Nothing profound, just some late night musing.

In the future I hope to open a cafe and roastery. I would hope to serve nothing but great drinks and to roast and sell wonderfully unique coffees. But if things keep going the way they are, I think its fair to expect others to have the same aspirations.

So imagine its a few years down the line, and whatever city I’m living in has around 5 high quality roasters who in my opinion do just as good a job as me in sourcing and roasting tasty stuff. So I guess I’m wondering now, where the coffee aware consumer will go.

Will they stick to their local roaster? Or will they wanna try out whatever each roaster is carrying from season to season. But what if, as is currently the case in the UK, the number of high quality green importers is very low and our 5 skilled roasters aren’t big enough to buy direct. Our consumer is only exposed to around 15 different coffees roasted by the 5, and while this ain’t the worst scenario, I can’t help but wonder will it ever become as diverse as products such as wine.

Yeah the roasters could always form a buying group, either with each other or with friendly roasters abroad, and in doing so source coffees exclusive to them, but that probably wouldn’t account for all their purchases, though I suppose theres no reason why not. I suppose I’m wondering whether each corner of the industry will develop at the same rate as we totter along with all this. Will more and more quality farms keep coming to light, bringing more truly special coffees to the clients of our cosy end of the industry? This then might prompt more green importers, or perhaps more ideally, the facilitation of small roasters dealing directly. In my head though, I worry what could happen sooner is that a city might have five small roasters all carrying largely the same offerings. Is there a possible tipping point?

Apologies if this isn’t clear, but I wanted to write it down. I’d appreciate someone with more insight to leave any thoughts they might have.


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