Learning to roast and making mistakes - Continuing our small business journey

Learning to roast and making mistakes - Continuing our small business journey

  Learning to roast was key, it sounds obvious I know but I did go through a big stage of putting things in its way. It was an unknown quantity I knew it wasn’t a destination and more of a journey and even to this day i’m picking up more and more learnings as we grow the business. I was choosing to focus on other things I felt more comfortable with rather than learning what it was because I was questioning my ability. Do I have what it takes, what if I can’t do this? eventually I got over that side but always remembered that time lost which still serves me today. Now im more of a do the things that you find harder first guy, or at least try to do them first.

Roasting turns out is an art form to say the least, like cooking I suppose many variables involved and all those variable effect each other variables in different ways. What is the quality of the beans like, the roaster you use, the temperatures you set, the flow of air the speed of the drum in the roaster. The rate in which the temperature of the bean rises. How hot is the roaster when you dump your green beans in initially. It essentially becomes a dance you have to manage to get a final product that’s great in the cup.


I read, researched, watched, and roasted and evaluated and roasted again and read and kept doing it time and time again until I was more comfortable with what was going on. There have been times where I produce a roast and go that tastes good…. I have no reason why but it tastes good. There are other times where I’ve roasted and gone wow that’s bad, that’s like grass strained through mud. You learn, you evaluate and then you try again. It took a while to get my confidence up. I always saw that as a commodity. My confidence in what I was doing was a currency of sorts. I didn’t showcase what I was doing when I wasn’t 100% or even 90%. Not unless I protected my confidence. I knew if that goes i was done. Now learning to roast was tough but also easy as roasting on one machine can be different to roasting on another. The same variables occur but how you manage them will be different so starting to choose a roaster that people used in a budget I had in mind was key. Makes sense to me to learn to roast using people who use the same roaster made sense. 


So I chose a roaster. Or so I thought. In the end there were about 3 different roasters in the mix and trying to figure out which one to go for was a constant battle. I do procrastinate a little sometimes. 

So with roaster chosen, time to order… 3 months waiting time. Thanks for that. But you know, you live with it and it turned up in a box heavy as can be and this roaster is not only perfect for what I need it will grow with us as a business. I could see it being used in a cafe for example or maybe i buy 2 of these and have them both running churning out some great roasts. We currently use the Aillio Bullet. This machine is a danish designed roaster which can handle up to 1 KG of roasting at a time which was ideal. I’ll leave a link at the end if you want to check it out but it’s a work of art.


The mistakes I made I keep thinking about and try to remind myself not to do them again. Sometimes they repeat themselves so again, I think about why did i let that happen, what didn't I do?  So i’ve listed them for you in case you wanted to take some inspiration or learning from them


  • Don’t put the hard stuff off
    • I shied away from the stuff i knew was going to be hard. Looking back on it it was probably because i was scared i wasn’t good enough or that i wouldn’t get it first time. Honestly that may have been pride or ego talking but it was quite powerful. The hard stuff i believed at the time would knock my confidence and that if i didn’t get it 1st time I would jack it all in. Knowing that now when i work on the hard stuff the confidence i get once i complete it or get towards my goal gives me so much more confidence. Meet the challenges is what i say don’t shy away.
  • It’s ok to fail nobody gets a bullseye every time
    • This one is a trap most people fall into. Nobody ever gets it right 1st time. That’s ok. That’s ok to produce under roasted beans or burnt roasts or everything in between. You just need to make sure that when you do miss the mark you understand why and what you’d do differently because now you know 2 things. How to do it right and how to do it wrong. The number of times you fail isn’t important it’s the speed you fail and move on is the key. If you’re going to fail fail fast.
  • There are some people producing great results - you’ll get there
    • Comparing yourself against others is natural everyone does it and that’s ok it’s human. what do you with that information though. What are they doing that got them to that position can you learn form it, emulate it try it out for yourself as it may work it may not. Remember you are you and not anyone else, you got to find a place you are happy with. You can have goals and dreams etc that’s good measure against them not other people. I want to nail this roast today, I want to sell 100 bags of coffee in a month. Are those your measures can you get there if so how. That’s actionable. I want to be as big as Hasbean, or Small Batch or Costa….. that’s great and all but measure yourself against things you can affect.


I hope todays blog has helped understand more of our journey. The story we tell hopefully, is of interest to you. So keep checking us out, please obviously share our story with others if it’s not for our coffee which is good btw. for some learnings and insight.


  Few things to note on the sight. We soft launched our Rewards programme on the site this week. We’ve teamed up with a company called Smile.IO to help us manage the rewards programme. You’ll be able to get Electro points on what you spend and redeem those points against our coffee so go check that out if you haven’t done so already.We’re already seeing customers rack up some great points so far.


Thanks again for your time we hope to see you all soon and reach out to us on Facebook or email us at Hello@electrocoffee.co.uk.



Chief @ Electro Coffee



Aillio Bullet - https://aillio.com/?product=bullet-roaster-r1

Smile - Our Loyalty Scheme Partner - https://smile.io/

Electro Coffee - https://electrocoffee.co.uk/

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