Starting a coffee business

Making brown coffee greener..

Making coffee greener! a short piece on reducing the environmental impact of roasted coffee -

Doesn’t sound right does it?  Our aim when roasting coffee is to turn it from green to roasted brown!  But.. there’s no getting away from the fact that coffee already travels thousands of miles to get to the UK, and the processes upstream could involve  deforestation , low wages, poor working conditions gang style management and probably other less desirable attributes.

‘Doing our bit’ to reduce the impact may just be a small step in making coffee greener or fairer.

We try to always use recyclable or biodegradable packaging.  However, whilst being ‘green’ is obviously good it’s difficult to get the same quality finish.  Whether our consumers would prefer quality over  sustainability  is one of the areas we’re going to look at.
Buying from trusted and quality coffee importers who share the same vision is also important, but this has an impact on price.
Using electric roasters rather than gas might also be the best way forward and switching our electricity tariff to a green tariff might also help.

Over the coming months we’ll be reviewing how we run Sidewalk Coffee to see if we can make some further small steps in making a difference.
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Starting a coffee roastery

Early days…

Sometime in 2015 I decided to finally get started on getting a coffee business up and running.

I have been successfully and fully employed in a decent, well paid job for as long as I can remember so transforming my life wasn’t an easy decision to make.

There’s a lot to learn about coffee. Not just the origins, but the roast types, brew types not to mention how to bag, grind and store the product.

It amazed me that as a civilization we have achieved so much, but failed to nail down how to roast and make coffee. There are so many varying opinions!

I’ll be writing down my experiences and thoughts on starting Sidewalk Coffee. So keep reading and learning (I’ll be doing the same).


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Post office and coffee bags

Post office and coffee bags

One of the many things to work out when starting an online coffee business is the postal service. They charge you based on:


Now. That doesn’t sound that bad but I’ve become a little obsessed with getting the best price and not paying the small parcel size for coffee bags.

Basically the challenge is to get 250g of coffee into a package that isn't wider than 2.5cm.  You can just about do that with the right sized bag.  Remember to use a valved bag because the coffee will degas a little and puff the bag out!

Next challenge..  Getting 2 x 250g coffee bags into a large letter size...


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