What I Wish I Knew: Advice From Coffee Shop Owners

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The following post originally appeared in full on the Bond Street Small Business Blog

Starting a coffee business is not for the faint of heart. It will bring blood, sweat, and tears (plus a lot of caffeine).

Yet, there’s still something that makes the pursuit worthwhile.

And as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. So what better way to truly learn what it takes to successfully build a coffee business than to turn to those who know best?

The editors at Bond Street asked individuals behind some of America’s best cups  to share what they wish they knew before opening their coffee shops, or other caffeine-infused operations. The result is 33 pieces of advice that all aspiring entrepreneurs would benefit from knowing.

From mistakes made to tricks of the trade, you’re bound to discover at least one nugget of wisdom that will save you time, money, energy, and quite possibly your sanity — or all of the above.

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NCA Member Spotlight: Bühler

“Coffee is part of an ongoing evolution that brings challenges, unleashing new ideas.”

COMPANY: Buhler, Inc.
LOCATION: Minneapolis, MNSnip20170517_3
TWITTER: @buhlergroup.com
FACEBOOK: /buhlergroup
LINKEDIN: Buhler Group

Answers attributed to Oskar Rutishauser, Sales Account Manager for Coffee in North America, Buhler Group.

What does Buhler do?

We provide turn-key coffee plant solutions for the entire spectrum of coffee processing, from green intake of coffee, to cleaning, to roasting, grinding and degasing. [We use] a variety of conveying solutions to integrate total process.

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Cold Brew Is Definitely a Thing, Dictionary Confirms

…. And apparently man buns are, too. 

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Cold brew continues to be one of the hottest trends in the coffee market: About 10% of daily coffee consumers reported drinking it past-day in 2017, via the latest National Coffee Drinking Trends report – up from only 1% in 2015.

And it’s not just for the coffee geeks and hipsters anymore: the popular beverage is now officially accepted into mainstream culture.

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From Brew Boomers to the Gourmet Generation: National Coffee Drinking Trends 2017

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By Kyra Auffermann, NCA

Today’s “typical” cup of coffee is anything but – it may not even be a cup.

Innovation is fueling growth across the gourmet coffee segment (aka specialty coffee), according to the new NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends Report 2017, released at the NCA 2017 Annual Convention in Austin on March 25, presented by Michael Edwards, Dig Insights.

The latest data shows a market shift toward high-quality, premium beverages, with younger demographics driving this change.

So what does this mean for the coffee industry? Here are the top consumption trends, based on the latest market data.

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Data Snapshot: Coffee Brews Success in Asia

The global coffee market continues to brew up a storm, and Asia is playing a key role in its growth.

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New research from Mintel reveals that three out of the five fastest growing retail coffee markets are in Asia. Indonesia is currently the fastest growing packaged retail coffee market with a CAGR of 19.6% over the past five years, while India has had a CAGR of 15.1%, and Vietnam 14.9%.

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Seeding Coffee’s Future: A Conversation About Conservation and Verification

By Hanna Neuschwander, World Coffee Research

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An unidentified Coffea species found in Madagascar, which is preserved in a coffee genebank. Ensuring these genebanks have adequate funding to continue operations should be a major priority of the coffee industry. Source: Sarada Krishnan

Sometimes facts are so obvious they become invisible.

In the case of coffee, one of those facts is this: Coffee comes from a plant. The entire $225 billion dollar coffee industry in the U.S. is built up from the roots of billions of living, breathing coffee plants that spend their days turning sunlight into fruit. Once you stop and think about it, it’s kind of profound. Nearly 1.7 million jobs — including, if you are reading this, probably yours — depend on those plants doing their thing, photosynthesizing, outsmarting diseases and pests, being rained on at the right time in the right amounts.

It’s also profound to think about just how fragile the entire arrangement is. The vast majority of coffee plants in the field today are really, really (really) genetically similar. Most varieties are not resistant to major diseases. Most are way too old (World Coffee Research guesses that about 50% of coffee trees are more than 50 years old). That leaves coffee especially vulnerable — to disease epidemics like the one that devastated Central American production after 2012, to extremes in weather like excessive rain or drought or frost.

When crops are facing challenges like these, it helps to go back to basics: Coffee is a plant. So — what is needed to help the plant thrive? And, thereby, to help the humans who depend on it?

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Flavor, Fat, and Fermentation: 5 Coffee Trends You Can’t Ignore

By Kyra Auffermann, NCA

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For today’s consumers, it’s more than “just” a cup of coffee. From extra antioxidants to artisanal craftsmanship, the future of coffee is anything but ordinary.

During the recent NCA webinar, “Coffee Outlook 2017,” Datassential’s Mark DiDomenico shared how the latest food trends are impacting the coffee market:

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Innovation, Sustainability, and the Global Coffee Industry

By Bambi Semroc, Conservation International

[Ed. note: To learn more about this project, join Bambi Semroc and Annette Pensel, Global Coffee Platform, for the breakout session “Making Coffee the First Sustainable Commodity,” at the NCA Annual Convention 2017, March 23-25, Austin, TX]

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Source: Conservation International, Cristina Mittermeier ©

Innovation is all around us.

From a 3D printer that enables doctors to construct human tissue, to a virtual reality headset that transports a policymaker in Washington, DC to a remote village in the Amazon to experience projects helping prevent deforestation. Things we never dreamed of 20 years ago are changing our daily lives. And, innovation is not just defined as “the next hot thing” – it’s critical to ensuring the sustainable growth of an industry.

The coffee sector is continually innovating. Consider the new roasting and brewing techniques that led to cold brew and single serve coffees. Or, consumer engagement through creative retail shops offering everything from hands-on technology to fully compostable cups.

That said, innovation in coffee also includes things the everyday drinker might not know about – from researchers developing new varieties and improved practices, to small-scale farmers adopting those varieties and experimenting with new techniques on their farms.

One of the most important innovations the coffee sector has been leading includes the work being done on sustainability.

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