A Guide for a Coffee Factory Buyer

Things to consider when planning a coffee production line

Over the years, we have been answering similar questions, and saw a need to make a guide for a coffee factory buyer. This document is not intended to go into every detail. Its purpose is to give you food for thought and general guidelines. We hope our guide gives you tools and viewpoints and helps you get started on your journey as a coffee business owner.

There are many things to consider when planning a coffee factory. You may start small and grow your production throughout the years or have big plans from the start.

A well-planned coffee roastery grows and adapts to your business. In addition, it saves energy, space, and time maximizing your resources.

Below we have listed some key points for you to think about that will help you to plan your new business. 

At the end of this coffee factory buyer’s guide, we also provide practical tips on the information you need to gather in order to obtain a quotation for your coffee factory. With these insights, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed decisions and take the necessary steps to establish a successful coffee factory.

Your goal

A coffee factory buyer planning with a big cup of coffee

Ask yourself:

Why are you starting a roastery?

Who are your customers?

What is your end product?

Successful coffee roasting business requires a combination of coffee knowledge and entrepreneurial skills. To get started, you need to write a strong business plan, identify your target market, and develop effective strategies to build a loyal customer base.

Create a plan for your coffee roasting business

Setting clear business targets is crucial for the success of any venture. Remember to make your targets specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Regularly review your progress and adjust your targets to keep your business on track to meet your goals.

Here are some starting points to consider:

  • Set revenue targets and minimum profit margins to keep your business running and viable.
  • Set targets for hiring and training employees if needed.
  • Identify your target customers and set goals for reaching them.
  • Build brand awareness by creating a website, social media profiles, and advertising campaigns.
  • Maintain consistent coffee quality.
  • Think about the sustainability of your coffee at every step of your production process.

A guide for a Coffee Factory Buyer: Go into details

Budget

Coffee production line is a considerable investment for any buyer. With successful planning, you can increase your production while minimizing production costs and maximizing resources. You should have clear targets and expectations. In a coffee factory, this ties to the roasting volume, the end product, and the potential income for your business.

Investments often need outside funding or sufficient funds from your previous operations. Good budgeting helps to convince potential investors that you have a viable business plan. If you already have a business, you can convince the investors that you can follow your budget and make business decisions based on earlier track records. For start-ups the budget and forecast is essential to be seen as viable in the long run.

In short, you should estimate your income for your budget period and identify your expenses.

  • Determine your income and cash flow for the period to the best of your ability.
  • Estimate your expenses. You could divide them into three main categories: fixed costs, variable expenses, and one-time expenses.

 

Budgeting and forecasting are also crucial for sticking to your goals. If you spend too much time on operations or money in places that are not helping you to achieve your business goals, you should revisit your plans. Make necessary changes to your day-to-day operations, increase profitability and ensure that your business is on track.

Location

It’s important to know that different countries and states have varying legislation and regulations related to coffee roasting. Therefore, you should research and understand the requirements in your area and ensure that your production facility meets the local government standards.

For instance, the coffee roasting process emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which could pose a risk to the environment and workers. Handling these should be thought out before starting your production. 

Additionally, you can improve the energy efficiency of your coffee roasting process. For example, installing catalytic converters can reduce the impact of VOCs and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions on your production, as well as lower the energy consumption.

Space

Can you see your business growing in a few years? If possible, try to think ahead. Can you stay in the current location when you want to increase your production? Is there enough space for future equipment if you one day decide to buy new machinery to your coffee factory?

When designing a coffee factory, Innoenvas leaves room for future expansion. Our factories will grow with you. We also design the recommended workflow for your production. Your coffee flows through the production facility based on your production needs.

How much storage do you need? This includes the storage space for the green coffee beans (if on site), the intermediate coffee storages (roasted coffee, grinded coffee , etc.), and the area where you store the final product.

Also dedicate space for quality control operations.

Process illustration: a guide for a coffee factory buyer

Process from green bean to roasting to transport to storage and to packaging in a coffee factory.

A guide for a Coffee Factory Buyer: Understanding the coffee roasting process

How many hours/day are you going to work? How many people are going to work in your coffee factory? Do you want to minimize labor costs by automating processes, or do you have time and people to do things more manually? 

All the different steps in the coffee production line require time, equipment, and labor. You need to consider and factor these steps into your budget. The roasting of the coffee is just one part of running a successful roastery. Besides roasting and packaging your production, you should also dedicate time to other operations like quality control, marketing, and sales, to name a few. 

Roasting volume

For companies that are expanding their current operations, the roasting volume is easy to figure out, and the projections are reliable. For start-ups, the exact number could be difficult to come by, but you can be a bit optimistic about it.

Once the roasting volume is set and the production per end product is thought of, it will help you to figure out other needed factors for your production line. These include the needed space, what kind of equipment you are most likely to need, and what your workflow is going to look like among other things.

Equipment

Coffee roaster

For coffee roasters, the most important equipment is, of course, the coffee roaster. This ties into the production volume discussed earlier. Every coffee roaster has their favorite method and practices for roasting coffee, but a successful business also needs other components.

Level of automation

When you are starting, you could be looking for solutions that help to reduce the time spent on manual labor. Things like semi-automatic weighing machines and bag closers can help you to reduce the time spent on packaging. If you have existing production that you want to automate and or expand, you could go for a fully or partly automated production line.

Automated coffee production lines can be monitored from a central computer, allowing for efficient operation with a minimal workforce.

Storage and transportation

Storing the coffee in different parts of the coffee factory needs storage and transportation systems. You can also do it manually according to your needs and production volume.

Remember that coffee beans behave differently during the different stages of the production process. Every process step of the coffee factory should use systems designed for coffee.

For example, the coffee bean releases gases after the roasting process or is more fragile at some points. Well-designed silos and transportation systems preserve the quality of your product and are easy to maintain.

Coffee grinder

Are you planning to sell roasted coffee beans, ground coffee, or both? You are presumably going to need a coffee grinder suitable for large-scale production, designed so that it will not damage your roast. A good coffee grinder has a cooling system to prevent the heating of roasted coffee beans. The design keeps your coffee quality the same before and after grinding.

Packaging

You also need to get your production to your customer. Most likely you will package your coffee. Depending on your production volume and desired packaging, there are many options. Usually, the more automated packaging lines demand more investment in the beginning. With sufficient production volume, the money spent is worth it in reduced material and labour costs.

There are many kinds of bag types, sizes, and applications to choose from. You may also want to do special packaging, such as coffee capsules or individually packaged products. These require specialized packaging machines.

The most common packaging types vary from one market to another. Market research and budgeting help you choose the optimal package for your product. The choice of packaging machinery determines the type of packages you can do with that equipment. Applications to the selected packaging can include a zipper, easy open notch, or any other add-on to the end product. We usually recommend using at least a degassing valve in coffee packaging to maintain the quality of your roasted coffee. 

Infographic: a guide for a coffee factory buyer

An infographic as a guide for a coffee factory buyer. Make a business plan and budget, know your process and your production volume.

A guide for a Coffee Factory Buyer: Conclusion

When you have done your research and plan, we made a simple checklist for you to get started for getting a quotation for your coffee factory.

Checklist for a coffee factory buyer:

  1. Production volume and working hours per day determines the size of the coffee roaster needed.

  2. The ratio of coffee beans, ground coffee, and the grinding degree determines the size of the coffee grinder needed.

  3. The model of the packaging machine(s) depends on the chosen bag type(s) and the volume of the end product to be packed.

  4. Be sure to list all the desired packages one by one with the amount to be packed and the desired applications.

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