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Hello, everyone. So pleased to have discovered the forum, and learned a great deal from posts.

 

I've jumped through most of the hoops and am due to open a small cafe/gallery (22-24 covers) in a rural/seaside location towards the end of this year. At first I will be serving cafetiere coffee, and grinding the beans on the premises. I have the Kitchenaid Artisan grinder in mind for its very good spec. and attractive appearance for the counter top, and also bcs it should tie with a commercial machine once I'm on a sure footing. Rancilio Rocky also excellent, I believe. I've also lined up potential coffee suppliers - I'll need both bean and ready ground, I think. Before I press the go buttons, I'd very much appreciate your input on both grinder issue and very best bean to offer. (I'm also serving looseleaf teas, milkshakes and hot chocolate.)

 

If I can help, or share info with, anyone else setting up, I'd be delighted.

 

Many thanks.

Edited by Earl Grey

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Hello, everyone. So pleased to have discovered the forum, and learned a great deal from posts.

 

I've jumped through most of the hoops and am due to open a small cafe/gallery (22-24 covers) in a rural/seaside location towards the end of this year. At first I will be serving cafetiere coffee, and grinding the beans on the premises. I have the Kitchenaid Artisan grinder in mind for its very good spec. and attractive appearance for the counter top, and also bcs it should tie with a commercial machine once I'm on a sure footing. Rancilio Rocky also excellent, I believe. I've also lined up potential coffee suppliers - I'll need both bean and ready ground, I think. Before I press the go buttons, I'd very much appreciate your input on both grinder issue and very best bean to offer. (I'm also serving looseleaf teas, milkshakes and hot chocolate.)

 

If I can help, or share info with, anyone else setting up, I'd be delighted.

 

Many thanks.

 

i haven't met anyone who has used a kitchenaid grinder but to be honest buying equipment because it looks good usually doesn't work. i imagine that both the kitchenaid grinder and the rancilio rocky will be pretty slow, not to mention if you're grinding for french press first the rocky wont really cut it, i can't see the kitchenaid being miles better. i could be wrong.

second of all why do you need ground coffee if you're only serving french press?

thirdly, where are you based? i think people will argue that picking a quality roaster that isn't a million miles away would be very helpful.

 

my advice would be to read, read and read. the internet is a fantastic tool and there is a lot (albeit not always correct) of information out there.

coffeegeek.com

baristaexchange.com

home-barista.com

toomuchcoffee.com

 

can all be valuable resources. those websites may recommend books as well.

keep reading and keep educated. i hope this isn't rude or patronising but if you don't have a huge wealth of knowledge about coffee which loads of people, including myself, don't. then take some serious time and even money educating yourself about coffee/tea/ whatever products you're going to be selling. i would definitely argue that considering the world economy right now, even if you're opening in sand banks, starting a store and 'seeing how it goes' isn't going to work because by the time you're onto a winner you will have lost all your money and all your customers. i would really consider going to some kind of coffee schools or workshops. there's a couple in london that do day courses one's in kingston (which isn't really in london, is it) and the other one is reasonably central, there's somewhere in york that runs a similar course. you could also consider hiring in some form of consultant or teacher. i believe there's someone down in chiswick (it is maybe called perfect cup?) that does on site training. the coffee roaster you pick may also be able to give valuable advice.

 

bellisimo (google for website) do a range of pretty useful books and even dvd's on opening coffee shops and coffee training. they are not cheap, but when you figure that a huge percentage of your income is coming from drinks sales they're worth it.

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Firstly, welcome to Coffee Forums UK.

 

I would recommend considering a commercial grinder as the ones mentioned are more suited for domestic use.

 

With 22-24 covers and a steady take-away trade I expect you will be looking to serve in excess of 100 cups per day?

 

Grinders that may fit your requirements are Mazzer, Macap M4, Cunill / Iberital Hi Output and Malkohnig K30 ES or K30 Vario

 

It's worth spending a little extra on a grinder as that will define the quality of drinks you can produce, moreso than the type pf machine you eventually use.

Getting the grind right for cafetiere is imperative.

 

Stick with wholebean and grind on demand rather than use preground coffee where possible.

 

Hope this is useful.


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Ross, thanks very much for your quick response - not at all patronising, and very kind of you to reply in such detail.

 

I think I may have misrepresented my situation. We've undertaken a vast amount of research and met with several tea and coffee experts, with Barista training provision locally, should we choose that route. We want to grind on site, and Has Bean recommends the Rancilio Rocky (the Kitchenaid has a very similar spec., though unfortunate name!) for an operation of our size. The business is a considered venture undertaken with very few overheads and minimal risk. Its USP in fact involves the tea angle, but we wanted to introduce our customers (and ourselves) to the finest coffee also. We have obviously researched our target market, but having discovered another good forum decided to ask further opinions, perhaps to underline our final decisions.

 

Your reply was very useful, and many thanks for your time. Still love to know your favourite coffees!

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Glenn, thanks very much for your comments. The reason we veer towards the grinders mentioned is low volume trade: we will cater predominantly for village and community custom, with minor seasonal differences.

 

Yes, I particularly wanted to go for grind on demand, in small quantities. What we were really after is which beans you think might be jaw-droppingly good without alienating our local customers!

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To keep it fresh and vibrant, a range of single origin beans may be a way forward, changing monthly or quarterly but also sticking with a bespoke house blend that is liked by locals.

 

Having a couple of options up your sleeve at time of opening and running a poll for the first week or two may be an idea.

 

Each region has a different palatte, so what works in Manchester may not work in Birmingham etc


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I would not recommend the KitchenAid grinders for espresso use, not for home and not for a commercial venue of any description. I have one, bought some years back, on the back of Mark Prince of CoffeeGeek saying how wonderful they were. I think even he has now had to admit that they are not what he originally thought.

 

Whilst they look alright, they don't really even have proper burrs, have very limited grind adjustment, which coupled with loads of play in the mechanism mean that they grind very inconsistently.

 

If you care at all about the coffee you will be serving, please steer well clear of them, I can't really stress that enough. Others have already suggested far better alternatives, but I can tell you that the KitchenAid doesn't even come close to the Rancilio Rocky, whatever you may have been led to believe.

 

Jon

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Thank you, both Glenn and Jon, for these replies. Enormously useful. I'll be exploring the higher end grinders further, in the light of what you say.

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I'd agree with staying away from the KA grinder for commercial use. To be honest I'd always just buy the equipment designed to do the job. Bag/shop grinders are initially a little expensive but they last a lifetime and make life a lot easier. Mahlkoenig have a new grinder called the Tanzania coming out which might be interesting. You don't want to be buying any preground coffee if you really want to do a great job. Bunn, Santos, Ditting and others all make grinders worth a look too.

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Early Grey, good luck.

 

My company runs a similar venture on behalf of clients, our first site is in a library and we have potentially another one coming on soon.

 

We are Culture Cafes. So I think the idea can work but I would look to spend £250-£350 on a good grinder. I supply Fracino and others if you need someone to help.

 

Adam

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Thanks very much for the replies - am researching suggestions. Looking into all possibilities, but particularly for low-volume use (under 40 cups a day). Am now heading in the direction of an Iberital (with an open mind!) Just for interest, accessed the forum this time through Twitter - perhaps useful to know?

Edited by Earl Grey

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Just for interest, accessed the forum this time through Twitter - perhaps useful to know?

 

Thanks - it is being picked up well on Twitter. I link to the forum from @getnoticed, using Tweetdeck.

 

When away from the net I use http://mippin.com/coffee from my Blackberry (this works on all other phones with internet access too)

You can also Tweet direct from this page - a handy service


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Just another quick one: my prospective bean supplier tells me that the Iberital MC2 is a blade grinder, not burr - YIKES. Went back to look at spec., which confusingly uses both words. Would be most grateful for any input here, as just about to take the plunge and buy two (or the MC5).

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The Iberital MC2 is a Conical Burr grinder, uing burrs and not blades

 

I dialled my new one in last weekend and took photos for a future article of the grind sizes from fully open(like lumps of coal!), to almost fully closed (talc like grounds were produced)

 

This is a super grinder and real value for money.

 

Iberital MC2 Challenge
Model Height Width Depth Weight Watts Burr Type
Burr Size
Doserless
375 mm
165 mm
270 mm
4.5 kg
140
Conical
38 mm

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