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Buying Help!!!!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Buying Help!!!!  
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kafka
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Jul 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Jul 20, 2013, 4:45pm
Subject: Buying Help!!!!
 

Okay so I did read the 'please read before you post new buying questions' lol so I will now ask the questions suggested!


Needs - we are attempting to open a small cafe/bakery in small town Ontario Canada.  In order to compete with the big boys we are trying to set ourselves apart by offering real espresso/cap etc.  We have almost no budget.  We can get the Breville line fairly inexpensively.  The 800ESXL for about a hundred off of MSRP (299) or the 870XL with integrated grinder for about 150 off MSRP (550).  I have read about the concerns with integrated grinders and that it is not such a good idea.  There is a middle line for about 475 which is basically the 870 without the grinder.

Understand we are not foolish.  I know this isn't going to last very long but it is a temporary measure until we can get some cash flowing and get a real machine in there.  Hoping to get through six to eight months with it.  So if we plan on somewhere around 600 for grinder AND machine what do we do?  Keeping in mind none of us are baristas, although I do know a little bit about coffee and know what I like and what I don't.  In short we need something with a quick learning curve.  

Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 693
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sat Jul 20, 2013, 5:24pm
Subject: Re: Buying Help!!!!
 

kafka Said:

Okay so I did read the 'please read before you post new buying questions' lol so I will now ask the questions suggested!


Needs - we are attempting to open a small cafe/bakery in small town Ontario Canada.  In order to compete with the big boys we are trying to set ourselves apart by offering real espresso/cap etc.  We have almost no budget.  We can get the Breville line fairly inexpensively.  The 800ESXL for about a hundred off of MSRP (299) or the 870XL with integrated grinder for about 150 off MSRP (550).  I have read about the concerns with integrated grinders and that it is not such a good idea.  There is a middle line for about 475 which is basically the 870 without the grinder.

Understand we are not foolish.  I know this isn't going to last very long but it is a temporary measure until we can get some cash flowing and get a real machine in there.  Hoping to get through six to eight months with it.  So if we plan on somewhere around 600 for grinder AND machine what do we do?  Keeping in mind none of us are baristas, although I do know a little bit about coffee and know what I like and what I don't.  In short we need something with a quick learning curve.  

Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted July 20, 2013 link

No Baristas and no money? I apologize in advance for this response, and I also  know you didn't ask for business advice... but I am strongly compelled to speak. I am also afraid this response will be perceived by many as a smart @&& response, but the business plan you have is almost a guarantee of failure, so I would say buy something that will sell good at the asset auction. I only go out on a limb and say this because I have been self employed my entire adult life and I have seen many people start a new business with no plan and no money only to loose everything. Many of them were my competitors. Once you start a small business your pride gets involved and it is very difficult to make good decisions in the face of a looming failure. Do yourself a favor and build a budget that will allow you to purchase reasonable equipment and fund your advertising and other overhead long enough for you to make it and establish a reputation to build your business. If you can't do that, I would say give up the idea. Yes, you might make it on a shoestring budget if your willing to make huge sacrifices, but the odds are really against you! The single biggest reason for small business startup failure is insufficient capital.  I stop now... I made my point. Whatever you do, I wish you success but I feel your chances of success would be much better with a business plan that gives you a better chance of success.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,167
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Jul 20, 2013, 5:30pm
Subject: Re: Buying Help!!!!
 

It's nice to see you're at least attempting to do some "research" about coffee before plunging in.  However, if you really want to set yourselves apart form the "big guys" by having good espresso available, you really shouldn't be wasting your time and money on Breville gear.  Those things are designed for the home environment. You should be looking at real gear...prosumer at the very least, but probably commercial.  If you are thinking, oh, we won't be that busy...well, save it...if you make god espresso or other preps of coffee the word will get out and very soon your Breville gear will be overwhelmed (if it doesn't break first).  There are 4Ms (perhaps you've heard this or read this somewhere before) to making good espresso...machine, grinder, bean/blend, barista (rough translation from the italian words that actually do start with "m"). You're going to have to have good gear that can perform well to the challenge (sorry the Brevilles won't handle your morning rush).  Your machine will have to be plumbed in, because you simply won't have time to refill the reservoir 50 times a day. You'll need a hefty commercial grinder, you need freshly roasted good quality beans and anyone who intends to participate in the preparation will need training and lots of practice.

In al honesty, I highly recommend sticking with the stuff you know...hope to G-d that's the baked goods...and waiting on the espresso until you can afford decent gear.  If serving coffee is a must in your minds, then probably you'd be best off starting with trying to make excellent drip or press pot, for the time being and then branch out into the espresso world after you build some reserve cash.  You should probably spend time working in a commercial coffee house (no, not something like *$$, but somewhere where they have real baristi.  At the very least a 3 - 5 day course is in order...from somewhere like Klatch Roasting in Southern California (there are other places, perhaps even within driving distance from you, but that's the one I know and would recommend).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,427
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Sat Jul 20, 2013, 8:59pm
Subject: Re: Buying Help!!!!
 

<BLUNT>formula for disaster, throwing money away</BLUNT>
Your post reads more like a troll than one serious about opening any sort of cafe. Nothing personal intended.

Seriously, forget espresso. Do individual pourovers, one small espro press per patron, or other singel serve "custom" solution would be great (Espro is a Canadian company to boot), or some other low-investment coffee solution that is easier to control as well as unique. Buying home machines and using them commercially is not a good idea. Either rethink the coffee plan, hire someone who knows how to help you (a professional consultant, or abandon the coffee idea.). Research will show you the VERY high percentage of food-related businesses that fail in the first three years. All in my opinion, of course.

 
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Jul 20, 2013, 9:55pm
Subject: Re: Buying Help!!!!
 

Its like trying to compete with Air Canada by buying a hang glider until you can afford a jet. Just, no. Sorry to disappoint. And don't buy Breville ever. They are so not worth it.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 4:01am
Subject: Re: Buying Help!!!!
 

I thought I should chime in here.

If you want to start selling coffee, consider visiting a coffee equipment shop and buy some commercial Bunn drip coffee brewers and a grinder. They're fairly cheap,
at least, relatively speaking to an espresso machine and offer a good return on investment if you can get the foot traffic in there. The upside to drip is that you don't
need a barista to brew the coffee and it'll keep on a warming plate for about an hour or so before it's ready to get binned. (I know, I'll get flamed for this, but that's
how frequently Tim Hortons changes out their coffee.)

Using consumer equipment for a commercial operation is a big no-no. Just to put it into perspective, one bubble tea place I usually go to had their Blendtec blender
pack it in, after it had been in service for 3 years. So, the owner went out and bought a $50 Black and Decker blender to get him by. It lasted 8 hours before it burnt out.

If you are serious about getting into espresso, do it right and lease or finance a proper commercial grade machine from a coffee equipment company who can give you
a proper service contract on it in the event it breaks down or malfunctions. (Or even a cold swap while the other machine is getting repaired!) An espresso station is a
fairly sizeable commitment, at least $5000 or more, depending on the volume you plan on doing. Volume should always be considered to be peak volume, not average volume.

A good coffee equipment company will ask you about your needs and will recommend the best pieces of equipment to use, as they also want to see your business succeed
as well, knowing that later on you'll buy more expensive equipment from them. :-) You can ask them these questions after you buy your Bunn equipment from them.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 7:38am
Subject: Re: Buying Help!!!!
 

My opinion,

I would  do a DEEP dive on coffee & espresso.  I know a few books that may help you.  As for gear with little to no budget I would not even attempt espresso and maybe start with coffee.  Curtis sells good commercial brewers for a VERY reasonable price.  This model we have in our office is very well build and brews quickly.  I would get maybe 2 of these to help the morning rush and look at a good used bulk grinder like this.   Also depending on where you are located I know of a business that will supply you with good commercial equipment as long as you buy your coffee stock from them.  PM me if you need details.  They are located in Waterloo.  

PS read this book at least to get your feet we and start with coffee and move slowly into espresso.
Click
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Rhinoevans
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2003
Posts: 179
Location: Las Vegas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale S1, Starbucks...
Grinder: Rocky DL
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: N/A
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 10:37am
Subject: Re: Buying Help!!!!
 

If a small setting, you might consider French Press.  Not espresso, but awesome coffee.  I have a Pro-consumer set up at home (Las Vegas), but currently working in Saudi Arabia, and I live for my French Press coffee.  Just a thought.

But I agree with above.  STAY AWAY from the Breville for commercial use.  In fact I don't recommend for Home use, but that is just me.  My Rocky grinder, not the best, but what I could afford 10 years ago ($350), still going strong, and great grinder.  Sure there are better (Mazzer), which I will upgrade to in the next 2 months. It would grind good coffee for brew, French Press, and expresso.

Without good equipment, espresso and caps will not work out well for you.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013, 10:44am
Subject: Re: Buying Help!!!!
 

Coffee roasters will often help you get set up if you sign a contract.  However, you need to start small a french press shop would be a great start.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,391
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jul 23, 2013, 6:14am
Subject: Re: Buying Help!!!!
 

Like someone else said, do a Pour Over or Press set up for now. Those two Brevilles are junk and the built in grinder model will pry do more harm to your new biz, as it's produces crap coffee vs a normal standalone machine and standalone grinder. Don't want all your new people coming in be turned away b/c the coffee taste like swil. And if you got busy neither one of those is near enough to keep up with even a tiny bit of demand.

Pour Overs and Press, heck even a nice drip machine (some a junk store bought one) can all be done for what you were planning to spend on a crap espresso machine.

And don't take this the wrong way, but since you say neither of you are baristas..... big big mistake going in to espresso. Heck it took me a couple months to really get the hang of it consistently. Knowing how to tamp correctly, distributing the grinds if need be, dosing amounts, shot timing etc. Think it took me about a month or two to really nail down tamping alone to where I wasn't getting channeling or uneven tamps causing poor extractions (can look even but if your off even a little bit on one side, forget about it lol). Again you don't want people coming in and not coming back or good word of mouth b/c the coffee isn't good.

And remember FRESH ROASTED COFFEE, FRESH ROASTED COFFEE......even for drip, press etc. You have some known roasters up there.
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