How to buy great coffee from suppliers with Dale Harris

Learn what to look for in a good supplier and how to build a long term relationships. Discover the hallmarks of great coffee and find out the best ways to educate yourself, all in this episode with Dale Harris, a UK and world barista champion and the director of wholesale at Hasbean Coffee.

Top tips and takeaways

  1. You don’t need to have the perfect version of your café at the beginning – keep it simple and once you’re making money you can expand the menu and become more ambitious.
  2. To get the best out of your roaster, you need to understand their strengths and weaknesses from the beginning and then seek to develop the relationship into a strong partnership over time.
  3. When choosing your baristas, remember that extracting espresso and steaming milk can be learned – but passion and a desire to engage with customers can’t, which is why you should prioritise enthusiasm over skills.
  4. Good coffee depends on 3 things – the quality of the green coffee, the type of roast and the quality of the extraction.

Show Notes

[02:43] Dale tells the story of how he got into coffee

[06:09] The biggest mistake that coffee shop owners make and the importance of focus

[09:31] The things an independent can expect from a supplier and how to build the relationship

[12:28] The sources Dale draws on to keep educating himself and stay updated on industry trends

[15:11] The best ways to plug yourself into the coffee community

[17:48] How to choose what coffee to serve in your shop, depending on what stage you’re at

[26:47] Why Nespresso is the best premium brand of all time and what independents can learn from it

[20:54] What makes good coffee - including everything from the type of roast to the extraction

[24:02] What to look for in a barista for your shop and how to hold onto the good ones

[26:39] Dale’s current coffee habits and what he’s changed his mind about in the world of coffee

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