Coffee is ME Podcast

Valerian Hrala

Podcast for coffee professionals and enthusiasts. Valerian interviews emerging and established coffee professionals who are ready to reveal their secrets so you can use them to improve the quality of your coffee and boost your coffee business. Valerian works on online coffee education projects from his home in Northern California. Originally he is from Central Europe where he co-owns a third wave coffee roasting company called Green Plantation.

All Episodes

In this show, I interview Gleason Jones from Opelika, Alabama and founder of Minimalist Coffee. Minimalist Coffee is the brand new venture of this 25-year-old entrepreneurial gentleman, addressing the need for a good, freshly roasted coffee with associated charity contributions in the local community.  Gleason dared to violate my rule for the size of the coffee roaster. How's that working for him? Can he make a sustainable business with a 2 kg roaster? Gleason owns a former school bus that he retrofitted for mobile coffee sales. The coffee bus drew not only my attention, but also that of the local young coffee lovers hovering around it. Gleason reveals his first triumphs and mistakes selling coffee this way.   Can social media influencers help sell your coffee? Gleason shares his experience.  Finally, Gleason reviews what it was like studying at Boot Coffee Campus and Valerian describes a new course for coffee entrepreneurs.  Enjoy the show.

Oct 25

1 hr 12 min

For this episode we asked you, our listeners, to send us questions - and to plug your business. You sent thought provoking questions which challenged us -- Valerian and Marcus to think outside the box, share their experiences, and call upon their combined experience to come up with possible answers.  We have tasted and drank a lot of coffee, and listener Katie asks us to name the single best cup of coffee each of us has ever had, in our entire lives. Did we choose one of the award winning geshas we often roast and cup, or some experimental process, or something else entirely?  Tune in and hear our opinions of the optimal location to open a roaster / retail store. Valerian shares an interesting challenge he faced at Green Plantation opening in a beautiful rural setting.  Other listeners asked about ideal roast profiles which leads Marcus to encourage all roasters to become confident cuppers and to be rigorous about tracking their data. Our listen John Bergman from Hacienda Coffee had a very specific question about sample roasting on a fluid bed roasters versus a drum roaster, and our hosts discuss the challenges and possible solutions to roasting on machines that utilize different thermodynamic principles. Marcus and Valerian also discuss how they approach blends and Marcus challenges Valerian to try a new technique. Does it matter if coffees are blended with vastly different physical characteristics? Will a blend taste good if you give up some control in the name of consistency? Is the cupping table the best place for product development and QC, or should you use other brew methods too? We hopee you enjoy hearing from listeners and our feedback. Maybe in the future we’ll answer your question.  

Jul 13

1 hr 29 min

Anya and Matt are prime examples of the American dream: they had a dream and they invested all their time, money, and energy to make it a reality. The result has enriched  the L.A. coffee culture and brought a unidog to the bottom of the cup. As a European living in the USA, I have always admired the entrepreneurial spirit of my American friends, and I love the unidog. If you do not know what a unidolg is, don't worry, we talk about it in the podcast. In this episode, we talked about the process of starting a cafe, and Anya and Matt explain why was it important for them to roast their own coffee. Spoiler alert--it was not the cost. I feel very proud that Anya and Matt implemented the roasting model that works so well for my European business, Green Plantation, where we roast two days a week and spend the rest of the time on sales, marketing, or resting. Guess where they learned about it? Yes, it was in this podcast. Anya and Matt love to travel and during these travels, they have developed special relations with farmers in coffee lands, bringing them even closer to their coffee and enabling them to relay the story of each coffee in real depth for their customers. Meeting Anya and Matt was truly amazing and we clicked right away. I'm only sorry that it took me such a long time to bring their wisdom and energy to this podcast. But here it is and I hope you will enjoy listening as much as we did recording it.

Jun 14

1 hr 22 min

In this podcast I interviewed Darren Spicer of Clutch Coffee Bar, a fast-growing coffee drive-through chain. Drive-throughs are a bit foreign to me. I've never used one and personally I consume coffee differently, but most Americans welcome a good coffee on the long commute to work. I am always intrigued about the unknown, so I was very happy when Darren's path crossed with mine in this podcast episode. Like a good drive-through, Darren is a very composed, efficient and to-the-point fellow. If you are playing with the idea of starting a coffee drive-through, there is plenty of gold for you in this episode. We will discuss the best locations for a successful coffee drive-through, the way to make your coffee service efficient, and the most popular and profitable beverages in your café or coffee drive-through. We also touch on the advantages and disadvantages of a franchise model, and whether a coffee drive-through would work in Europe. Enjoy this episode! CLUTCH COFFEE BAR WEBSITE CLUTCH COFFEE BAR INSTAGRAM CLUTCH COFFEE BAR FACEBOOK

May 5

1 hr 1 min

Last year my business partner William Murad and I offered our coffee roasting company, Unleashed Coffee, for sale over this podcast. You know me by now, I live for experiments like this. I was curious whether this podcast was influential enough to sell a company. Spoiler alert! The answer is YES.  For this episode I interviewed the new owner - Kelly Abbott. The deal is done, and in the first part of the interview I was curious to look behind the curtain from when we were negotiating the sale of Unleashed Coffee. I think this part is super useful for anyone who is planning to buy or sell a small business: you can learn from our strategies, wins and missteps in the process.  In the other part of this episode, I wanted to find out what happened after we sold the company to Kelly, what were her first steps and what are her future plans with the company.  On this podcast we have featured a lot of great coffee business origin stories; most of these companies are doing amazing things in the industry and inspire us all. Our goal is always to show our companies’ projects in the best light and to focus on success. But the truth is, sometimes doing business is hard, frustrating and overwhelming. Kelly and I opened up about this taboo topic in the entrepreneur's world.  Have you ever wondered whether your product is too cheap? Is it better to offer a more expensive product and subsidized free shipping, or a cheaper product and let the customer pay for shipping? Kelly was inspired by the Amazon Prime model and made her own discovery in this field. We talk about this decision on the podcast.  Enjoy the show!  PS: Please ignore my bad math in the intro of the podcast. We are doing the 7th season of this podcast, not the 6th! Thank you for all your support!

Apr 13

1 hr 32 min

In this podcast I welcome back Marcus Young from Boot Coffee. This is an episode where we discuss the most common questions we get from our consulting clients. No, you do not have to pay a dime for this, but a review on Apple Podcasts is welcome.  Thanks. We start the podcast with a discussion about designing a roast profile. Is there such a thing as a correct approach? How many roast profiles should a roasting company have?  Then I put a gun to Marcus's (and my head) and force us to come up with only one roast profile for a new startup. How would it look and why? Only one way to find out: click that Play button. When starting a coffee roasting business, you most likely will have a limited budget and will have to compromise on the quantity of green coffee you can purchase. Each of us came up with three types of coffees we would want to launch with. Spoiler alert: one of them is a decaf. What? Yes, decaf. Why? Find out in this episode of the podcast. Should a coffee roasting startup buy their coffee through direct trade or use an importer? If you go with an importer, Marcus (a former green coffee trader himself) will give you a few tips on how to develop relationships with importers.  Finally, in this episode we revisit the ideal size of a coffee roaster. Finally we agreed on something with Marcus! :) We hope you will have as much fun listening to this podcast as we had recording it.  We have officially launched Black Friday deals, hence this is the Black Friday edition. Until December 1st, 2020 you can enjoy one of these deals. Use coupon code: coffeeisme  

Nov 2020

1 hr 6 min

In this podcast I talked with Lee Pike from the International Women's Coffee Alliance, about the role of women in the industry and what the IWCA does to help improve the life of women coffee producers. The IWCA is a global network of self-driven chapters focused on achieving sustainable livelihoods in their communities. Each chapter sets and pursues its own goals, guided by the IWCA Code of Conduct. All are united by the IWCA mission: to empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives and to recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry. We also touched on sensitive topics, including why the Coffee Is Me podcast does not have more women on the show, why our industry is male dominated and whether the lots produced by women farmers have any specific recognizable taste profile. I was also interested to know if there are benefits to roasting companies marketing their coffee as coming from a woman producer.

Nov 2020

52 min 35 sec

I met Frankie at one of the Q Grader courses at Boot Coffee.  She was 12 and taking part in cupping with us. In this episode I am talking with Frankie Volkema about her brand, Joven Coffee. Frankie's mission is to introduce consumers to young coffee producers. Her goal is to help these producers stay in the coffee industry and to create a sustainable future for them.   Frankie shares some insights on being a teenager entrepreneur, and gives some ideas for other aspiring young entrepreneurs.  Frankie and I also talk about her Q Grader course and exam. I was impressed that she passed these rigorous tests and I was curious what tips she might have on how to pass your Q grader exam. Enjoy the episode. For links mentioned in this episode please visit : Coffee Is ME.

Oct 2020

42 min 40 sec

Tim is not new in the business world, he built and sold a few successful ventures. When he moved to Grand Rapids, MI, he decided to skip the line and buy his next venture instead of doing the startup hustle.  In this podcast Tim elaborates on why he decided to buy in rather than start up, and whether it was a good idea. He  also gives us valuable tips about how to find and evaluate a company if you’re  thinking to purchase your own. Topics in this show include:  How and why to buy a coffee company Which sales channels do work for Schuil Coffee Flavored coffee. New trend or ghost from the past? What is the magical pricing for grocery stores How to sell your coffee with Trade subscription service Is working with distributors worth it?  Is renting time on your coffee roasters smart? Finally this episode, has a big announcement regarding Unleashed Coffee. If you plan to start a coffee roasting company, you should definitely not miss that part.   Thank you for listening and I hope you will enjoy this episode.   Valerian  

Oct 2020

1 hr 13 min

My guest in this episode is Stephen Ezell. Stephen is my old buddy, who together with Jonathan Shepard started Sequential Coffee. Jonathan is the business brain and Stephen is the coffee brain of this operation. It is a dream combo for every coffee nerd out there. Lucky Stephen! In this episode, we talked about the first steps and challenges when starting a coffee roasting operation. Sequential Coffee sells online using Shopify, but also retails in grocery stores, and they recently even started a kiosk. Which of these were good decisions? We also discussed how Covid has influenced their operation and the opportunities this crazy time can offer.  Want to start to work in the coffee industry but don’t know where to start?  Stephen revealed his tips for careers in the industry where you can make a decent living wage. We hope you will enjoy this episode.   Find Sequential Coffee:  website instagram facebook

Sep 2020

1 hr 12 min

I am not sure whether it is Joey's fascinating story or the current global situation, but this episode got a bit personal.    Joey first started trading in “commodities” as a drug user and later dealer.  Today he is the CEO of Cafe Kreyol  -- a direct trade coffee importing and roasting company based in Manassas, Virginia.  His path was not straight, but finding God and purpose in his life led him out of the darkness.   Cafe Kreyol has a strong foot in the In this episode I meant to be funny with A question about how his drug smuggling experience helped with direct trade.    That question ended up on the cutting room floor, but we did talk about having a social mission and how it can or can't help with your business, and about coffee farming in Haiti; we discussed different coffee roasters we have used, Joe's wins and losses while building his brand, and finally we returned to a discussion about the universe, soil, and human ego.

Jul 2020

1 hr 8 min

Mitchell Popadziuk managed to fall into a perfect team. He is the business mastermind, his brother Tristan brings the coffee passion, and their mother Kelly is the soul of sales and marketing. I am jealous! In a good way ... :) [CxT] is a very young but dynamically growing company which, despite to the fact that Mitch is a podcast listener, fell into the same trap that we at Green Plantation coffee did: underestimating their growth. They initially invested in a US Roaster Corp 5kg roaster which they outgrew very fast. Now they roast on a Loring Falcon. Mitch and I also discussed their sales channels and I shared my experience selling on Amazon, Ebay and Spinn Marketplace. This is the first episode where the guest asked me a question and boy, did I have fun with it! We talked a bit about the idea of electric heating elements in drum roasters and also about use of influencers and Tik Tok for coffee sales.

Jun 2020

1 hr 19 min

Nick Walton is a rebel... was a rebel. He grew up on a milk farm, but his revolutionary attitude towards his parents drove his dad to say "enough! Time to grow up!" Nick's coffee story starts with sleeping in a car while homeless. Was this the push he needed to take life seriously, which finds its conclusion in a mysteriously-named coffee roasting company Flag and Wire? I will let him tell the story. As fascinating Nick's story is, our conversation is not only about him. We dig in into concrete strategies and tips for every coffee entrepreneur. We start with advice on naming your company. Nick and his wife hired a naming consultant. I wanted to know how that worked for them, was it worth it? Nick shares his very interesting take on passion in the coffee industry, and how his custom-built air roaster irritated other coffee professionals. We also discuss our experiences with different channels when it comes to selling coffee. Where are they getting results, wholesale, grocery stores, a web shop? Finally we gave some love to a few wine producers. Since we recorded the podcast remotely early in the day, we did not pop any wine this time, but we discussed our favorite wine makers. My suggestion was from Rachel Ryan - Sierra Foothills Chardonnay, and Nick suggested wine makers like Eyrie Vineyards, A to Z, Brooks Wines. You can find Flag And Wire: Website Instagram Facebook

May 2020

1 hr 11 min

We are back with a great new podcast featuring a really cool new innovation in coffee roasting - the Bellwether Coffee Roasting Machine. Bellwether has developed a new type of small-batch electric commercial coffee roaster. It doesn’t require ventilation, a gas line, or even a contractor or complicated permit to install. It features tablet based roasting software, and the company has a green coffee sourcing division that allows companies to get up and running quickly with customized roast profiles for each of the coffees in their inventory. Does this sound too good to be true? It may have been designed and built by coffee people, but we were uncertain of the efficacy, practicality, ability to produce delicious coffee, and the cost benefits of such a device. We wondered, do we really need a new roaster? Well, we’ve tasted the coffee and can confidently claim it produces a delicious roast. After seeing the operation, we were equally impressed by what they’ve produced. Join Valerian and Marcus as we discuss this new technology with Arno Holschuh, Bellwether’s Chief Coffee Officer and one of the early innovators of the Bellwether Roaster

Mar 2020

1 hr 13 min

We are back with part 2 of our discussion with Umeko Motoyoshi, coffee entrepreneur, social media expert, educator, and author. In this episode we continue last week’s discussion with the author of The @wastingcoffee Guide To Not Wasting Coffee and purveyor of the Umeshiso Cupping Spoons. This week we share the results of a super fun and enlightening consumer experiment Valerian, Marcus, and Melissa conducted at the Boot Coffee Campus booth at the San Francisco Coffee Festival and hear Umeko’s take on the experiment and how consumers approach coffee differently from coffee professionals. Umeko also shares some of her secret sauce for social media success. With over 13,000 followers, she knows how to engage social media users! Listen in and learn how being genuine and showing yourself is one way to build a brand. We ask Umeko how influencers, specifically micro influencers, can build a brand; and explore how you can build and reinforce trust in your brand through your social media presence (or risk losing trust).  Learn more about The @Wastingcoffee Guide to Not Wasting Coffee and some of the ways Umeko sees our industry normalizing waste and devaluing coffee and the work of everyone involved. It’s an important discussion that she’s tackling head on!

Dec 2019

41 min 57 sec

This week we talk with Q grader, author, educator, entrepreneur Umeko Motoyoshi. This is part 1 of a two part episode with Umeko, the creator of the Umeshiso rainbow cupping spoon and author of The @wastingcoffee Guide To Not Wasting Coffee. We discuss how making the cupping and tasting environment more inclusive and accessible can draw customers into the discussion of flavor and taste. Umeko discusses how we should bring ourselves into the cupping room, how taste and flavor perception and experiences are deeply personal, and that it’s okay if we don’t all share the same experience of a coffee. The conversations ranges from Q Grading and the goal objectivity, the way the SCA cupping form informs our experiences and the influence of our upbringings. We loved hosting Umeko and her throughtfulness. Join us as we share impressions of La Mula geisha from Panama, an incredible robusta Marcus discovered on a recent trip to Brazil from Cafe Fazenda Venturim, and two of Valerian’s coffees - one from Green Plantation in Slovakia and the other from Unleashed Coffee in the US. We will soon post the rest of the discussion in part two where talk about social media, building a brand, and other entrepreneurial topics.

Dec 2019

48 min 6 sec

In this episode, we interview Rick Appleton (Boston) and Abdulrahman Qurban (Saudi Arabia), students attending the SCA Sensory class at Boot Coffee Campus. What were the hardest parts of the course and what was the ultimate takeaway?  Valerian tests Rick's newly acquired ability to evaluate coffee by applying his skills tasting his skin contact natural wine. How does Rick do?  What is the difference between the SCA Sensory class and the Q Grader class? All these questions are answered in this episode.     

Nov 2019

1 hr 3 min

In this episode, we will explore the world of wine with Eric Danch. We focus on tasting and sensory comparison between wine and coffee, but we also touch on the importance of origin, farming and processing techniques when determining the pricing of wine or coffee. Eric was kind enough to share some business techniques they use in the wine industry that can also be used in the coffee world.  In this episode, we talk a lot about Valerian's birthplace, Komarno, and the wines of Hungary, Slovakia, and Serbia while drinking Bott Frigyes - 2018 Kadarka. Wine for this podcast was provided by: Danch & Granger - Wines from Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, and Croatia.  

Oct 2019

1 hr 21 min

  In this podcast, we will revisit the question of what is the ideal size of the roaster one should buy for their coffee roasting startup. You can find my old article here: https://coffeecourses.com/buying-a-coffee-roaster-here-are-few-considerations-so-you-do-not-get-burned/ We also got a few questions from you! Thanks! We feel your questions make this podcast more dynamic. Keep them coming, please. 1 Love the podcast! I have a question about adjusting a roasting profile as a coffee ages. We’ve had a few coffees that started out wonderful and juicy, but as the enter or near the ‘past crop’ zone start to taste woody, papery, or sometimes underdeveloped, any advice on how to adjust our profiles?  thanks Matt, Matthew Schodorf Founder / Roaster / Café de Leche ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 I do have a question, and I shall take your roasting courses if you give the answer that cures the issue we are facing. We do roast green coffee beans from China and from Indonesia, of course, each single source is roasted separately. We do not roast blended green beans. The issue we face is that we always get color inconsistency in the roasted coffee within one batch (uneven coffee color for the same roasted batch). Our roaster is 3 kg (max load for each batch is 2.500 kg of green beans).  We pre-heat up to 150 Celsius some times 170 Celsius (experimenting). This is always the case with Medium Dark roast (we drop down the roasted batch immediately after quietness of 1st crack), and not with the dark roast Your help in this is highly appreciated. Best regards Samir H Yousef 3 Hi, this is Candy from Southeastern Roastery. I’m opening a cafe this fall 2019 in Riverdale Park, MD and already have a few wholesale clients with more interested. I am running into an issue regularly where potential clients want a tasting, have equipment but don’t have it connected (espresso machines, grinders, etc). My first question is what are the best portable equipment for tastings as I’m getting my shop built out?  My second question is how to best mimic and espresso with portable equipment? I find it hard with a French Press, water hot pot and portable grinder. Thanks, Candy Schibli ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4 If I wanted to donate a portion of my coffee business profits to coffee producers in need, how would I do it? Seasonality: I need a guide to determining when I should buy a certain country's coffee. I want to buy at the beginning or middle of the season & not at the end Dan Gorman, Punto Fino Coffee,  Fairfax  5 When is the best time to adjust drum speed? Drying phase Maillard, after first crack? I’ve read what Scott Rao has to say about rpm for specific roasters depending on the roaster size and would agree with him for the most part. What I can’t seem to understand is at what point do you adjust drum speed when trying to create the best curve/profile for a specialty coffee?! Too slow will cause more conduction heat and scorched coffee Appropriate speed will give you a good well-rounded coffee if the roaster is skilled enough. Too fast will also give you scorched coffee since beans aren’t flowing in the drum properly I’m trying to think outside the box and figure out how to manipulate drum speed to create an outstanding cup of coffee. I understand there are many factors involved such as atmospheric pressure, ambient temperature, humidity.. etc but I truly believe there has to be a way to slow down Maillard with drum speed to fully develops sugars and achieve a better end result.. questions is how? Rudy Altamirano, LuwakCafe, Tijuana Mexico

Sep 2019

1 hr 15 min

After a healthy intro about natural wine Marcus and I will answer your questions about coffee roasting. Wine provided for this episode was by Noel Diaz and his Purity Wine. These were your questions we've answered on this episode: 1. ABOUT CAFFEINE I’ve come to believe (but never actually tested) that darker roasted coffee has less caffeine, but I’ve also read that Starbucks is teaching its employees that this is a myth.  Can you settle this for me? Darron Burke   www.cafedonpablo.com https://youtu.be/_YVRDkPRB0   2. ABOUT PRE VS POST ROAST BLENDING COFFEE "Hey guys! Haven't heard of your podcast until now, although we are familiar with Boot Coffee Campus. I look forward to tuning in. I'm with Camellia Coffee Roasters out of Sacramento. We've been roasting for about 3 years as Camellia and have had our cafe for about a year and a half. I would be interested in knowing your thoughts on pre-blending coffee before roast?"   Robert Watson, camelliacoffeeroasters.com   3. ABOUT LPG vs NATURAL GAS IN COFFEE ROASTING Are there any significant differences in roasting on a LPG fired vs natural gas fired roaster, all else being equal? Bill McCachren   4. ABOUT LPG vs NATURAL GAS IN COFFEE ROASTING Are there any significant differences in roasting on a LPG fired vs natural gas fired roaster, all else being equal? Bill McCachren   5. ABOUT UPGRADING A FLUID BED ROASTER We’re about a year into the roasting business and have started having some small success at both a large, local upscale Farmer’s Market and, more recently, several stores within a grocery store chain located here in Birmingham, AL.  Lots of learning and we’re having to scale things up a bit, which can be both exciting and scary at the same time. I’m currently using an Artisan 2.5 fluid bed roaster from Coffee Crafters.  I have roasted on drum roasters before, but started on the Artisan because it was inexpensive AND I honestly preferred drinking the coffee I roasted on it.  I find the flavors to be brighter and more distinct when roasted on the fluid bed roaster. When I had to recently scale up my volume, I paid a friend who’s using a San Fransiscan 25 to toll-roast a few hundred pounds for me and while I really valued and appreciated his help - I really didn’t like the coffee as much.  Now I need to invest in a larger roaster, and I can’t decide. I can stick with fluid bed roasters but the largest Coffee Crafters is only 10 pounds (Ashe makes one that’s 22 pounds) or go ahead and move over to the dark side with a 12-15kg drum. Should I make the transition now and “relearn” roasting on the drum, or ride it out with the fluid bed roasters as long as possible?  Your thoughts? Kurtis W. Eaton, MD, MBA - Bean Creek Coffee, LLC   6. ABOUT AIRFLOW Does adjusting airflow throughout a roast have a significant impact on the roast vs a constant airflow? I roast on a Huky. Dan Gorman, Punto Fino

Aug 2019

51 min 9 sec

We are Back [in Arnold's accent]. After a long rest, we are back with a very special episode on Rwandan coffee. Smaya will tell us about women in coffee in Rwanda, about how to become East African Aeropress champion and how did she like her first sip of coffee. This and hopefully future episodes are co-hosted with one and only Marcus Young from Boot Coffee Campus. This episode would not happen if we would not sip amazing Viognier Pet Nat. Follow our wine adventures on Instagram, @petnat_ca.    

Aug 2019

56 min 26 sec

Where to sell your coffee? What shall be your wholesale price? Is Amazon or grocery stores the answer for your sales? We decided to share our experience from our first year trying to find the best sales channels for our brand Unleashed Coffee.

Aug 2017

1 hr 25 min

In this episode, we are going to talk about logo and packaging design. When it comes to the logo design we used plenty of services like Fiverr, 99 Designs and we will describe you the good and the bad about them. We ended up with a local designer. Was it a good idea? We think so. We will describe also the process we went through when ordering our bags. We had to order them from China via Alibaba, but it was not a very smooth ride. Finally, we are going to talk about the importance of barcodes. Barcodes are often overlooked but might be crucial for your sales.  All this and more in this podcast on building your coffee brand. 

Apr 2017

1 hr 15 min

This is a promised episode where we try to inspire through our experience of building a coffee brand. After I introduce William - the coffee farmer and the CEO of Unleashed Coffee we will give you few tips how to select the perfect business partner for your project. We also did a small exercise and asked each other our strong points and our weaknesses. This part was unrehearsed and we had a blast to evaluate each other.  Selecting the name for our company was pretty challenging and long process. Did we over think it?  We will share how and what did we find important when selecting the name and how did we test it among potential customers. Are focus groups the right way to test your potential name? If so how can you get most of them? All this and much more in this episode. Do you have questions? Join our Facebook group and ask us!

Mar 2017

59 min 10 sec

Denet Lewis from Barbell Coffee will reveal how can you start a coffee business under $10000 and how did they find their crowd in the crossfit niche. In this episode we will also talk about different ways to make cold brew and also how to bottle cold brew. With Denet we will discuss their buttered coffee derivative which is based on the bulletproof coffee. 

Feb 2017

56 min 3 sec

In this episode I have a very exciting guest all the way from Paris. Jana Bukovinova opened a cafe/bistro in Paris called Thank You My Deer. She is the business owner, barista, baker and chef. As I mentioned previously I truly believe that coffee roasters and baristas who know how to cook, bake, how to develop flavors have a serious advantage over the rest of the crowd. Jana is one of few who can do that and it does not stop there. She does it extremely well creating buzz all over France. I hope you find her story inspiring the same way as I did. How did she do it? What are her biggest challenges running her coffee business in Paris? You will find out in this podcast.

Dec 2016

1 hr 18 min

I think I am not wrong when I say that most coffee professionals dream of going to the origin, tasting the coffee cherry and frolicking on the coffee farm like Kaldi’s goats in 15th century in Ethiopia. But have you ever wondered what do baristas from the origin dream of? We know that 10-20y ago in many coffee producing countries, drinking coffee was not something what was done. Many of the coffee farmers did not even taste their own coffee. This is rapidly changing and origin countries opening amazing cafes, where locals, tourists and coffee farmers can be united by the art of the barista. A good example is Daniel Sibomana from Kigali’s Question Cafe. Dan recently visited the San Francisco Bay Area so I was curious about his cafe in Kigali and how does he perceive the coffee world in the SF bay area. Enjoy the show!

Nov 2016

46 min 7 sec

Second episode with Michal Molčan from the Standart Magazine. In this episode Michal will describes his ideal cafe, elaborates on the idea behind Peet's acquisition of Intelligentsia's coffee and debunks the Silicon Valley spirit on failing.

Nov 2016

18 min 34 sec

Standart Magazine is a coffee lovers intellectual feed. Great stories, tips by the crème de la crème of the coffee industry, ultra cool design making this publication unique. All this achieved only in one and half years. Yes, Standart magazine are still newbies on the coffee scene. It scares me and scares me what is next! With my country man Michal Molčan I was discussing success behind their magazine hoping to reveal the secret of the “amazing”. I got inspired plenty and I hope you will get inspired too.

Nov 2016

1 hr 1 min

Second episode with Michal Molcan from the Standard Magazine. In this episode Michal will describes his ideal cafe, elaborates on the idea behind Peet's acquisition of Intelligentsia's coffee and debunks the Silicon Valley spirit on failing.

Nov 2016

18 min 34 sec

Standard Magazine is a coffee lovers intellectual feed. Great stories, tips by the crème de la crème of the coffee industry, ultra cool design making this publication unique. All this achieved only in one and half years. Yes, Standard magazine are still newbies on the coffee scene. It scares me and scares me what is next! With my country man Michal Molčan I was discussing success behind their magazine hoping to reveal the secret of the “amazing”. I got inspired plenty and I hope you will get inspired too.

Nov 2016

1 hr 1 min

Podcast about the future of coffee roasting business. Are co-roasting facilities the future? There are multiple benefits which are very attractive to the new coffee businesses. - very easy start - low investment - low risk - professional growth within community of like minded professionals and much more. With Floy we will also talk about the most important properties of a successful roasting business, about other trends in the coffee industry and also she will tell us about women in the coffee industry. Enjoy the show!

Nov 2016

1 hr 12 min

In the second episode of the interview Seth Mills -- director of coffe at MistoBox will talk more about the MistoBox business model, and will also reveal how do they select coffees for their portfolio and what kind of coffee rosters they like to cooperate with. Finally Seth will answer questions you asked Coffee is Me Facebook group.

Sep 2016

1 hr 3 min

Seth Mills the coffee expert at MistoBox will talk about a very interesting business model - coffee subscription. Mistobox is one of the first coffee subscription services in USA and except the very interesting business model I was intrigued that they were launched using Kickstarter and they also were pitching in Shark Tank. As you will hear in the interview Mistobox did exceptionally well on this show. They got funded by Mark Cuban and they refused the offer by Kevin O'Leary aka Mr. Wonderful. We are going to talk also about the company culture at Mistobox which I fall in love with. Did you know they do not have a central office? Actually they are scattered all over the USA and sometimes all over the world. How does this work? Well, you will have to listen to this episode of course! Ok, Enjoy!

Sep 2016

56 min 24 sec

In this episode I interviewed Dietmar Vogelmann from Farmers Blend Coffee. He is a German coffee lover living in Vietnam who decided to change the reputation of Vietnamese coffee. Yes snooty specialty coffee lovers this episode is about robusta! :) Whether you like it or not you have to realize the robusta still rules our coffee industry and is preferred in many cultures. I love Dietmar's story and coffee mission. Especially that he decided to do something different rather than cloning another specialty roaster.

Aug 2016

57 min 11 sec

How to do a successful Kickstarted campaign? Daniel Vitiello is behind Handground the revolutionary hand coffee grinder. The guys got funded via Kickstarter. Their initial goal was $35 000 but at the end they they raised over $300 000. How did they do it? I asked myself in this “golden” episode.

May 2016

1 hr

Did you ever wonder what is the most popular brewing method in USA? How do Americans drink coffee and do they prefer light roast or dark roast? Gail, start of YouTube videos from Seattle Coffee Gear will give us and idea how do their customers approach coffee. Do you plan to do YouTube videos? Gale will tell you what it takes to be a YouTube coffee star.

May 2016

53 min 21 sec

Kelly and Brandon are lucky to grow, process, roast and serve their coffee. They are in full control over the quality from the seed to cup. In this two episodes they will tell their fascinating story starting a coffee farm and a coffee roasting company in Hawaii. As always I use special interrogation techniques to extract plenty of wisdom about their branding, website, Instagram, social media also how to roast properly Hawaiian coffee and finally how to purchase a coffee roasting company.

Apr 2016

1 hr 7 min

Kelly and Brandon are lucky to grow, process, roast and serve their coffee. They are in full control over the quality from the seed to cup. In this two episodes they will tell their fascinating story starting a coffee farm and a coffee roasting company in Hawaii. As always I use special interrogation techniques to extract plenty of wisdom about their branding, website, Instagram, social media also how to roast properly Hawaiian coffee and finally how to purchase a coffee roasting company.

Apr 2016

50 min 1 sec

Stephen Leighton answers your questions about roast profiles, the new flavor wheel, barista skills and much more.

Apr 2016

51 min 4 sec

In this episode we are continuing having fun with Stephen Leighton from Has Bean -- one of the pioneers of specialty coffee in Europe and also one of the pioneers of coffee videos on YouTube. How does it feel to make your first videos? How does it help your brand and whether it helps all the time. Also in this episode I will ask Stephen how would he start a coffee company if he would not have Has Bean. Interestingly his answer is not what we are accustomed to.

Mar 2016

41 min 25 sec

How did has bean become one of the icons of the European coffee scene? Check out the latest episode with Stephen Leighton and get inspired to do the same... if thats what you fancy.

Mar 2016

50 min 26 sec

Questions about starting or running your cafe with Devorah Freudiger fro Equator Coffees and Teas

Mar 2016

42 min

In this episode we continue our journey of starting a cafe. We are going to talk about your baristas and how can you make them feel that they are part of the company. Next we are going to talk about the soft opening which can help you with testing your cafe concept, logistics, efficiency, quality control and even start to spread the word that your coffee is ready to open. When does the coffee turn profitable? Devorah will tell you what to expect and how fast did their cafes turn profitable. Would you drop a cafe which will butcher the quality of your coffee? We share our views on this, it is only fair that you share yours. You can do so for example in our Facebook group. How can you score a VIP wholesale account like French Laundy ?(runs under famous Chef Thomas Keller) Finally - Super automatic espresso machines, shall you use them? "… oh… what? what?" I know what you think, but you do want to listen to this Devorah has amazing take on this.

Feb 2016

50 min 18 sec

Some of the most popular episodes of this podcast were about opening a cafe with Gwilym Davies. I decided to go deeper into this topic with my virtual barista mentor, Devorah Freudiger, who helps open cafes for the rapidly growing San Francisco Bay Area brand Equator Coffees and Teas. Devorah will tell us what the main criteria should be for selecting a cafe location, what kind of businesses do you want as your neighbors, and answers the question whether it's good to have a big coffee chain in your neighborhood. Once you set up your location, you will need to hire baristas. What is more important, personality or skills? We will also discuss your favorite topic: what kind of espresso makers, grinders and technology to use in your cafe, and what Devorah considers the most important features when selecting these beasts. We will talk about the menu: are sweet drinks a good idea? How about drink sizes? What about non-coffee items, how do they improve your check average?

Feb 2016

1 hr 11 min

How does specialty grade coffee doing in Iran? Reza Kosar from SAM cafe will let you know.

Feb 2016

28 min 54 sec

Discussing web presence and social media with Henry Wilson from Perfect Daily Grind. In this episode you will learn what platform and web host to use for your web sites, how to use Facebook and Instagram to improve your social reach and we will give you few tips how to use email marketing so your customers will be excited to get your emails.

Jan 2016

1 hr 2 min

Listeners questions about how to ask for green coffee samples, how to network and buy coffee directly from origin, how to create relations with coffee farmers and much more. We will also go a bit off topic and talk about interesting concept like Bulletproof coffee and not so interesting concept losing weight with green coffee. As always thank you for tuning in!

Jan 2016

40 min 20 sec

Rodolfo has a great job. In winter he oversees harvest and processing of coffee and in spring and summer he helps European coffee roasters to get hold of his best lots. We will talk about his amazing job, discuss the quality of coffee at origin, but also the European coffee scene.

Jan 2016

53 min 35 sec

Your questions for mike Perry about coffee business, coffee roasting, business management and much more. You can ask questions via coffeeis.me facebook group. See you there!

Dec 2015

1 hr 5 min