How can I hire a coffee roaster? Are they called coffee roasters? How much are their salaries, and where can one find them?

How can I hire a coffee roaster? Are they called coffee roasters? How much are their salaries, and where can one find them?

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  1. Good question which I cannot answer. But why not learn coffee roasting on your own? Maybe it’s more of an art than science? You might enjoy learning coffee roasting and save the cost of hiring a roaster which may not be available in your area anyway.

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  2. Depending on your situation, there are several options for obtaining the services of a coffee roaster, or roast operator.
    If you are roasting for your own coffee shop and already have a roasting machine on-site, you can hire someone part time to take care of roasting the batches used in your cafe. Chances are if you are your only client, and your roaster is the right size – this can be done once or twice a week to meet the demand.
    If you do not already own the equipment to roast, you can contract out your roasting needs to someone who operates a “toll roasting” business. Expect to pay a per/pound rate for roasting plus the cost of the raw material ( green coffee ) — note that there is usually a 15–20% weight loss from green to brown. 16 might go in and 13 might come out. Make sure you understand if you are paying per roasted pound or per green pound. In these situations, you are responsible for storage, packaging and transportation costs as well.
    Need something more of the full service nature? Consider partnering up with a wholesale roaster. They will source, warehouse, roast, package and deliver the coffee for you. Develop a strong enough relationship with them and some will even find exclusive beans for your shop, and or package the coffee with your branding, also called private label / white label.
    Each of the three options have various levels of control you can express over your business. One of the great things about coffee, there’s no rules that say how you have to do it – plenty of room for experimentation across the board. I’ve even seen shops that roast their own coffee and serve it alongside other roasters they curate, called multi-roaster shops.
    I can’t speak to sallaries, but im sure it will depend on experience and other market factors like location.
    Ill add in that roasting is as much an art as a science. Hiring the right roaster for your business can be challenging, changing roasters can change the quality of your product. Often times, the roaster is also responsible for buying green coffee which can seriously hurt or help your bottom line.
    To find a roaster in your area, try scouting your favorite shops first to find out if there’s anyone they can refer you to – next try reaching out to a trade group like the SCA – specialty coffee association or the Roasters Guild. Classifieds might not be the best place to go, but try posting to a coffee specific forum or community like Roast Magazine, Barista Magazine, Fresh Cup Magazine, even Reddit has an active community of roasters.
    good luck!

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