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.
How to buy great coffee from suppliers with Dale Harris
Top tips and takeaways
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Good coffee depends on 3 things – the quality of the green coffee, the type of roast and the quality of the extraction.
[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