69 episodes

Podcast for coffee professionals and enthusiasts. Valerian interviews emerging and established coffee professionals who are ready to reveal their secrets so you can use them to improve the quality of your coffee and boost your coffee business.
Valerian works on online coffee education projects from his home in Northern California. Originally he is from Central Europe where he co-owns a third wave coffee roasting company called Green Plantation.
Join him on the path to discovering the newest trends in the coffee industry.

Coffee is ME Podcast Valerian Hrala

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 70 Ratings

Podcast for coffee professionals and enthusiasts. Valerian interviews emerging and established coffee professionals who are ready to reveal their secrets so you can use them to improve the quality of your coffee and boost your coffee business.
Valerian works on online coffee education projects from his home in Northern California. Originally he is from Central Europe where he co-owns a third wave coffee roasting company called Green Plantation.
Join him on the path to discovering the newest trends in the coffee industry.

    Can You Make Money with a Cold Brew Cart? - with Eddie Alaniz from Coffee Conspiracy

    Can You Make Money with a Cold Brew Cart? - with Eddie Alaniz from Coffee Conspiracy

    In this episode we talk with Eddie Alaniz about his brand Coffee Conspiracy. 

    Eddie's brand is a lockdown businesses. While most cafes had to be closed, Eddie offered single origin cold brew to the beach crowd in Santa Cruz.

    Despite his humble beginnings, Eddie did not stop with his cold brew cart. His next move was to start to roast his own coffee and sell it via an online store. 

    How did he do it? What is the most important aspect of a successful coffee business? The interview was recorded during a session of the Coffee Roasting Lab PRO - Business.  Join us for the next one!

    • 1 hr
    Starting a cafe empire and why should you start to roast your own coffee - with Sandra and Joey from Pink Owl, California

    Starting a cafe empire and why should you start to roast your own coffee - with Sandra and Joey from Pink Owl, California

    In December, we held the Roasting Lab PRO Course, where future coffee entrepreneurs study efficient ways of roasting, developing products, packaging and branding, understanding sales channels, not to mention having an awesome time exchanging ideas and meeting like-minded people from all over the world. I run this course every 3 months; it is limited to 6 students, and the next one is coming up in March.


    One of my favorite parts of the course is our guests, who come to share their coffee business experience and are willing to reveal their trade secrets. In the last course, we were joined by Joey and Sandra from Pink Owl Coffee. As I have mentioned before, I am one lucky guy! The students asked really useful questions, Sandra and Joey's energy was intoxicating, and all I had to do was record it. I hope that some of that energy will rub off on you too. 


    In this episode we discuss:


    - How to start a café serving specialty coffee;


    - What marketing tools you should use;


    - How to go about branding your cup, merch, etc.;


    - Why Joey and Sandra ultimately decided to roast their own coffee;


    - Mistakes they made and you can avoid;


    - The types and number of products a café should offer, and how Sandra finds the best deals and quality for their offering;


    - How Joey chooses the equipment for the café and whether used coffee gear is a good idea;


    - A few ideas on how to finance a coffee shop, drawing on Joey's experience as a finance guy.


    There is much more wisdom in this podcast and yes, it is almost 2 hours long. I believe that the shared know-how and value is incredible, so I decided to keep it as is.






     

    ENJOY!

    • 1 hr 55 min
    Daniel claims that $2500 is enough to start a coffee roasting business... with Daniel Streetman from Bird and Bear Coffee

    Daniel claims that $2500 is enough to start a coffee roasting business... with Daniel Streetman from Bird and Bear Coffee

    In this episode, Daniel Streetman explains how you can start a coffee roasting business with minimal investment.


    After Daniel was laid off during the pandemic, he and his wife Ella looked deep into their wallet and figured out that the most they could spend on their new company was $2500.  


    I love to brag about how I started Green Plantation with only $8000, but I would never even attempt to start a coffee roasting business with $2500, especially not in San Francisco.


    In this episode Daniel reveals how they did it, where they found their first customers, and how they have grown since then. Spoiler alert, your neighborhood can be much more powerful than you think. 


    In this episode we will also address branding, SEO tips, and we will talk about the power of customer reviews and engagement. 


    Daniel is also a trainer at the Boot Coffee Campus, so I took the opportunity to talk about the SCA courses and the SCA Foundations Week we are planning in January 2022.  

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Starting a coffee brand with a 2kg roaster and a school bus: Gleason Jones from Minimalist Coffee, Opelika, Alabama

    Starting a coffee brand with a 2kg roaster and a school bus: Gleason Jones from Minimalist Coffee, Opelika, Alabama

    In this show, I interview Gleason Jones from Opelika, Alabama and founder of Minimalist Coffee. Minimalist Coffee is the brand new venture of this 25-year-old entrepreneurial gentleman, addressing the need for a good, freshly roasted coffee with associated charity contributions in the local community. 


    Gleason dared to violate my rule for the size of the coffee roaster. How's that working for him? Can he make a sustainable business with a 2 kg roaster?


    Gleason owns a former school bus that he retrofitted for mobile coffee sales. The coffee bus drew not only my attention, but also that of the local young coffee lovers hovering around it. Gleason reveals his first triumphs and mistakes selling coffee this way.  


    Can social media influencers help sell your coffee? Gleason shares his experience. 


    Finally, Gleason reviews what it was like studying at Boot Coffee Campus and Valerian describes a new course for coffee entrepreneurs. 


    Enjoy the show.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Your questions about coffee roasting, blends, best coffee on the planet and Q Grading answered

    Your questions about coffee roasting, blends, best coffee on the planet and Q Grading answered

    For this episode we asked you, our listeners, to send us questions - and to plug your business.


    You sent thought provoking questions which challenged us -- Valerian and Marcus to think outside the box, share their experiences, and call upon their combined experience to come up with possible answers. 


    We have tasted and drank a lot of coffee, and listener Katie asks us to name the single best cup of coffee each of us has ever had, in our entire lives. Did we choose one of the award winning geshas we often roast and cup, or some experimental process, or something else entirely? 


    Tune in and hear our opinions of the optimal location to open a roaster / retail store. Valerian shares an interesting challenge he faced at Green Plantation opening in a beautiful rural setting. 


    Other listeners asked about ideal roast profiles which leads Marcus to encourage all roasters to become confident cuppers and to be rigorous about tracking their data. Our listen John Bergman from Hacienda Coffee had a very specific question about sample roasting on a fluid bed roasters versus a drum roaster, and our hosts discuss the challenges and possible solutions to roasting on machines that utilize different thermodynamic principles.


    Marcus and Valerian also discuss how they approach blends and Marcus challenges Valerian to try a new technique. Does it matter if coffees are blended with vastly different physical characteristics? Will a blend taste good if you give up some control in the name of consistency? Is the cupping table the best place for product development and QC, or should you use other brew methods too?


    We hopee you enjoy hearing from listeners and our feedback. Maybe in the future we’ll answer your question.


     

    • 1 hr 29 min
    We were born in the fire - the story of Café de Leche a café and coffee roaster from L.A. - with Matt & Anya Schodorf

    We were born in the fire - the story of Café de Leche a café and coffee roaster from L.A. - with Matt & Anya Schodorf

    Anya and Matt are prime examples of the American dream: they had a dream and they invested all their time, money, and energy to make it a reality. The result has enriched  the L.A. coffee culture and brought a unidog to the bottom of the cup. As a European living in the USA, I have always admired the entrepreneurial spirit of my American friends, and I love the unidog. If you do not know what a unidolg is, don't worry, we talk about it in the podcast.


    In this episode, we talked about the process of starting a cafe, and Anya and Matt explain why was it important for them to roast their own coffee. Spoiler alert--it was not the cost.


    I feel very proud that Anya and Matt implemented the roasting model that works so well for my European business, Green Plantation, where we roast two days a week and spend the rest of the time on sales, marketing, or resting. Guess where they learned about it? Yes, it was in this podcast.


    Anya and Matt love to travel and during these travels, they have developed special relations with farmers in coffee lands, bringing them even closer to their coffee and enabling them to relay the story of each coffee in real depth for their customers.


    Meeting Anya and Matt was truly amazing and we clicked right away. I'm only sorry that it took me such a long time to bring their wisdom and energy to this podcast. But here it is and I hope you will enjoy listening as much as we did recording it.

    • 1 hr 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
70 Ratings

70 Ratings

Lawnboy090 ,

Terrific Podcast

I’ve enjoyed listening to each and every one of these. Thanks for all of the useful information !

Omar San. ,

Great Podcast!

Truly enjoy listening to this podcast, Valerian brings valuable information to his listeners interviewing all these amazing people from all over who are involved with coffee. Keep up the great work!

Best,
Omar S.

Serave84 ,

Best show for current and aspiring business owners

I love this podcast. I went back and I’ve listen to all episodes since the beginning. Really engaging and fun podcast, full of great tips and experiences from other coffee professionals

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