Inside BCR are two production coffee roasters, a Loring Kestrel 35 and a Probat P5, plus a quality control lab, cupping room for tastings, sample roasters, grinders and brewing equipment, including a La Marzocco GB5 espresso machine.
Andrews and the rest of the BCR team hope to open up the facility to hobby roasters in addition to professionals. The cupping room and sample roasters will be available for area coffee shops to provide barista training, and BCR also plans to hold roasting classes. “We’re thinking about it as a coffee academy plus a roasting facility,” she said.
In addition, BCR plans to provide logistical support for its member roasters. It will provide receiving and storage for green beans, will weigh and fill packaging equipment, and will supply shipping station completely with packaging supplies.
“You don’t often think about it,” said Andrews, “but it is very difficult to manage green beans. You’re getting deliveries of big pallets of a very heavy product and that’s hard to deal with. Offering the green bean storage and receiving is a big deal.”
BCR is considering the option to eventually include a retail shop, but has not so far set any official plans in motion. “If we do add a retail concept, it will be rooted in the products that are made here,” said Andrews. She added that BCR will continue to evaluate what is needed as more roasters join up.
In short, the facility should be a boon to upstart businesses. “Berkeley Co-Roasting really does provide all of the resources needed to run a roasting company for anybody who wants to get into it,” said Andrews.
She and the rest of the BCR team also hope that the facility will be a true incubator for small businesses. “We’re hoping folks will come and create community together,” she said. “We hope they learn from each other, bounce ideas off of one another, and make business deals together.”
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