.net> wrote:
>
>>It doesn't seem that hard to me to work
>>backwards from your roasted coffee prices to come up with a price that
>>will
>>yield your customary margins - subtract out weight loss in roasting,
>>roasting labor and energy and the capital cost of the roaster, etc.
>
> Even if you price the green and roasted so the profit on each is the
> same; there are other considerations. Roasters typically have
> wholesale and other regular customers who they don't want to piss off
> by running out of their favorite coffees. For instance, Barry still
> jabs me on occasion for causing a run on the green Haimi he had a few
> years back after I raved it up. He only had a few bags, and had to
> disappoint some of his regulars.
>
> Most roasters selling green on the internet don't sell their whole
> list green becasue of this, but rather only the low volume, expensive
> COE and auction coffees, along with beans which are plentiful at the
> importers.
>
> The last few years have been golden for home roasters getting very
> high quality green coffees, mainly because the $25 plus per pound
> roasted market isn't very large yet, and roasters are happy to have a
> back channel. I'm getting hints that this is changing; and that these
> prime coffees may get harder to find in green form.
>
> Importers are going away from large generic lots, and "branding" more
> and more coffees with grower and sometimes made up grower names. These
> small lots aren't necessarily any better than large lots; since much
> of it is just subdivided large lots with different labels. However, if
> any of these small lots, no matter how it became a small lot, gets
> good word of mouth, a good review somewhere, etc, they will sell out
> very fast.
>
> An example is the "Blue Batak" Sumatra, which seems to have been added
> to every premium espresso blend I saw at the SCAA this year, but cups
> much the same as all other well prepped Lintongs.
>
> The high perceived quality of genuine COE, microlot and auction
> coffees is prompting the aggressive branding of all sorts of green
> coffees by all sorts of people. I think this may change the rules for
> smaller shop roasters and home roasters, especially if consumers'
> perceptions of brands moves from roasted to green coffees.




      
Date: 15 May 2007 11:32:15
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
That assumes you WANT to sell green coffee en masse - if that isn't your
thing, then you run a very real risk of upsetting the regulars, who perhaps
ar ethe ones who pay your rent etc....

There is something to be said for being a specialist in your field,
sometimes it can appear dumb, but my day job involves being very specialist
in IT, and it's great to be able to say "I can't fix that, it's your IT
departments problem" of course that doesn't always work...

In my case, we are focussing on growing a roasting business, so to dabble in
green would be a detrimental distraction to what we want to be our core
business...

Brent

>I don't agree with your "disappoint your regular customers" thing.
>
> 1st of all, once you equalize your margins, green buyers ARE your regular
> customers - when you sell a lb. of roasted, you are also one lb. closer to
> running out of that lot, but so what - who thinks that way? Coffee is by
> nature an annual crop and you are going to run out of this year's crop of
> any particular lot of coffee (or it will go stale) in a few months, one
> way or another. If a bean is truly in high demand and short supply, the
> classic economic solution would be to keep raising the price until supply
> and demand are balanced and you sell the last lb. just before the new crop
> arrives.
>
> The big roasters like Illy figured out decades ago that there is more than
> one way to skin a cat and not to hitch their wagons to any particular
> origin let alone a single lot or estate, and yet they are able to produce
> vast quantities of a consistent high quality blend without ever
> disappointing their customers. I know it is every coffee vendors and
> every coffee estate's wet dream that some day coffee will be like wine and
> there will be coffee "brands" like some of the "garage wines" that will
> demand stratospheric prices from those who crave the best but I don't see
> it happening - for one thing a lot of the wine trade is driven by
> investors who believe in the greater fool theory - as much as they overpay
> for a bottle of wine, they expect to find a greater fool who will pay even
> more for it later. Because of coffee's perishable nature it's more like
> grapes than wine and has no resale value.
>
>
>
> "jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net> wrote in message
> news:5sch439ka27tgs7hf8736kf1v64mcivhr9@4ax.com...
>> On Mon, 14 May 2007 12:58:21 -0400, "Jack Denver"
>> <nunuvyer@netscape.net> wrote:
>>
>>>It doesn't seem that hard to me to work
>>>backwards from your roasted coffee prices to come up with a price that
>>>will
>>>yield your customary margins - subtract out weight loss in roasting,
>>>roasting labor and energy and the capital cost of the roaster, etc.
>>
>> Even if you price the green and roasted so the profit on each is the
>> same; there are other considerations. Roasters typically have
>> wholesale and other regular customers who they don't want to piss off
>> by running out of their favorite coffees. For instance, Barry still
>> jabs me on occasion for causing a run on the green Haimi he had a few
>> years back after I raved it up. He only had a few bags, and had to
>> disappoint some of his regulars.
>>
>> Most roasters selling green on the internet don't sell their whole
>> list green becasue of this, but rather only the low volume, expensive
>> COE and auction coffees, along with beans which are plentiful at the
>> importers.
>>
>> The last few years have been golden for home roasters getting very
>> high quality green coffees, mainly because the $25 plus per pound
>> roasted market isn't very large yet, and roasters are happy to have a
>> back channel. I'm getting hints that this is changing; and that these
>> prime coffees may get harder to find in green form.
>>
>> Importers are going away from large generic lots, and "branding" more
>> and more coffees with grower and sometimes made up grower names. These
>> small lots aren't necessarily any better than large lots; since much
>> of it is just subdivided large lots with different labels. However, if
>> any of these small lots, no matter how it became a small lot, gets
>> good word of mouth, a good review somewhere, etc, they will sell out
>> very fast.
>>
>> An example is the "Blue Batak" Sumatra, which seems to have been added
>> to every premium espresso blend I saw at the SCAA this year, but cups
>> much the same as all other well prepped Lintongs.
>>
>> The high perceived quality of genuine COE, microlot and auction
>> coffees is prompting the aggressive branding of all sorts of green
>> coffees by all sorts of people. I think this may change the rules for
>> smaller shop roasters and home roasters, especially if consumers'
>> perceptions of brands moves from roasted to green coffees.
>
>




       
Date: 14 May 2007 22:28:33
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
This is where I'm losing you - why are green bean buyers less "regular" than
roasted bean buyers? If you have the product price correctly, then both
should be contributing toward covering your overhead. Green bean buyers
drink just as much coffee (maybe more) than the average roasted buyer.

It's great to be a specialist - maybe if you are making as much money as you
can stand, you can afford to be a specialist and turn away people's money
when they are begging to buy a product that is literally at your feet and
which it would cost you nothing extra to sell. Until that day, I'd take
their money.

As I explained before, if you are going to stay in business long term, your
"core" business should be the "making money" business. If that means
selling toilet paper next to the coffee, then so be it - if your customers
are coming in day after day asking for you to sell them toilet paper, you
can either listen to them and make money or stand on principle and go broke.
It sounds to me like you're taking a way too narrow view of what your
business is. I realize you may not want to run a "general store" but if I
had a coffee business I'd sure be selling filters, mugs, descaling solution,
french presses, etc. and when someone came into the store I'd say "have you
descaled your machine lately - you know that this should be done every 3
months" or "we're having a special on Melitta filters this week" or "have
you ever tried a french press - it really shows off the varietal character
of the coffee." People don't like a hard sell but believe it or not ,
they like it when someone knowledgeable sells them something that they
really need and didn't know they needed - next week they come back and say
"Y'know my machine works much better since I descaled it and cleaned the
rancid oil out of the carafe." or "I really loved the taste of FP coffee."
and the next time you suggest something else to them, they may buy that too.

Sweetmarias is a highly specialized seller of green beans - a niche that is
too small to support a B&M business. And yet if you look at his storefront,
he has all the kind of things I mentioned and more (but no toilet paper).
Even roasted coffee.



"Brent" <me@privacy.net > wrote in message
news:5as9sgF2og4l1U1@mid.individual.net...
> That assumes you WANT to sell green coffee en masse - if that isn't your
> thing, then you run a very real risk of upsetting the regulars, who
> perhaps ar ethe ones who pay your rent etc....
>
> There is something to be said for being a specialist in your field,
> sometimes it can appear dumb, but my day job involves being very
> specialist in IT, and it's great to be able to say "I can't fix that, it's
> your IT departments problem" of course that doesn't always work...
>
> In my case, we are focussing on growing a roasting business, so to dabble
> in green would be a detrimental distraction to what we want to be our core
> business...
>
> Brent
>
>>I don't agree with your "disappoint your regular customers" thing.
>>
>> 1st of all, once you equalize your margins, green buyers ARE your regular
>> customers - when you sell a lb. of roasted, you are also one lb. closer
>> to running out of that lot, but so what - who thinks that way? Coffee is
>> by nature an annual crop and you are going to run out of this year's crop
>> of any particular lot of coffee (or it will go stale) in a few months,
>> one way or another. If a bean is truly in high demand and short supply,
>> the classic economic solution would be to keep raising the price until
>> supply and demand are balanced and you sell the last lb. just before the
>> new crop arrives.
>>
>> The big roasters like Illy figured out decades ago that there is more
>> than one way to skin a cat and not to hitch their wagons to any
>> particular origin let alone a single lot or estate, and yet they are able
>> to produce vast quantities of a consistent high quality blend without
>> ever disappointing their customers. I know it is every coffee vendors
>> and every coffee estate's wet dream that some day coffee will be like
>> wine and there will be coffee "brands" like some of the "garage wines"
>> that will demand stratospheric prices from those who crave the best but I
>> don't see it happening - for one thing a lot of the wine trade is driven
>> by investors who believe in the greater fool theory - as much as they
>> overpay for a bottle of wine, they expect to find a greater fool who will
>> pay even more for it later. Because of coffee's perishable nature it's
>> more like grapes than wine and has no resale value.
>>
>>
>>
>> "jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net> wrote in message
>> news:5sch439ka27tgs7hf8736kf1v64mcivhr9@4ax.com...
>>> On Mon, 14 May 2007 12:58:21 -0400, "Jack Denver"
>>> <nunuvyer@netscape.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>>It doesn't seem that hard to me to work
>>>>backwards from your roasted coffee prices to come up with a price that
>>>>will
>>>>yield your customary margins - subtract out weight loss in roasting,
>>>>roasting labor and energy and the capital cost of the roaster, etc.
>>>
>>> Even if you price the green and roasted so the profit on each is the
>>> same; there are other considerations. Roasters typically have
>>> wholesale and other regular customers who they don't want to piss off
>>> by running out of their favorite coffees. For instance, Barry still
>>> jabs me on occasion for causing a run on the green Haimi he had a few
>>> years back after I raved it up. He only had a few bags, and had to
>>> disappoint some of his regulars.
>>>
>>> Most roasters selling green on the internet don't sell their whole
>>> list green becasue of this, but rather only the low volume, expensive
>>> COE and auction coffees, along with beans which are plentiful at the
>>> importers.
>>>
>>> The last few years have been golden for home roasters getting very
>>> high quality green coffees, mainly because the $25 plus per pound
>>> roasted market isn't very large yet, and roasters are happy to have a
>>> back channel. I'm getting hints that this is changing; and that these
>>> prime coffees may get harder to find in green form.
>>>
>>> Importers are going away from large generic lots, and "branding" more
>>> and more coffees with grower and sometimes made up grower names. These
>>> small lots aren't necessarily any better than large lots; since much
>>> of it is just subdivided large lots with different labels. However, if
>>> any of these small lots, no matter how it became a small lot, gets
>>> good word of mouth, a good review somewhere, etc, they will sell out
>>> very fast.
>>>
>>> An example is the "Blue Batak" Sumatra, which seems to have been added
>>> to every premium espresso blend I saw at the SCAA this year, but cups
>>> much the same as all other well prepped Lintongs.
>>>
>>> The high perceived quality of genuine COE, microlot and auction
>>> coffees is prompting the aggressive branding of all sorts of green
>>> coffees by all sorts of people. I think this may change the rules for
>>> smaller shop roasters and home roasters, especially if consumers'
>>> perceptions of brands moves from roasted to green coffees.
>>
>>
>
>




        
Date: 17 May 2007 22:31:24
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Mon, 14 May 2007 22:28:33 -0400, "Jack Denver"
<nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote:

>It's great to be a specialist - maybe if you are making as much money as you
>can stand, you can afford to be a specialist and turn away people's money
>when they are begging to buy a product that is literally at your feet and
>which it would cost you nothing extra to sell. Until that day, I'd take
>their money.
>

earlier this week, i had a customer come in and ask if we made "big
cookie cakes". i said no, that we really didn't do that sort of
thing. she continued on, "well, you have the best chocolate chip
cookies in the world, and my son just loves them, and he's graduating
from college next week, and we'd like to get him a big decorated
cookie. i know i can go to the cookie place at the mall, but your
cookies are so much better."

i thought for a moment... we'd never even attempted to make something
like that, so i gave her a business card and told her, "i'll *try*.
i'll try making a big cookie this evening. the decorating, however,
is up to june, as she's the real talent around here, so call back
tomorrow afternoon to see if the cookie worked out and if june can do
the decorating."

that evening, after close, i arranged 18 cookie dough balls in closest
packing formation and scrunched 'em around a bit to dehexagonify them,
and baked it. mmmmmmmm... looked pretty decent for a first attempt.
i left june a note, and by the time i got into work the next day, the
customer's artwork was on the baking table. june did test decoration
today on the test cookie, and it looks like we might have a new
product!

--barry "need all the $$ we can get"


        
Date: 15 May 2007 15:56:11
From: Espressopithecus (Java Man)
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
In article <sYOdnYu1m4MbhtTbnZ2dnUVZ_jmdnZ2d@comcast.com >,
nunuvyer@netscape.net says...
> As I explained before, if you are going to stay in business long term, your
> "core" business should be the "making money" business. If that means
> selling toilet paper next to the coffee, then so be it - if your customers
> are coming in day after day asking for you to sell them toilet paper, you
> can either listen to them and make money or stand on principle and go broke.
>
There are many small business people who think they're in the "making
money" business, but whose business model leaves customers cold.
Ultimately, it's customer choices, not business owners, that determines
whether there's a profit in selling toilet paper in a coffee shop. You
can build it, but that doesn't mean they'll come.

Rather than being in the "making money business", I suggest being in the
"profitably winning and keeping customers" business. This may sound
like semantics, but it's really about how one thinks rather than
wordplay. Too often, business owners who think they're in the money
making business overlook who decides whether to fork over the cash, how
much, and how often.

Rick


         
Date: 15 May 2007 16:21:20
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Espressopithecus (Java Man) <rickk@letterectomyTELUS.net > wrote in
news:MPG.20b377f92a8b920698989c@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net:

sniped

> Rather than being in the "making money business", I suggest being in
> the "profitably winning and keeping customers" business. This may
> sound like semantics, but it's really about how one thinks rather than
> wordplay. Too often, business owners who think they're in the money
> making business overlook who decides whether to fork over the cash,
> how much, and how often.
>
> Rick
>

Well put, Rick!

That's why any reputable lending institute will require a business plan that clearly
defines what your *core* business is & who your *core* customers will be. Sure, you'll have
customers who'll tempt you to get away from doing what you do, but those customers may
drive away *core* customers, if by catering to them you short-change the customers you
started the business for in the first place.

I'm not suggesting pig-headed obstinance by saying business should never change it's line
of products/services. But it must be done in a cold & calculating manner while weighing the
pros & cons, not from a belief that adding product/service 'Z' to your *core*
product/service line of 'A', 'B', & 'C', will have no impact on your business.

It's *B* school 101; define the product niche, identify the stake holders, place your
product/service where it can take advantage of the first two. K.I.S.S.!

Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this newsgroup!) Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.


          
Date: 15 May 2007 12:50:00
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
I think people keep proposing false dichotomies - you can do A OR B - why
can't you do A AND B? Maybe it's not possible to walk and chew gum and
maybe the biker trade will drive out the ladies who lunch, but in many cases
co-existence is possible - you CAN run a gas filling station and sell milk
and bread too. You can run a grocery store and sell bedding plants and bags
of mulch. Not only will this not drive away your existing customers, it will
make them MORE happy, because now they can save a trip and kill two birds
with one stone. You're right that you can't do this randomly and blindly,
but it doesn't take an MBA or a rocket scientist to figure out that if
there are sacks of green beans at your feet that you can sell those without
disrupting your regular business or that if you sell razor blades maybe you
should sell shaving cream too. Bernie talked earlier about his dad would
make his customers his lifelong friends. I remember that when my dad would
go thru one of his marathon selling sessions when someone who had just
stopped in for a dozen eggs left loaded down with vegetables, chickens, 5
different items that they hadn't really planned on buying , they left happy
because these really WERE things that they could use and enjoy. If you sell
your coffee customers filters you haven't swindled them, you're doing them a
favor. I have the feeling that people are practically looking for excuses
NOT to sell people stuff because it's too much bother - you have to
re-program the cash register, you have to deal w. another vendor, etc. This
has nothing to do with pleasing the customer.


"Robert Harmon" <r_h_harmon@Zhotmail.com > wrote in message
news:Xns9931738E6F0E9rhharmonZhotmailcom@207.217.125.201...
> Espressopithecus (Java Man) <rickk@letterectomyTELUS.net> wrote in
> news:MPG.20b377f92a8b920698989c@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net:
>
> sniped
>
>> Rather than being in the "making money business", I suggest being in
>> the "profitably winning and keeping customers" business. This may
>> sound like semantics, but it's really about how one thinks rather than
>> wordplay. Too often, business owners who think they're in the money
>> making business overlook who decides whether to fork over the cash,
>> how much, and how often.
>>
>> Rick
>>
>
> Well put, Rick!
>
> That's why any reputable lending institute will require a business plan
> that clearly
> defines what your *core* business is & who your *core* customers will be.
> Sure, you'll have
> customers who'll tempt you to get away from doing what you do, but those
> customers may
> drive away *core* customers, if by catering to them you short-change the
> customers you
> started the business for in the first place.
>
> I'm not suggesting pig-headed obstinance by saying business should never
> change it's line
> of products/services. But it must be done in a cold & calculating manner
> while weighing the
> pros & cons, not from a belief that adding product/service 'Z' to your
> *core*
> product/service line of 'A', 'B', & 'C', will have no impact on your
> business.
>
> It's *B* school 101; define the product niche, identify the stake holders,
> place your
> product/service where it can take advantage of the first two. K.I.S.S.!
>
> Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
> newsgroup!) Harmon
> --
> http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
> http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
> http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.
>
> Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.




           
Date: 16 May 2007 10:12:00
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
I think as long as things are clear in your mind, then your decision is a
solid, if changeable one.

If I decide not to sell A with B, as long as I have solid reasoning, most
customers will understand and support that. It's when you are muddling that
the damage probably happens (with the exception say where you have the new
fandangled machine and are still trying to make it go)

But some "natural fits" sometimes just don't work in reality for some
people...

Brent

>I think people keep proposing false dichotomies - you can do A OR B - why
>can't you do A AND B? Maybe it's not possible to walk and chew gum and
>maybe the biker trade will drive out the ladies who lunch, but in many
>cases co-existence is possible - you CAN run a gas filling station and sell
>milk and bread too. You can run a grocery store and sell bedding plants and
>bags of mulch. Not only will this not drive away your existing customers,
>it will make them MORE happy, because now they can save a trip and kill two
>birds with one stone. You're right that you can't do this randomly and
>blindly, but it doesn't take an MBA or a rocket scientist to figure out
>that if there are sacks of green beans at your feet that you can sell those
>without disrupting your regular business or that if you sell razor blades
>maybe you should sell shaving cream too. Bernie talked earlier about his
>dad would make his customers his lifelong friends. I remember that when my
>dad would go thru one of his marathon selling sessions when someone who had
>just stopped in for a dozen eggs left loaded down with vegetables,
>chickens, 5 different items that they hadn't really planned on buying ,
>they left happy because these really WERE things that they could use and
>enjoy. If you sell your coffee customers filters you haven't swindled them,
>you're doing them a favor. I have the feeling that people are practically
>looking for excuses NOT to sell people stuff because it's too much bother -
>you have to re-program the cash register, you have to deal w. another
>vendor, etc. This has nothing to do with pleasing the customer.
>
>
> "Robert Harmon" <r_h_harmon@Zhotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:Xns9931738E6F0E9rhharmonZhotmailcom@207.217.125.201...
>> Espressopithecus (Java Man) <rickk@letterectomyTELUS.net> wrote in
>> news:MPG.20b377f92a8b920698989c@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net:
>>
>> sniped
>>
>>> Rather than being in the "making money business", I suggest being in
>>> the "profitably winning and keeping customers" business. This may
>>> sound like semantics, but it's really about how one thinks rather than
>>> wordplay. Too often, business owners who think they're in the money
>>> making business overlook who decides whether to fork over the cash,
>>> how much, and how often.
>>>
>>> Rick
>>>
>>
>> Well put, Rick!
>>
>> That's why any reputable lending institute will require a business plan
>> that clearly
>> defines what your *core* business is & who your *core* customers will be.
>> Sure, you'll have
>> customers who'll tempt you to get away from doing what you do, but those
>> customers may
>> drive away *core* customers, if by catering to them you short-change the
>> customers you
>> started the business for in the first place.
>>
>> I'm not suggesting pig-headed obstinance by saying business should never
>> change it's line
>> of products/services. But it must be done in a cold & calculating manner
>> while weighing the
>> pros & cons, not from a belief that adding product/service 'Z' to your
>> *core*
>> product/service line of 'A', 'B', & 'C', will have no impact on your
>> business.
>>
>> It's *B* school 101; define the product niche, identify the stake
>> holders, place your
>> product/service where it can take advantage of the first two. K.I.S.S.!
>>
>> Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
>> newsgroup!) Harmon
>> --
>> http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
>> http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
>> http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.
>>
>> Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.
>
>




          
Date: 15 May 2007 10:46:39
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Robert Harmon wrote:

> Espressopithecus (Java Man) <rickk@letterectomyTELUS.net> wrote in
> news:MPG.20b377f92a8b920698989c@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net:
>
> sniped
>
>
>>Rather than being in the "making money business", I suggest being in
>>the "profitably winning and keeping customers" business. This may
>>sound like semantics, but it's really about how one thinks rather than
>>wordplay. Too often, business owners who think they're in the money
>>making business overlook who decides whether to fork over the cash,
>>how much, and how often.
>>
>>Rick
>>
>
>
> Well put, Rick!
>
> That's why any reputable lending institute will require a business plan that clearly
> defines what your *core* business is & who your *core* customers will be. Sure, you'll have
> customers who'll tempt you to get away from doing what you do, but those customers may
> drive away *core* customers, if by catering to them you short-change the customers you
> started the business for in the first place.
>
> I'm not suggesting pig-headed obstinance by saying business should never change it's line
> of products/services. But it must be done in a cold & calculating manner while weighing the
> pros & cons, not from a belief that adding product/service 'Z' to your *core*
> product/service line of 'A', 'B', & 'C', will have no impact on your business.
>
> It's *B* school 101; define the product niche, identify the stake holders, place your
> product/service where it can take advantage of the first two. K.I.S.S.!
>
> Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this newsgroup!) Harmon

I get folks wandering in from time to time that want to start a
coffeehouse and like my concept. I steer them to the book "The E-myth
Revisited" which is a good roadmap of what happens to us entreprenuers
when we are successful and then have to keep the doors open by actually
running a business instead of building one. Big difference. And defining
the market niche is a key element. Not wandering off (like me) to see
what that shiney object is over there by the flower bed.
Bernie (starter of projects-finisher of few)


           
Date: 15 May 2007 14:12:05
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
They say that no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy.
Your customers are not your enemy, but the #1 killer of businesses is
failure to set up an appropriate feedback and response loop. Your customers
are telling you things thru their actions but not everyone can understand
what they are saying and respond appropriately. This was Walmart's secret -
there was (and is) absolutely nothing special about their stores, which are
just big boxes with metal shelves that resemble K-mart stores and other now
defunct discount stores. But they had a method of tracking sales closely so
that if blue hi-top sneakers were selling well in Kansas City they'd get
restocked before the shelves were empty and customers were leaving empty
handed and if pink ones weren't selling in Omaha they wouldn't keep
ordering more so that you'd have to put them on closeout in order to clear
them out.

If you plow ahead like a robot saying "my market niche is selling sweat
socks. I'm a world renowned expert on sweat socks. My love and hobby is
selling sweat socks. My market niche is selling sweat socks" and people
don't really want enough sweat socks to sustain a business in your market,
pretty soon the landlord is going to toss you out for non-payment of rent.
Maybe you have to take a broader view of your niche - if people come into
the store for sweat socks, is there something else that they need too, maybe
sneakers or sweat bands? Maybe you should define your niche as "hosiery"
and not just sweat socks. Or maybe sweat socks is too broad and you should
sell only ladies wool sweat socks because they are 80% of your sales and you
are losing money on the low margin slow moving men's cotton socks. The
point is that you have to be dynamic and improvisational and respond to the
actual situation on the ground and not cling to some pre-conceived business
plan or notion of your market niche if the feedback you are getting from
your customer's $ (these are more important than what your customers are
telling you verbally - people may tell you want they think you want to hear
or they may just be off the wall - "why don't you put in a sushi bar - that
would be cool") is telling you otherwise.



"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:4649e3ef@nntp.zianet.com...
>
> I get folks wandering in from time to time that want to start a
> coffeehouse and like my concept. I steer them to the book "The E-myth
> Revisited" which is a good roadmap of what happens to us entreprenuers
> when we are successful and then have to keep the doors open by actually
> running a business instead of building one. Big difference. And defining
> the market niche is a key element. Not wandering off (like me) to see what
> that shiney object is over there by the flower bed.
> Bernie (starter of projects-finisher of few)




            
Date: 16 May 2007 10:05:56
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jack,

I think we are on the same page now...

Customer feedback is a very useful tool, but unless it's cheap to implement,
personally I would tread carefully in taking things on. In Bernies case, I
guess he has the advantage of a few years under his belt, so can spot the
good from bad suggestions.

We responded to local support and calls for a decent place to get coffee,
and received lots of encouragment as we poured $$$$ into a fitout. When we
opened we got support from a few of the locals, but a lot never came in. In
the end, we flagged it away and concentrated on roasting. Of course,
everyone misses the cafe, but most of those missing the cafe are missing it
from afar - they never came in. Those that supported us when we were open
still turn up for a coffee - and get one. Interestingly a couple down the
road built a daycare, and everyone was again enthusiastic etc, but the
numbers aren't there. Same scenario as us. I am sure everyone will miss them
if they go.

Brent

> They say that no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy.
> Your customers are not your enemy, but the #1 killer of businesses is
> failure to set up an appropriate feedback and response loop. Your
> customers are telling you things thru their actions but not everyone can
> understand what they are saying and respond appropriately. This was
> Walmart's secret - there was (and is) absolutely nothing special about
> their stores, which are just big boxes with metal shelves that resemble
> K-mart stores and other now defunct discount stores. But they had a method
> of tracking sales closely so that if blue hi-top sneakers were selling
> well in Kansas City they'd get restocked before the shelves were empty and
> customers were leaving empty handed and if pink ones weren't selling in
> Omaha they wouldn't keep ordering more so that you'd have to put them on
> closeout in order to clear them out.
>
> If you plow ahead like a robot saying "my market niche is selling sweat
> socks. I'm a world renowned expert on sweat socks. My love and hobby is
> selling sweat socks. My market niche is selling sweat socks" and people
> don't really want enough sweat socks to sustain a business in your market,
> pretty soon the landlord is going to toss you out for non-payment of rent.
> Maybe you have to take a broader view of your niche - if people come into
> the store for sweat socks, is there something else that they need too,
> maybe sneakers or sweat bands? Maybe you should define your niche as
> "hosiery" and not just sweat socks. Or maybe sweat socks is too broad and
> you should sell only ladies wool sweat socks because they are 80% of your
> sales and you are losing money on the low margin slow moving men's cotton
> socks. The point is that you have to be dynamic and improvisational and
> respond to the actual situation on the ground and not cling to some
> pre-conceived business plan or notion of your market niche if the feedback
> you are getting from your customer's $ (these are more important than what
> your customers are telling you verbally - people may tell you want they
> think you want to hear or they may just be off the wall - "why don't you
> put in a sushi bar - that would be cool") is telling you otherwise.
>
>
>
> "bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote in message
> news:4649e3ef@nntp.zianet.com...
>>
>> I get folks wandering in from time to time that want to start a
>> coffeehouse and like my concept. I steer them to the book "The E-myth
>> Revisited" which is a good roadmap of what happens to us entreprenuers
>> when we are successful and then have to keep the doors open by actually
>> running a business instead of building one. Big difference. And defining
>> the market niche is a key element. Not wandering off (like me) to see
>> what that shiney object is over there by the flower bed.
>> Bernie (starter of projects-finisher of few)
>
>




             
Date: 15 May 2007 18:46:04
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Again I want to make it clear that "customer feedback" come thru voting with
$ and not by what they say - people will often say one thing and do another,
especially when the one thing involves spending $. I give almost no weight
to customer "suggestions" - they are often off the wall, worthless, poor
thought out, not economical, etc. - the easiest thing in the world is
spending someone elses money, and then when it doesn't work out, you shrug
and walk away.





"Brent" <me@privacy.net > wrote in message
news:5aup6kF2qt2paU1@mid.individual.net...
> Jack,
>
> I think we are on the same page now...
>
> Customer feedback is a very useful tool, but unless it's cheap to
> implement, personally I would tread carefully in taking things on. In
> Bernies case, I guess he has the advantage of a few years under his belt,
> so can spot the good from bad suggestions.
>
> We responded to local support and calls for a decent place to get coffee,
> and received lots of encouragment as we poured $$$$ into a fitout. When we
> opened we got support from a few of the locals, but a lot never came in.
> In the end, we flagged it away and concentrated on roasting. Of course,
> everyone misses the cafe, but most of those missing the cafe are missing
> it from afar - they never came in. Those that supported us when we were
> open still turn up for a coffee - and get one. Interestingly a couple down
> the road built a daycare, and everyone was again enthusiastic etc, but the
> numbers aren't there. Same scenario as us. I am sure everyone will miss
> them if they go.
>
> Brent
>
>> They say that no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy.
>> Your customers are not your enemy, but the #1 killer of businesses is
>> failure to set up an appropriate feedback and response loop. Your
>> customers are telling you things thru their actions but not everyone can
>> understand what they are saying and respond appropriately. This was
>> Walmart's secret - there was (and is) absolutely nothing special about
>> their stores, which are just big boxes with metal shelves that resemble
>> K-mart stores and other now defunct discount stores. But they had a
>> method of tracking sales closely so that if blue hi-top sneakers were
>> selling well in Kansas City they'd get restocked before the shelves were
>> empty and customers were leaving empty handed and if pink ones weren't
>> selling in Omaha they wouldn't keep ordering more so that you'd have to
>> put them on closeout in order to clear them out.
>>
>> If you plow ahead like a robot saying "my market niche is selling sweat
>> socks. I'm a world renowned expert on sweat socks. My love and hobby is
>> selling sweat socks. My market niche is selling sweat socks" and people
>> don't really want enough sweat socks to sustain a business in your
>> market, pretty soon the landlord is going to toss you out for non-payment
>> of rent. Maybe you have to take a broader view of your niche - if people
>> come into the store for sweat socks, is there something else that they
>> need too, maybe sneakers or sweat bands? Maybe you should define your
>> niche as "hosiery" and not just sweat socks. Or maybe sweat socks is too
>> broad and you should sell only ladies wool sweat socks because they are
>> 80% of your sales and you are losing money on the low margin slow moving
>> men's cotton socks. The point is that you have to be dynamic and
>> improvisational and respond to the actual situation on the ground and not
>> cling to some pre-conceived business plan or notion of your market niche
>> if the feedback you are getting from your customer's $ (these are more
>> important than what your customers are telling you verbally - people may
>> tell you want they think you want to hear or they may just be off the
>> wall - "why don't you put in a sushi bar - that would be cool") is
>> telling you otherwise.
>>
>>
>>
>> "bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote in message
>> news:4649e3ef@nntp.zianet.com...
>>>
>>> I get folks wandering in from time to time that want to start a
>>> coffeehouse and like my concept. I steer them to the book "The E-myth
>>> Revisited" which is a good roadmap of what happens to us entreprenuers
>>> when we are successful and then have to keep the doors open by actually
>>> running a business instead of building one. Big difference. And defining
>>> the market niche is a key element. Not wandering off (like me) to see
>>> what that shiney object is over there by the flower bed.
>>> Bernie (starter of projects-finisher of few)
>>
>>
>
>




              
Date: 16 May 2007 11:33:13
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
yup, definitely reading the same page now :)

> Again I want to make it clear that "customer feedback" come thru voting
> with $ and not by what they say - people will often say one thing and do
> another, especially when the one thing involves spending $. I give almost
> no weight to customer "suggestions" - they are often off the wall,
> worthless, poor thought out, not economical, etc. - the easiest thing in
> the world is spending someone elses money, and then when it doesn't work
> out, you shrug and walk away.
>
>
>
>
>
> "Brent" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
> news:5aup6kF2qt2paU1@mid.individual.net...
>> Jack,
>>
>> I think we are on the same page now...
>>
>> Customer feedback is a very useful tool, but unless it's cheap to
>> implement, personally I would tread carefully in taking things on. In
>> Bernies case, I guess he has the advantage of a few years under his belt,
>> so can spot the good from bad suggestions.
>>
>> We responded to local support and calls for a decent place to get coffee,
>> and received lots of encouragment as we poured $$$$ into a fitout. When
>> we opened we got support from a few of the locals, but a lot never came
>> in. In the end, we flagged it away and concentrated on roasting. Of
>> course, everyone misses the cafe, but most of those missing the cafe are
>> missing it from afar - they never came in. Those that supported us when
>> we were open still turn up for a coffee - and get one. Interestingly a
>> couple down the road built a daycare, and everyone was again enthusiastic
>> etc, but the numbers aren't there. Same scenario as us. I am sure
>> everyone will miss them if they go.
>>
>> Brent
>>
>>> They say that no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy.
>>> Your customers are not your enemy, but the #1 killer of businesses is
>>> failure to set up an appropriate feedback and response loop. Your
>>> customers are telling you things thru their actions but not everyone can
>>> understand what they are saying and respond appropriately. This was
>>> Walmart's secret - there was (and is) absolutely nothing special about
>>> their stores, which are just big boxes with metal shelves that resemble
>>> K-mart stores and other now defunct discount stores. But they had a
>>> method of tracking sales closely so that if blue hi-top sneakers were
>>> selling well in Kansas City they'd get restocked before the shelves were
>>> empty and customers were leaving empty handed and if pink ones weren't
>>> selling in Omaha they wouldn't keep ordering more so that you'd have to
>>> put them on closeout in order to clear them out.
>>>
>>> If you plow ahead like a robot saying "my market niche is selling sweat
>>> socks. I'm a world renowned expert on sweat socks. My love and hobby is
>>> selling sweat socks. My market niche is selling sweat socks" and people
>>> don't really want enough sweat socks to sustain a business in your
>>> market, pretty soon the landlord is going to toss you out for
>>> non-payment of rent. Maybe you have to take a broader view of your
>>> niche - if people come into the store for sweat socks, is there
>>> something else that they need too, maybe sneakers or sweat bands? Maybe
>>> you should define your niche as "hosiery" and not just sweat socks. Or
>>> maybe sweat socks is too broad and you should sell only ladies wool
>>> sweat socks because they are 80% of your sales and you are losing money
>>> on the low margin slow moving men's cotton socks. The point is that you
>>> have to be dynamic and improvisational and respond to the actual
>>> situation on the ground and not cling to some pre-conceived business
>>> plan or notion of your market niche if the feedback you are getting from
>>> your customer's $ (these are more important than what your customers are
>>> telling you verbally - people may tell you want they think you want to
>>> hear or they may just be off the wall - "why don't you put in a sushi
>>> bar - that would be cool") is telling you otherwise.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> "bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote in message
>>> news:4649e3ef@nntp.zianet.com...
>>>>
>>>> I get folks wandering in from time to time that want to start a
>>>> coffeehouse and like my concept. I steer them to the book "The E-myth
>>>> Revisited" which is a good roadmap of what happens to us entreprenuers
>>>> when we are successful and then have to keep the doors open by actually
>>>> running a business instead of building one. Big difference. And
>>>> defining the market niche is a key element. Not wandering off (like me)
>>>> to see what that shiney object is over there by the flower bed.
>>>> Bernie (starter of projects-finisher of few)
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>




            
Date: 15 May 2007 20:11:50
From: Espressopithecus (Java Man)
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
In article <b7idnRtzI7RoatTbnZ2dnUVZ_sapnZ2d@comcast.com >,
nunuvyer@netscape.net says...
> Maybe you have to take a broader view of your niche - if people come into
> the store for sweat socks, is there something else that they need too, maybe
> sneakers or sweat bands? Maybe you should define your niche as "hosiery"
> and not just sweat socks. Or maybe sweat socks is too broad and you should
> sell only ladies wool sweat socks because they are 80% of your sales and you
> are losing money on the low margin slow moving men's cotton socks. The
> point is that you have to be dynamic and improvisational and respond to the
> actual situation on the ground and not cling to some pre-conceived business
> plan or notion of your market niche if the feedback you are getting from
> your customer's $ (these are more important than what your customers are
> telling you verbally - people may tell you want they think you want to hear
> or they may just be off the wall - "why don't you put in a sushi bar - that
> would be cool") is telling you otherwise.
>
Very good point. It really helps, though, to define a business by
identifying target customers and the value the business implicitly
promises to provide for them. Starbucks, for example, used to split
their business between "whole bean" and "make the scene". But they've
evolved. They now define their stores as "the third place" -- after
home and the office. They understand their customers and their
business, and they evolve with changes in their customer base. They
aren't coffee purists as we all know (and bitch about) but they've been
phenomenally successful with their business concept.

Businesses that define themselves by the value they provide (not the
product) and the customer group to whom they provide it have a better
chance of succeeding than ones that define their businesses by product
-- e.g. socks. With the feedback loop in place and a learning
orientation towards the feedback systematically collected, analyzed and
acted upon, businesses may still GO wrong from time to time, but they'll
seldom STAY wrong for long enough to get hurt.

Rick


            
Date: 15 May 2007 18:49:58
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Howdy Jack!
I liked your battle plan analogy - that's what business is, a constant
battle to establish & maintain one's position.

Wally World was an early adopter of technology, using computers to track
sales, reorder inventory & tracking individual customer groups by location,
est. income based on particular purchases, etc. That's the secret for their
success - J.I.T. inventory control & accurate marketing schemes (That &
being the first major retailer to completely stock their shelves with
products produced in China.)

The fact is that businesses start & fail all the time & there is no *one*
thing that causes most failures. But one common theme of successful startups
is that businesses with a well thought out business plan tends to succeed
more than those without a good plan. That doesn't mean the plan is cast in
iron (in fact I've heard them best described as "cast in Jell-O") & cannot
be modified, in fact few companies succeed past the start up phase without
tailoring their plan to fit reality.

But business plans are like spiritual beliefs, best if not changed
frequently and even then only by the application of cold & logical
reasoning, not spur of the moment decisions.
--
Robert (Please don't buy from folks that post advertisements in this
newsgroup!) Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.
"Jack Denver" <nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote in message
news:b7idnRtzI7RoatTbnZ2dnUVZ_sapnZ2d@comcast.com...
> They say that no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy.
> Your customers are not your enemy, but the #1 killer of businesses is
> failure to set up an appropriate feedback and response loop. Your
> customers are telling you things thru their actions but not everyone can
> understand what they are saying and respond appropriately. This was
> Walmart's secret - there was (and is) absolutely nothing special about
> their stores, which are just big boxes with metal shelves that resemble
> K-mart stores and other now defunct discount stores. But they had a method
> of tracking sales closely so that if blue hi-top sneakers were selling
> well in Kansas City they'd get restocked before the shelves were empty and
> customers were leaving empty handed and if pink ones weren't selling in
> Omaha they wouldn't keep ordering more so that you'd have to put them on
> closeout in order to clear them out.
>
> If you plow ahead like a robot saying "my market niche is selling sweat
> socks. I'm a world renowned expert on sweat socks. My love and hobby is
> selling sweat socks. My market niche is selling sweat socks" and people
> don't really want enough sweat socks to sustain a business in your market,
> pretty soon the landlord is going to toss you out for non-payment of rent.
> Maybe you have to take a broader view of your niche - if people come into
> the store for sweat socks, is there something else that they need too,
> maybe sneakers or sweat bands? Maybe you should define your niche as
> "hosiery" and not just sweat socks. Or maybe sweat socks is too broad and
> you should sell only ladies wool sweat socks because they are 80% of your
> sales and you are losing money on the low margin slow moving men's cotton
> socks. The point is that you have to be dynamic and improvisational and
> respond to the actual situation on the ground and not cling to some
> pre-conceived business plan or notion of your market niche if the feedback
> you are getting from your customer's $ (these are more important than what
> your customers are telling you verbally - people may tell you want they
> think you want to hear or they may just be off the wall - "why don't you
> put in a sushi bar - that would be cool") is telling you otherwise.
>
>
>
> "bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote in message
> news:4649e3ef@nntp.zianet.com...
>>
>> I get folks wandering in from time to time that want to start a
>> coffeehouse and like my concept. I steer them to the book "The E-myth
>> Revisited" which is a good roadmap of what happens to us entreprenuers
>> when we are successful and then have to keep the doors open by actually
>> running a business instead of building one. Big difference. And defining
>> the market niche is a key element. Not wandering off (like me) to see
>> what that shiney object is over there by the flower bed.
>> Bernie (starter of projects-finisher of few)
>
>




        
Date: 14 May 2007 21:15:04
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jack Denver wrote:
> This is where I'm losing you - why are green bean buyers less "regular" than
> roasted bean buyers? If you have the product price correctly, then both
> should be contributing toward covering your overhead. Green bean buyers
> drink just as much coffee (maybe more) than the average roasted buyer.
>
> It's great to be a specialist - maybe if you are making as much money as you
> can stand, you can afford to be a specialist and turn away people's money
> when they are begging to buy a product that is literally at your feet and
> which it would cost you nothing extra to sell. Until that day, I'd take
> their money.
>
> As I explained before, if you are going to stay in business long term, your
> "core" business should be the "making money" business. If that means
> selling toilet paper next to the coffee, then so be it - if your customers
> are coming in day after day asking for you to sell them toilet paper, you
> can either listen to them and make money or stand on principle and go broke.
> It sounds to me like you're taking a way too narrow view of what your
> business is. I realize you may not want to run a "general store" but if I
> had a coffee business I'd sure be selling filters, mugs, descaling solution,
> french presses, etc. and when someone came into the store I'd say "have you
> descaled your machine lately - you know that this should be done every 3
> months" or "we're having a special on Melitta filters this week" or "have
> you ever tried a french press - it really shows off the varietal character
> of the coffee." People don't like a hard sell but believe it or not ,
> they like it when someone knowledgeable sells them something that they
> really need and didn't know they needed - next week they come back and say
> "Y'know my machine works much better since I descaled it and cleaned the
> rancid oil out of the carafe." or "I really loved the taste of FP coffee."
> and the next time you suggest something else to them, they may buy that too.
>
> Sweetmarias is a highly specialized seller of green beans - a niche that is
> too small to support a B&M business. And yet if you look at his storefront,
> he has all the kind of things I mentioned and more (but no toilet paper).
> Even roasted coffee.
>

Okay, you're hired. What size apron do you wear? I'd love to see you
out on the floor selling...wait, I have to order some mugs, descaler,
filters, cones, gear and so forth. I'll get back to you on this, Jack.
Bernie


         
Date: 15 May 2007 11:09:15
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
A larger apron than my wife and daughter would prefer.

The commute may be a bit of a problem - I know that out West people often
drive long distances to work but 2000 miles each way may be stretching it.

Seriously though, I think that between the zero service we get in big box
stores and the tendency of young people (who often make up the retail sales
force) to want to act "cool" and indifferent like the zombie expressioned
fashion models you see in ads (and the fact that they don't care about sales
anyway since they get the same lousy wage whether they "upsell" or not) I
think that people actually MISS hearing an expert sales pitch ("Would you
like fries with that" doesn't count). How else can you explain the appeal
of infomercials - you can change the channel in an instant if you want and
yet people must stop and watch them (or they wouldn't be on)?

You sell roasted coffee and you DON'T sell paper filters? You're kidding
right? What do you think your customers are using to brew their coffee? A
dirty sock? You don't even have to say a word - just put the things next to
the register and they will sell themselves. Though you should. Every time
you sell a lb. of coffee - "are you low on filters?" Customer - "come to
think of it, I could use another package - thanks for reminding me." You
don't have mugs, T-shirts, etc.? College kids, visitors from out of town,
etc. love stuff with logos (especially if the design is attractive and has
"local color") and people will be paying money to advertise your
establishment. I'm weeping at the thought of all the money you are leaving
in your customer's pockets that could be yours.

"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:464925b9@nntp.zianet.com...
>
> Okay, you're hired. What size apron do you wear? I'd love to see you out
> on the floor selling...wait, I have to order some mugs, descaler, filters,
> cones, gear and so forth. I'll get back to you on this, Jack.
> Bernie




          
Date: 15 May 2007 10:31:00
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jack Denver wrote:
> A larger apron than my wife and daughter would prefer.
>
> The commute may be a bit of a problem - I know that out West people often
> drive long distances to work but 2000 miles each way may be stretching it.
>
> Seriously though, I think that between the zero service we get in big box
> stores and the tendency of young people (who often make up the retail sales
> force) to want to act "cool" and indifferent like the zombie expressioned
> fashion models you see in ads (and the fact that they don't care about sales
> anyway since they get the same lousy wage whether they "upsell" or not) I
> think that people actually MISS hearing an expert sales pitch ("Would you
> like fries with that" doesn't count). How else can you explain the appeal
> of infomercials - you can change the channel in an instant if you want and
> yet people must stop and watch them (or they wouldn't be on)?
>
> You sell roasted coffee and you DON'T sell paper filters? You're kidding
> right? What do you think your customers are using to brew their coffee? A
> dirty sock? You don't even have to say a word - just put the things next to
> the register and they will sell themselves. Though you should. Every time
> you sell a lb. of coffee - "are you low on filters?" Customer - "come to
> think of it, I could use another package - thanks for reminding me." You
> don't have mugs, T-shirts, etc.? College kids, visitors from out of town,
> etc. love stuff with logos (especially if the design is attractive and has
> "local color") and people will be paying money to advertise your
> establishment. I'm weeping at the thought of all the money you are leaving
> in your customer's pockets that could be yours.
>
> "bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote in message
> news:464925b9@nntp.zianet.com...
>
>> Okay, you're hired. What size apron do you wear? I'd love to see you out
>>on the floor selling...wait, I have to order some mugs, descaler, filters,
>>cones, gear and so forth. I'll get back to you on this, Jack.
>>Bernie
>
>
>

I don't sell filters. I do have a case of the new Baratza grinders in
the back. I should bring them out front, eh? We do have mugs with our
logo on it. I think those are on top of the pastry case, but it's a tall
one so you can't see them. They are next to the hats that are in an
unmarked box and you can't see them either. The t-shirts are in a good
spot. You better get out here, Jack. Things are looking grim.
Bernie


          
Date: 15 May 2007 11:08:28
From: Lloyd Parsons
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
In article <bM2dnVbTCKWGUNTbnZ2dnUVZ_oupnZ2d@comcast.com >,
"Jack Denver" <nunuvyer@netscape.net > wrote:

> A larger apron than my wife and daughter would prefer.
>
> The commute may be a bit of a problem - I know that out West people often
> drive long distances to work but 2000 miles each way may be stretching it.
>
> Seriously though, I think that between the zero service we get in big box
> stores and the tendency of young people (who often make up the retail sales
> force) to want to act "cool" and indifferent like the zombie expressioned
> fashion models you see in ads (and the fact that they don't care about sales
> anyway since they get the same lousy wage whether they "upsell" or not) I
> think that people actually MISS hearing an expert sales pitch ("Would you
> like fries with that" doesn't count). How else can you explain the appeal
> of infomercials - you can change the channel in an instant if you want and
> yet people must stop and watch them (or they wouldn't be on)?
>
> You sell roasted coffee and you DON'T sell paper filters? You're kidding
> right? What do you think your customers are using to brew their coffee? A
> dirty sock? You don't even have to say a word - just put the things next to
> the register and they will sell themselves. Though you should. Every time
> you sell a lb. of coffee - "are you low on filters?" Customer - "come to
> think of it, I could use another package - thanks for reminding me." You
> don't have mugs, T-shirts, etc.? College kids, visitors from out of town,
> etc. love stuff with logos (especially if the design is attractive and has
> "local color") and people will be paying money to advertise your
> establishment. I'm weeping at the thought of all the money you are leaving
> in your customer's pockets that could be yours.
>
> "bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com> wrote in message
> news:464925b9@nntp.zianet.com...
> >
> > Okay, you're hired. What size apron do you wear? I'd love to see you out
> > on the floor selling...wait, I have to order some mugs, descaler, filters,
> > cones, gear and so forth. I'll get back to you on this, Jack.
> > Bernie

I don't know the margins you run a coffee store/house on, but when I was
in the computer business, especially when the margins dropped through
the floor, it was the accessories that made the sale more profitable.

Take printer cables, for instance. I paid about $2 for them and never
sold them for less than $10 and yet at the time, $10 was considered a
bargain.


         
Date: 15 May 2007 15:48:11
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Darn, no one told me it was a job interview.

Um - what Jack said!

Brent
>
> Okay, you're hired. What size apron do you wear? I'd love to see you out
> on the floor selling...wait, I have to order some mugs, descaler, filters,
> cones, gear and so forth. I'll get back to you on this, Jack.
> Bernie




        
Date: 15 May 2007 14:59:35
From: Brent
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Hi Jack,

I guess I would sum it up as walk before you run.

I agree with you re Sweetmarias - Tom sells extras, and I would suggets that
some of them he is losing money on, and some he is only doing as a service
to enhance the primary business - green coffee.

I to sell equipment, but as Barry has entioned elsewhere the margins aren't
that great, so in my case I tend to try and get good deals for friends and
customers, and not worry about the rest. ths may change as well - who knows?

I know what you are saying, but when I look at the NZ roasters and then
wonder how any of the could fit in selling green as well, I don't think we
are that different to the US.

You are absolutely correct that the extras are easily sold if you know your
products etc etc etc and for that reason I have cleaning stuff for machines,
gaskets, seals baskets etc etc etc so when people need it they can get it
from me. The best group seal sale I did was a free seal. Of course the
Mazzer grinder looks great on his kitchen bench...

Even when we ran the cafe, we worked out before we closed it, that it was
more profitable for me to open late and finish up on another task. Part of
it is understanding the details... As I have said to a few people on running
a business - when planning you need to obsess about the details with respect
to costs etc, but once you start, forget about that and get on and run the
business. That early obsession has helped me work out that selling green is
a money loser for me. I suspect the same or similar calculations apply to
other roasters.

I guess what also makes it tricky to understand where I am coming from is
that I do turn customers away... :)

I also have the luxury of also having a day job.

Brent

> This is where I'm losing you - why are green bean buyers less "regular"
> than roasted bean buyers? If you have the product price correctly, then
> both should be contributing toward covering your overhead. Green bean
> buyers drink just as much coffee (maybe more) than the average roasted
> buyer.
>
> It's great to be a specialist - maybe if you are making as much money as
> you can stand, you can afford to be a specialist and turn away people's
> money when they are begging to buy a product that is literally at your
> feet and which it would cost you nothing extra to sell. Until that day,
> I'd take their money.
>
> As I explained before, if you are going to stay in business long term,
> your "core" business should be the "making money" business. If that means
> selling toilet paper next to the coffee, then so be it - if your customers
> are coming in day after day asking for you to sell them toilet paper, you
> can either listen to them and make money or stand on principle and go
> broke. It sounds to me like you're taking a way too narrow view of what
> your business is. I realize you may not want to run a "general store" but
> if I had a coffee business I'd sure be selling filters, mugs, descaling
> solution, french presses, etc. and when someone came into the store I'd
> say "have you descaled your machine lately - you know that this should be
> done every 3 months" or "we're having a special on Melitta filters this
> week" or "have you ever tried a french press - it really shows off the
> varietal character of the coffee." People don't like a hard sell but
> believe it or not , they like it when someone knowledgeable sells them
> something that they really need and didn't know they needed - next week
> they come back and say "Y'know my machine works much better since I
> descaled it and cleaned the rancid oil out of the carafe." or "I really
> loved the taste of FP coffee." and the next time you suggest something
> else to them, they may buy that too.
>
> Sweetmarias is a highly specialized seller of green beans - a niche that
> is too small to support a B&M business. And yet if you look at his
> storefront, he has all the kind of things I mentioned and more (but no
> toilet paper). Even roasted coffee.
>
>
>
> "Brent" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
> news:5as9sgF2og4l1U1@mid.individual.net...
>> That assumes you WANT to sell green coffee en masse - if that isn't your
>> thing, then you run a very real risk of upsetting the regulars, who
>> perhaps ar ethe ones who pay your rent etc....
>>
>> There is something to be said for being a specialist in your field,
>> sometimes it can appear dumb, but my day job involves being very
>> specialist in IT, and it's great to be able to say "I can't fix that,
>> it's your IT departments problem" of course that doesn't always work...
>>
>> In my case, we are focussing on growing a roasting business, so to dabble
>> in green would be a detrimental distraction to what we want to be our
>> core business...
>>
>> Brent
>>
>>>I don't agree with your "disappoint your regular customers" thing.
>>>
>>> 1st of all, once you equalize your margins, green buyers ARE your
>>> regular customers - when you sell a lb. of roasted, you are also one lb.
>>> closer to running out of that lot, but so what - who thinks that way?
>>> Coffee is by nature an annual crop and you are going to run out of this
>>> year's crop of any particular lot of coffee (or it will go stale) in a
>>> few months, one way or another. If a bean is truly in high demand and
>>> short supply, the classic economic solution would be to keep raising the
>>> price until supply and demand are balanced and you sell the last lb.
>>> just before the new crop arrives.
>>>
>>> The big roasters like Illy figured out decades ago that there is more
>>> than one way to skin a cat and not to hitch their wagons to any
>>> particular origin let alone a single lot or estate, and yet they are
>>> able to produce vast quantities of a consistent high quality blend
>>> without ever disappointing their customers. I know it is every coffee
>>> vendors and every coffee estate's wet dream that some day coffee will be
>>> like wine and there will be coffee "brands" like some of the "garage
>>> wines" that will demand stratospheric prices from those who crave the
>>> best but I don't see it happening - for one thing a lot of the wine
>>> trade is driven by investors who believe in the greater fool theory - as
>>> much as they overpay for a bottle of wine, they expect to find a greater
>>> fool who will pay even more for it later. Because of coffee's perishable
>>> nature it's more like grapes than wine and has no resale value.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> "jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net> wrote in message
>>> news:5sch439ka27tgs7hf8736kf1v64mcivhr9@4ax.com...
>>>> On Mon, 14 May 2007 12:58:21 -0400, "Jack Denver"
>>>> <nunuvyer@netscape.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>>It doesn't seem that hard to me to work
>>>>>backwards from your roasted coffee prices to come up with a price that
>>>>>will
>>>>>yield your customary margins - subtract out weight loss in roasting,
>>>>>roasting labor and energy and the capital cost of the roaster, etc.
>>>>
>>>> Even if you price the green and roasted so the profit on each is the
>>>> same; there are other considerations. Roasters typically have
>>>> wholesale and other regular customers who they don't want to piss off
>>>> by running out of their favorite coffees. For instance, Barry still
>>>> jabs me on occasion for causing a run on the green Haimi he had a few
>>>> years back after I raved it up. He only had a few bags, and had to
>>>> disappoint some of his regulars.
>>>>
>>>> Most roasters selling green on the internet don't sell their whole
>>>> list green becasue of this, but rather only the low volume, expensive
>>>> COE and auction coffees, along with beans which are plentiful at the
>>>> importers.
>>>>
>>>> The last few years have been golden for home roasters getting very
>>>> high quality green coffees, mainly because the $25 plus per pound
>>>> roasted market isn't very large yet, and roasters are happy to have a
>>>> back channel. I'm getting hints that this is changing; and that these
>>>> prime coffees may get harder to find in green form.
>>>>
>>>> Importers are going away from large generic lots, and "branding" more
>>>> and more coffees with grower and sometimes made up grower names. These
>>>> small lots aren't necessarily any better than large lots; since much
>>>> of it is just subdivided large lots with different labels. However, if
>>>> any of these small lots, no matter how it became a small lot, gets
>>>> good word of mouth, a good review somewhere, etc, they will sell out
>>>> very fast.
>>>>
>>>> An example is the "Blue Batak" Sumatra, which seems to have been added
>>>> to every premium espresso blend I saw at the SCAA this year, but cups
>>>> much the same as all other well prepped Lintongs.
>>>>
>>>> The high perceived quality of genuine COE, microlot and auction
>>>> coffees is prompting the aggressive branding of all sorts of green
>>>> coffees by all sorts of people. I think this may change the rules for
>>>> smaller shop roasters and home roasters, especially if consumers'
>>>> perceptions of brands moves from roasted to green coffees.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>
>




         
Date: 15 May 2007 13:19:52
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
That doesn't make any sense. In a B&M shop you may have loss leaders that
lure in traffic but I can't think of a single reason why an internet
retailer would want to carry accessories in order to lose money on them.
Tom prices these things at the regular retail, a price that enables B&M
retailers to make money even though they have to pay retail rent for shelf
space, so why would a virtual retailer with only a warehouse be unable to
make a profit on those same items? For the pricey slow selling items (e.g.
high priced espresso machines), I'd arrange drop ship so that the wholesaler
would ship directly to the customers and I wouldn't be stuck with a bunch of
high priced machines gathering dust on my shelves. I'd be shocked if Tom
(intentionally) lost money on a single item in his inventory. Occam's razor
tells me that the simplest explanation is that he's selling those things
because he makes money on them.



"Brent" <me@privacy.net > wrote in message
news:5asm1aF2qea76U1@mid.individual.net...
> Hi Jack,
>
> I guess I would sum it up as walk before you run.
>
> I agree with you re Sweetmarias - Tom sells extras, and I would suggets
> that some of them he is losing money on, and some he is only doing as a
> service to enhance the primary business - green coffee.
>




    
Date: 14 May 2007 11:53:30
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Jack Denver wrote:
> I grew up with a
> small retail business (primarily an egg farm) and my Dad's philosophy was
> that EVERYTHING was for sale so long as it yielded a profit - not just the
> eggs, but the chickens, the manure, the outbuildings that were not being
> used, the trees in the back field, the vegetables in the family garden,
> etc. He was not in the "egg" business or the "brown bean" business but the
> "making money" business

(large snips)

I got a great laugh out of this, Jack. My dad was, and is, the same
way at the age of 93. He only had a 7th grade education, but that was
plenty to make him an exceptionally gifted businessman. He used to say
he'd never met a man who went broke taking a little profit. Horses,
trailers, used tires, used 55gal barrels, buildings, farmland, water
rights, oil leases, gas leases, used drilling pipe, oil field equipment,
etc. He has sold it all and made a profit. And his customers often
became lifelong friends, although he has sadly outlived virtually all of
the people he did business with 30 and 40 years ago. You are right. We
are all in the end in the business of making money. I once worked in a
large not-for-profit hospital that did a spectacular job of providing
care to indigents and self-pay patients. The CEO took great pains to
explain pricing and profit to everyone including the housekeeping staff.
His main message was that though our mission was not for profit
healthcare there would be no mission without a good margin. Made sense
to all of us. Thanks for the little vignette.
Bernie (no ma'am-the handsome kid ain't for sale today)


     
Date: 14 May 2007 15:09:58
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
My dad would have been almost exactly the same age if he were still with
us.. I think it's no coincidence that that Depression generation was willing
to do whatever it took to put bread on the table for their family - whatever
was for sale, it sure wasn't their family. And you're right about the making
friends thing - the essence of a good deal is that both the buyer and the
seller will leave happy. How often do we get that feeling in retail today?


"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:4648a21a@nntp.zianet.com...
> Jack Denver wrote:
>> I grew up with a small retail business (primarily an egg farm) and my
>> Dad's philosophy was that EVERYTHING was for sale so long as it yielded a
>> profit - not just the eggs, but the chickens, the manure, the
>> outbuildings that were not being used, the trees in the back field, the
>> vegetables in the family garden, etc. He was not in the "egg" business
>> or the "brown bean" business but the "making money" business
>
> (large snips)
>
> I got a great laugh out of this, Jack. My dad was, and is, the same way
> at the age of 93. He only had a 7th grade education, but that was plenty
> to make him an exceptionally gifted businessman. He used to say he'd never
> met a man who went broke taking a little profit. Horses, trailers, used
> tires, used 55gal barrels, buildings, farmland, water rights, oil leases,
> gas leases, used drilling pipe, oil field equipment, etc. He has sold it
> all and made a profit. And his customers often became lifelong friends,
> although he has sadly outlived virtually all of the people he did business
> with 30 and 40 years ago. You are right. We are all in the end in the
> business of making money. I once worked in a large not-for-profit hospital
> that did a spectacular job of providing care to indigents and self-pay
> patients. The CEO took great pains to explain pricing and profit to
> everyone including the housekeeping staff. His main message was that
> though our mission was not for profit healthcare there would be no mission
> without a good margin. Made sense to all of us. Thanks for the little
> vignette.
> Bernie (no ma'am-the handsome kid ain't for sale today)




 
Date: 14 May 2007 00:55:53
From: Tony Jester
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:46478912@nntp.zianet.com...
> I'm
> curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
> mail.

I would not have a clue where to buy green beans locally. I do remember
once calling around town to the local coffee sellers to ask but most did not
even understand the question - "Green beans - what's that?"

I buy ALL my coffee on-line.




 
Date: 13 May 2007 19:55:22
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
bernie wrote:
> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking
> to buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during
> a roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls
> and walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome
> to poke around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around.
> Obviously I prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm
> curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
> mail. Anybody have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters
> who have no local access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in
> and am not about to start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just
> curious.My few green customers seem isolated from the home roast scene
> in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
> over cost if you are wondering.
> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)

I don't roast much anymore but take out the heat gun and dog bowl when
time and inclination coincide. The only local roaster is in a Fariway
supermarket which isn't exactly convenient to me but my girlfriend lives
closer and shops there often. Their roasted coffee is not as good as
what I get from Barry or Intelligentsia but is OK in a pinch. The
roaster guy is nice enough but is constrained to sell green beans at the
same price as roasted coffee. He doesn't choose the coffee, just roasts
it. So. like Alice, I'll do my research on-line and buy the best I can
find.

R "and save the 20% moisture loss for my trouble" TF







 
Date: 13 May 2007 23:55:06
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Howdy Bernie!
I buy mail order even though there are numerous sources in & around the
Houston area. I buy primarily from SM's because of their selection,
willingness to work with less than expert home roasters, and the speed with
which they fill & ship orders.
--
Robert Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

Remove "ZED" from address if replying by email.
"bernie" <bdigman@zianet.com > wrote in message
news:46478912@nntp.zianet.com...
> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking to
> buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during a
> roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls and
> walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome to poke
> around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around. Obviously I
> prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm curious as to
> the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via mail. Anybody
> have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters who have no local
> access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in and am not about to
> start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just curious.My few green
> customers seem isolated from the home roast scene in many respects. I
> usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound over cost if you are
> wondering.
> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)




 
Date: 13 May 2007 18:32:07
From: Lloyd Parsons
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
In article <46478912@nntp.zianet.com >, bernie <bdigman@zianet.com>
wrote:

> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking
> to buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during
> a roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls
> and walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome
> to poke around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around.
> Obviously I prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm
> curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
> mail. Anybody have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters
> who have no local access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in
> and am not about to start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just
> curious.My few green customers seem isolated from the home roast scene
> in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
> over cost if you are wondering.
> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)

I always buy mail order as there are no greens suppliers in my local
area. The few roasters I actually know also buy mail order.


 
Date: 13 May 2007 16:07:47
From: Cordovero
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters

> in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
> over cost if you are wondering.

Bernie,
As a home roaster who buys green beans, I'm begging you to raise your
prices. Remember that you are providing a service and also your expertise
in choosing and blending. I, for one, would hate to think that my green
bean seller was making so little, when I know I'm cheating them out of the
roasting profit.

When mail ordering green, I'd expect to pay between 4 and 5 bucks a pound
ceteris parabis. When having the convenience of buying in person, I'd
expect to pay at least 7.

Cordo




  
Date: 13 May 2007 20:25:20
From: bernie
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Cordovero wrote:
>>in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
>>over cost if you are wondering.
>
>
> Bernie,
> As a home roaster who buys green beans, I'm begging you to raise your
> prices. Remember that you are providing a service and also your expertise
> in choosing and blending. I, for one, would hate to think that my green
> bean seller was making so little, when I know I'm cheating them out of the
> roasting profit.
>
> When mail ordering green, I'd expect to pay between 4 and 5 bucks a pound
> ceteris parabis. When having the convenience of buying in person, I'd
> expect to pay at least 7.
>
> Cordo
>
>

Thanks for the concern, Cordo. But, I do so little that it really
makes no discernable difference if I charge a touch over my cost. I only
have half a dozen folks who buy regularly, but I sense more interest. I
rarely have one that is $4 a pound and most of the central and
southamericans go for $3. I don't do any blending of green and we only
have two or three blends outside our espresso. Normally there are 15 or
so coffees available.
Bernie


  
Date: 13 May 2007 19:47:45
From: Chris Holliday
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
"Cordovero" <cordoveroremovexxx@yahooxxx.com > wrote in message
news:f285ob$5g3$1@news.Stanford.EDU...
>
>> in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
>> over cost if you are wondering.
>
> Bernie,
> As a home roaster who buys green beans, I'm begging you to raise your
> prices. Remember that you are providing a service and also your expertise
> in choosing and blending. I, for one, would hate to think that my green
> bean seller was making so little, when I know I'm cheating them out of the
> roasting profit.
>
> When mail ordering green, I'd expect to pay between 4 and 5 bucks a pound
> ceteris parabis. When having the convenience of buying in person, I'd
> expect to pay at least 7.
>
> Cordo

I am with Cordo here. Raise your green prices. I have no access to good
quality greens. I can buy "Costa Rican" or "Ethiopian", but I have no access
to specific orgins/estates by any means other than online.





   
Date: 14 May 2007 11:13:18
From: Godzilla
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
Chris Holliday wrote:

> "Cordovero" <cordoveroremovexxx@yahooxxx.com> wrote in message
> news:f285ob$5g3$1@news.Stanford.EDU...
>>
>>> in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a
>>> pound over cost if you are wondering.
>>
>> Bernie,
>> As a home roaster who buys green beans, I'm begging you to raise
>> your
>> prices. Remember that you are providing a service and also your
>> expertise
>> in choosing and blending. I, for one, would hate to think that my
>> green bean seller was making so little, when I know I'm cheating
>> them out of the roasting profit.
>>
>> When mail ordering green, I'd expect to pay between 4 and 5 bucks a
>> pound
>> ceteris parabis. When having the convenience of buying in person,
>> I'd expect to pay at least 7.
>>
>> Cordo
>
> I am with Cordo here. Raise your green prices. I have no access to
> good quality greens. I can buy "Costa Rican" or "Ethiopian", but I
> have no access to specific orgins/estates by any means other than
> online.

IF (and that is a large conjectural "if,") there were a local roaster
that would sell quality beans to be for roasting at a reasonable
price, I would be more than likely to purchase other wares from him
out of gratitude (including some of his already roasted to act as a
standard to improve my own roasting technique.)

Am I the only person in this country that is attempting to live within
a fixed income? Somehow, I have never felt a compulsion to plead with
any retailer to raise their prices. Quite the opposite is true.
I am constantly playing one against the other to see where I could get
the best value. Do you also cajole your filling station to charge you
Five dollars a gallon for gas, instead of just scrimping by on "only"
Three dollars? ;-)

Godzilla


    
Date: 15 May 2007 06:13:01
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
On Mon, 14 May 2007 11:13:18 -0500, Godzilla <godzilla@monsters.org >
wrote:

>IF (and that is a large conjectural "if,") there were a local roaster
>that would sell quality beans to be for roasting at a reasonable
>price, I would be more than likely to purchase other wares from him
>out of gratitude (including some of his already roasted to act as a
>standard to improve my own roasting technique.)

Where do you live? Maybe we know one.

>Am I the only person in this country that is attempting to live within
>a fixed income? Somehow, I have never felt a compulsion to plead with
>any retailer to raise their prices. Quite the opposite is true.
>I am constantly playing one against the other to see where I could get
>the best value. Do you also cajole your filling station to charge you
>Five dollars a gallon for gas, instead of just scrimping by on "only"
>Three dollars? ;-)

Bernie isn't Exxon. Friends help friends.

Marshall


 
Date: 13 May 2007 18:09:04
From: Alice Faber
Subject: Re: Question for the home roasters
In article <46478912@nntp.zianet.com >, bernie <bdigman@zianet.com>
wrote:

> I have been having more and more local customers coming in and asking
> to buy green beans which I'm happy to do. Usually if they show up during
> a roasting session on the Diedrich IR12 I'll put them on the controls
> and walk them through a roast while talking roasting. They are welcome
> to poke around and sift through the green supplies while I'm around.
> Obviously I prefer they not be in the beans when I'm not present. I'm
> curious as to the percentage of green beans you guys have to source via
> mail. Anybody have a good guess as to the percentage of home roasters
> who have no local access to green? I don't sell other than to walk-in
> and am not about to start so this isn't a market survey. I'm just
> curious.My few green customers seem isolated from the home roast scene
> in many respects. I usually sell the green at about fifty cents a pound
> over cost if you are wondering.
> Bernie (the opposite of a home roaster-a work place roaster)

The only local roaster who sells greens isn't very convenient. If I know
what I want, they'd send the beans to a closer shop for me. But, for me,
the whole point of buying locally would be to decide, on impulse, what
to get. If I have to decide in advance, I might as well deal with
someone who has a larger selection (and good roasting notes!).

--
AF
"Non Sequitur U has a really, really lousy debate team."
--artyw raises the bar on rec.sport.baseball