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Thread: cafe start up in chile

  1. #1
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    cafe start up in chile

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    the cafe will be in santiago chile, where i live. coffee is a big part of chilean life, but to me, an expat australian, it is rubbish compared to that of australia. while i have made a few thousand coffees in my life using an already set up machine, i know very little about the art of a barista. i don't believe there to be any problem with the available beans, although i will need to be selective, as most i've tasted seem strong and bitter, which is not for me, i prefer a smooth sweeter brew. the problem is how it is made. at best, a take away cup is 50/50 water milk ratio. the smaller the cup the less milk, yuk. and zero texture to the milk. now i do appreciate a country has its own cultures and tastes but i know of many chilean nationals visiting australia for what ever reason and saying they were completely gobsmacked by how good our coffee is in australia. the coffee processes here in chile are probably closer to its origins than that of australia but to me that don't make it better.

    most global coffee brands are represented in chile, so far i am leaning towards Lucaffe Exquisit as my preferred bean.

    i am not familiar at all with machines or the quality of particular brands. this site has been very useful in that regard. while it is a start up, i don't want to have to fork out again if my first purchase can't keep up.

    any help and tips would be greatly appreciated.

    jamie

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    I cant imagine you are the first to do this.

    Have you tried to find anyone else in Chile or nearby countries that have learned the local tips?

    Advice all the way from Australia can only be general at best.

  3. #3
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    i don't believe there to be any problem with the available beans, although i will need to be selective, as most i've tasted seem strong and bitter, which is not for me, i prefer a smooth sweeter brew.
    Very possibly, but what you prefer isn't anywhere near as important as what your potential customers prefer - you don't have to like the coffee you're selling, they do.

    You need to research this properly before you invest time and money in producing a product that has limited demand locally.
    MrJack likes this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    My no.1 choice is a La Marzocco Linea or one of their more exxy models like the FB80. As mentioned before....high quality industry workhorse.
    The only proviso is local availability, along with service/parts (most important).
    If your cafe is less than 30kgs/week a two group will suffice if you will go over that, then a 3 group, to cope with peak times.


    A Mazzer Robur or Major would be my choice for a grinder.

    Good luck with the venture, especially sourcing a coffee that you and your customers like.
    Are there any local roasters who can do a custom roast for you?
    A steep learning curve is ahead of you! :-D

  5. #5
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    Thank you chokkidog, that make of machine is available in chile. i will sort prices tomorrow.
    La Marzocco - FB/80

    @thundergod, general tips are better than no tips. most learning will be trial and error and on the job training. my wife is taking a 2 week course beginning next week so that will help to some degree. they will try to teach her chilean methods but i have news for them, she will be a handful for them

    @mikes, almost every local i have spoken to do not like the coffee here.
    a vast majority have never been abroad so have no idea what they are missing out on. every second coffee outlet here has a Nescafe machine in it. i have been told by a reliable source that water is cheaper than milk and this is a practice that has been around for many moons.

    my wife and i have a favorite cafe which we haunt almost daily. when we first started going there we asked the young lady working the machine to make our coffee our way, now she knows to do this automatically when she sees us. in the early days the coffee was weak as we weren't getting a full shot in 40/50ml of water. she has since tweaked things a little and its very close, just needs work on the milk texturing. she and her mother now drink our design daily. she will likely join our roster.

  6. #6
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    Its been 40 years. Time for another revolution in Chile?

  7. #7
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    apparently there has been an uprising here every 40 years or so for the last 300 years. i try not to speak about the last one unless i know a bit the people i speak with. some of them are still a bit touchy.

  8. #8
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    Good on you Jamie. The coffee in London sucked big time 15 years ago but then the Aussies started setting up cafes there and it's come a long way since. No reason you can't do the same in Santiago.

  9. #9
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    As I mentioned the 'FB 80' is expensive, there is also the 'GB 5' and the 'Linea'.

    Keep us posted! :-D

  10. #10
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    Jimbos I helped a mate of mine set up a restaurant in Peru while I was living there. They opted for filter coffee!!!

    In saying that though, The main thing is to educate... Hablar espanol? That will be key!! There were 4-5 espresso bars in Lima at this time and (mid 2012) so there was an ever so slight market for it. There were also 5+ Starbucks in the local area which were always busier due to being near tourist areas, quality fitouts and wifi- free wifi!

    I did have a latte in Santiago, well, had one sip and threw it out!

    Let us know how you get on!!!

  11. #11
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Sí Hablo español, no es perfecto, pero me pone todo ok.

    Thanks for your input beanbag. The education process is vital. i will need to take it to them in order for them to be able to make any comparison and this is likely to cost me many hundreds worth of coffee beans. as it is now, i don't think people have a favorite coffee joint for its coffee, its more its location, people etc. hopefully with smart marketing i can pull people out of there comfort zones and get them to walk the extra 3 blocks to have one of the gringos awesome coffees. they have never heard of the loyalty card scheme here either, if chileans love anything at all, its getting shyte for free.



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