My Java Journal

When Opportunity Knocks, You Open The Door

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
Richard Branson

Back in May I wrote about The Ethiopian Experiment. I had just received a pound each of 5 different Ethiopian green (unroasted) coffee beans. Since May I have been roasting these beans and figuring out how best to log the roasts and refine my methods for each. I have been sharing these roasts and collecting feedback and I am excited to share that reviews have been exceptionally positive on each shared roast!

The Ethiopian Experiment was intended as a learning platform. In sharing and soliciting feedback from these roasts though, that initial 5-pound purchase has proven quite fruitful. The first pound was split into two ½ pound roasts. Unexpectedly, the first ½ pound – roasted light-medium, about 3 minutes past the first crack – hit the mark immediately. It disappeared quickly and there was demand for more. The second roast mirrored the first; mostly to determine if it was just a lucky shot or if I was onto something. The second roast was equally well received.

As a result, I started a roasting chart to log my efforts. Primarily I wanted to capture the conditions, timings (first crack and second crack and finish), and notes comparing my roasts to the expected flavour profiles. I have since started logging these aspects of all my roasts.

I wasn’t planning to become a roaster; nor form a roasting company. I am not necessarily now either, but when opportunity knocks, well, we’ll see where it goes …

That first 5 pounds is mostly gone now. The next order is being prepared. I am not sure where I am planning to take this yet. Do I dare turn down a chance to start generating revenue? By selling a bit of coffee to a select few (to start), I think I am right in line with Mr. Branson’s views on opportunity. Who am I to argue with Richard Branson?

So for now, I am saying – ‘Yes.’

Certainly this will help with expenses, but more interestingly, it will stimulate my coffee and craft education. It also offers some business education by now having to work with revenue. This is a natural, and desirable next step.

So, the roasting will continue. I will order some more of the Ethiopian beans to try for consistency before moving to other regions. I will also need to find a good accounting program to start capturing this new complexity. Valve bags are being ordered, roasting apps are being explored and more beans are on the way.

Perhaps one of my posts in the coming weeks will be an announcement of my first earned dollar.