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Coffee is ME Podcast

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.

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#42 Starting a Coffee Brand - Sales - Where to sell your product

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.

1hr 25mins

21 Aug 2017

Rank #1

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#34 The Future of Coffee Roasting - Co-Roasting with Floy Andrews

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!

1hr 12mins

1 Nov 2016

Rank #2

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#32 MistoBox - The Coffee Subscription Business which Survived Shark Tank

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!


1 Sep 2016

Rank #3

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#41 Starting a Coffee Brand - Logo and Packaging

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. 

1hr 15mins

4 Apr 2017

Rank #4

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$500 Gesha vs $10 Brazilian Coffee and Instagram Marketing Tips with Umeko Motoyoshi

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!


12 Dec 2019

Rank #5

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#39 Cold Brew and Butter in Your Coffee ... a Coffee Biz Idea Under $10000

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. 


6 Feb 2017

Rank #6

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#4 Starting a Coffee Roasting Company #2 with Ryan O'Rourke

In this episode of coffeeis.me podcast we will talk about how to select your brand name. I will share a mistake I made when selecting the name of my company - Green Plantation - and how we fixed it. How to get an time proof logo for your brand starting from $5. Ryan will reveal what is he doing with social media before the launch. We will have a short discussion on how popups can help build your email list. Would they annoy your customers? Do you like this podcast? Review us on iTunes and help us to get more listeners. Thanks!


6 Aug 2015

Rank #7

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#12 Starting Coffee Business for $2000 with Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith started First Fruits Specialty Coffee, Brisbane Australia after his military service with only $2000 in his pocket (wallet). I love his story and I love his innovative ways of thinking out of the box. I am sure you will love this one too.


6 Nov 2015

Rank #8

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#19 Coffee Internet Marketing Tips with Henry Wilson - Perfect Daily Grind

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.

1hr 2mins

19 Jan 2016

Rank #9

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#2 Coffeeis.Me Podcast - Coffee in Central America and How to Start a Coffee Farm with Willem Boot

In this episode Willem Boot talks about the past and future of Central American coffee, reveals the hidden gem of the region and describes how to start a successful coffee farm.


10 Jul 2015

Rank #10

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#7 Starting a Cafe with Gwilym Davies

Did the last episode motivate you to start a coffee cart? It certainly made my brain tick. What is the next logical step after a coffee cart? More coffee carts? In this episode, Gwilym Davies will talk about synergy, starting a joint venture with a business that shares your values but is in a different industry. This was one of Gwilym’s stops on the way to opening his Prufrock Coffee. We will talk about the importance of passion when building your coffee business. We will try to avoid cliches. According to Gwilym, you might not need expensive equipment to start a cafe, all you need is to … DO IT. He reveals the example of a very successful cafe where customers were waiting in line for 45 minutes — and the cafe didn’t even have an espresso machine. There is much more in this episode, including why you should not copy existing businesses if you really want to succeed, how important the quality of your coffee is, and the ideal relationship between the cafe owner/barista and the roaster. Gwilym shares many other ideas, and if you want to discuss them or you have a question, join our Coffeeis.ME Facebook group. The easiest way to do so is to go to coffeeis.me website and click “Community” on the top menu. That will take you to the Facebook page; simply apply and I will approve you.


16 Sep 2015

Rank #11

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#10 Benjamin Myers - 1000 Faces Coffee - Starting, managing and growing a coffee roasting company

In this episode, I talk with Benjamin Mayers about how he started his coffee roasting company, 1000 Faces Coffee. He started the company with one roaster, one container of coffee and an idea to prove to coffee growers that it is possible to make a living while producing coffee with sustainable growing practices in mind. Ben tells us about the initial investment they put into this project, and how a slow-growing company can be an advantage when your goal is also to learn through the process of building the company. We will talk about our experiences of getting our initial wholesale customers, and Ben will give you a roadmap for how to approach your first wholesale customer. The key word here is compassion — understanding the place your potential wholesale customers are coming from, what are their needs, and what is their view on life. Ben will also reveal why he enjoys making mistakes and why should you make mistakes too, and sometimes even need to fail. 1000 Faces is using Diedrich as a production roaster and Behmor for sample roasting. Before they got their Behmor they used a barrel sample roaster. Why did they decided to “downgrade” ? I love to discuss how people select their coffee portfolio, and Ben was kind enough to share. We will talk about the advantages of having a small vs. big portfolio, and why you should select one over the other. In 2013, 1000 faces won the Good Food Award. For me it was a great opportunity to ask if a coffee award like this makes a difference in our business? Is it the same as winning the Aeropress World Championship? Enjoy!


19 Oct 2015

Rank #12

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#6 How to Start a Coffee Cart with Gwilym Davies

In this episode I will interview Gwilym Davies, who changed the coffee scene in London, won the 2009 World barista Championship, and, despite the fact that he trains the best baristas on the world and is a judge in the most prestigious barista competitions, once said that “espresso is disappointing”. In this episode, we will talk with Gwilym about his experience starting and running a coffee cart in London. Coffee carts are one of the best ways to get into the coffee business; they are very low risk and tons of fun. We will talk about the business versus creative side of a venture. A lot of us wanted to start a business because we love coffee, but is having a coffee business the same as working with coffee? Gwilym will reveal a risk factor for coffee roasters that cafe owners do not have and enjoy! You will hear from my voice that I got a brain freeze. He will tell you what made him start his coffee cart, how he found a partner in crime, how they built their business and run it on a very tight budget, and much more. You can find notes for this episode here: https://coffeeis.me/coffee-cart/


28 Aug 2015

Rank #13

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The rebel heart of Flag and Wire Coffee

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

1hr 11mins

17 May 2020

Rank #14

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I want to be a professional coffee taster...

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. 

1hr 2mins

5 Nov 2019

Rank #15

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#14 Going from 0 to 400 000lb with Mike Perry, Klatch Coffee

In this episode, our guest is Mike Perry from Klatch Coffee who will share his over 20 years of experience in the coffee industry over the upcoming 3 episodes. Mike and his wife Cindy started Klatch in 1993, and have been honored with multiple prestigious national and international coffee awards. In the first episode Mike will talk about his coffee story and how bad coffee at the office and a lack of decent cafes for a date can lead to the start of a great coffee venture. The Klatch cafe came first, rather then roasting, and through the interview we'll learn how a cafe can be an amazing catalyst for a successful roastery. Mike will tell us one of those cool “how I found my roaster” stories, which can happen once every ten years. I have a few stories of my own, so if you haven't heard them, go ahead and listen to the previous episodes. Mike found a 24 kilo Diedrich, which initiated a debate about the ideal roaster size for a coffee startup. Mike will also discuss what the minimum load is on a 24 kilo roaster. Mike will tell us if roasting in a cafe in is a good idea or not, and point out the milestones as Klatch Roasting grew from selling a few hundred pounds in 1997 to 400,000 pounds today.


25 Nov 2015

Rank #16

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#8 Barista vs Roaster Thoughts on Coffee Roasting and Quality Standards

In this episode we will discuss roasting related topics with Gwilym Davies like our take on dark roasts, importance of solubility in lighter roasts for espresso. We will also discuss what is the specialty coffee industry’s market share and why it is so important to share and stick together if we want to succeed. We will also touch on problems with consistency during roasting. Gwilym thinks the problem is caused by the nature of the coffee roasters, which are notoricaly temperature unstable. I take a slightly different approach: I see the problem in the nature of the always-changing ingredient – coffee. We agree that we have to recognize this issue and we have to work with it in mind. What if a coffee roaster ruins a batch? We’ll give you a few tips on what to do with coffee that is not up to your standards. Speaking of standards, Gwilym will tell you how they define standards at Prufrock Cafe and how they can help you to stay in harmony with the expectations of your customers.


6 Oct 2015

Rank #17

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#35 Standart - The Coffee Magazine

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.

1hr 1min

22 Nov 2016

Rank #18

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#5 Crowdfunding your Coffee Business with IndieGoGo - Ryan O’Rourke

Ryan will share his experience with crowdfunding his business. He raised $6000 on IndieGoGo, which will help him to start his coffee roasting business. Ryan will share also other perks of doing crowdfunding like letting the world know that you are coming or finding real estate or other potential investors. I will share Green Plantation's story of funding Handground on KickStarter. Join us and let's discover the power of crowdfunding. If you have personal experience with crowdfunding you are welcome to share in our Facebook group Coffeeis.ME.


26 Aug 2015

Rank #19

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#9 Importance of an Importer - with Jean Heylen from 32 Cup

Have you ever wondered what coffee importers do besides taking our hard-earned money? Well if you did, this episode is for you. In this episode, Jean Heylen from 32 Cup will tell us how the coffee gets from its origin to our roasters. I asked him his opinion on direct trade--when roasters buy coffee directly from the farmer. He will give you the good and the bad aspects of this kind of relationship. I tortured him with questions about samples: when is he happy and when he's not happy to send out samples to his customers. If you decide to go and source your own coffee, listen to him explain his ways of finding gems in the coffee-producing world. I get so many requests for helping to unload green coffee, and finally I had the chance to ask how farmers and producers can contact a coffee importer who can help them to sell their coffee. Finally Jean will reveal what is the ideal customer relation for a coffee importer. Enjoy!

1hr 2mins

8 Oct 2015

Rank #20