If you give a consumer something that makes them feel good, they’re only going to want more of it. That has been proven true for the world of specialty coffee. With its focus on quality and fair sourcing, and the uniqueness and pleasure of the final product, specialty coffee makes consumers feel extra special.
The United States is one of the leaders of the specialty coffee movement, as is evidenced by the influx of small coffee shops, at-home brewers embracing specialty brewing methods, and small batch roasting. Particularly, the small, independent coffee shops and those aspirational home brewers are feeding the demand for small batch roasters.
Being a small batch roaster gives you a certain amount of freedom for innovation and experimentation. You can explore roasting techniques and seek the ultimate flavor profile without losing pounds and pounds of coffee in the guess and check process.
What are some of the best small batch roasters in this country doing to set them apart and keep them ahead of the game?
The small batch roasters who are most popular with critics and consumers alike are the ones that source the best coffees in the world. They stay on top of the coffee trends and know where the quality stuff comes from. Finding the top rated sourcing companies, like Nordic Approach and Red Fox Coffee, can go a long, long way in boosting your company’s reputation and profitability. Those consumers who are committed to transparent sourcing and quality coffee will pay the price for the best beans in the world.
Whatever you are doing, as a small-batch roaster you are held to a different standard. Whoever you are sourcing with and wherever you are sourcing from, just be sure that your beans are the best. You want to give your consumers the quality they crave, from the way farmers, producers, and processors are paid, and how the beans are raised, to why you roasted the way that you did and what the best brewing method is for each product. You have to be as involved in the process as possible because your consumer will want to be too; if you aren’t informed yourself, they’ll have no motivation to learn more about your products. Specialty coffee consumers want to feel like they have discovered the best new cup of coffee in the world with every new cup they purchase. Strive to give them that kind of experience.
Transparency is big in today’s coffee community. Small batch roasters are standing out because of their commitment to creating relationships all along the sourcing route. Everyone from the suppliers to the baristas is connected. This serves to humanize all workers and encourage fair wages and a stronger commitment to quality. If you allow for too much anonymity in your business you’re more likely to let quality standards slip and slip until they have slipped away.
Some small batch roasters are innovating the way that coffee can be brewed. Concepts are emerging for new and improved single-serving packages, like single-serving pour overs, roasted freshly always, as well as brewing devices for the brewer on the move. Changing the way people brew their coffee, or giving them new options and feeding into the new ways people are brewing is a great way to stand apart from the competition.
Moving away from pour-overs is another new innovation in coffee. Batch brewing employs precision and automation, minimizing long wait times while still offering high-quality, specialized coffee. As a roaster, it goes a long way when you know the best way to brew each of your individual roasts. Batch brewing is offering such precision that the machine can be specifically calibrated for each unique bean batch. How hot should the water be, how much water should there be, how big should the grind be? The profit is in the details. Know them.
Commit to that quality; this is another way to build a strong brand. Let your customers know exactly what you do to make sure that the coffee you are giving them is the best it could possibly be. Maybe you never let your coffee get anywhere near stale or maybe you stay far, far away from darker roasts. Whatever you’re doing, for whatever reason, make sure your customers know it. Remember, they’re willing to pay for quality.
One way a roaster can be truly unique is to own and operate their own coffee farm in one of the world’s forefront coffee producers. This goes even further in offering quality control and sourcing transparency; your business is involved in the coffee production from beginning to end.
Another way to stand out is, of course, to create a recognizable, memorable and attractive space. Even as a coffee roaster you can aspire to be a hangout or an extension of the conference room. People remember spaces they felt comfortable in, and the longer they stay, the more they’re bound to buy. Many roasters and coffee shops are also doubling as bars, lounges, and restaurants; giving people a reason to hang around and embracing the experience economy is a solid strategy to boosting your business.
If you’re not into tailoring your own space into the perfect hangout, you can tailor your coffees to other people’s hangouts. Collaborating with local businesses so that they can offer one-of-a-kind brews to their customers is a great way to build a reputation and stand apart from the crowd. Some of the most successful small batch roasters are doing this. Gone are the days of cafes just using Folgers; you can work alongside café and restaurant owners to find a roast and blend that is unique to them. They will pay the price for that uniqueness.
Another way to enter the contemporary world of coffee is to ensure that your online presence is strong. Some of today’s most successful roasters start out as online only businesses; some continue to be just that. The internet is a powerful way to spread your brand and message to every wifi connected corner of the earth. If you’ve typed the client base in your area, there’s always more out there. Online you can get instant feedback from consumers, which helps to keep your brand and product on point. Online marketing can also be far cheaper than other advertising formats.
Remember to get packaging and labeling that serves the uniqueness of your product; PBFY.com offers you the best in coffee packaging and custom printing or labeling.