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My Release and What I Learned

*Before I start discussing how my first venture into coffee sales went, and go on and on about something that most people take for granted, I want to point out that I am able to pursue my dreams because of great men and women who fought and died to make America free. One thing I want to keep perspective of while I work towards my goal is that this was all made possible by our Veteran's sacrifice. Thank you all for your service.

I opened the figurative doors and started selling coffee to deliver on Dia de los Muertos. This is how it went...

Firstly, it went really well, borderline too well. I hid the cut off having sold 31 bags of coffee. Holy Cow! I expected my in-laws to buy some (they are always very supportive) and maybe some of my work friends...I was thinking 10 bags...maybe. So that was a very good sign.

The down side to having such a great turn out is that my roasting method is very...inefficient. I did some quick math and it came out to be around 12 hrs to roast that much coffee..."Labor of love," I kept telling my self, "it's a labor of love." My equation turned out to be a little over estimating, but not by much. My aunt didn't want her coffee until Thanksgiving, so that brought me down to only needing to roast 27 bags. That took me roughly 8.5 hours. I'm not gonna lie, by the end of it, I was pretty exhausted.

I let the beans cool through the day and I bagged and labeled them that night. It took me about 1.5 hrs to complete this. In the end, I wasn't that far from the 12 hour estimation when I account for set up and tear down. I start re-evaluating my equation and the number seemed to not really match up what my experience was. I was overcompensating by estimating 25% weight loss after roasting, so I lowered it to 17%. The number was still too high. I don't think I am loosing that much weight in roasting, so I will weigh my next bat before and after to get a more accurate number to calculate how much time will be needed.

I also bought a silicone mold for sugar skulls. My wife and I tried our hands at making chocolate skulls and handed them out with the coffee. My wife was doing well with it, until I offered my assistance. I learned something about chocolate at least. Next time will be better.

The feedback that I got was promising. My brother said he liked it. They drank half a pound of coffee in the span of a single weekend. He said it was bold without being too dark, which is what he liked. One of the guys I worked with said it was too light, so he was just adding some to his Gevalia coffee for the flavor (I don't think he'll buy again). I've had a few others say they like it, but quite a few still haven't tried it. I'm feeling pretty good about it. I think I have a good product and a good brand (that needs some more development) and it's what I really love. Now, I just need more hours in a day to roast.

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