These 16 Coffee Consultants Are Worth Their Weight In Beans

by | Apr 13, 2021 | 💼 Coffee Business

Working with a coffee consultant can help you skip the trial-and-error stages of starting and growing a coffee business. Here's who we suggest working with.
Coffee business customer research

You know the feeling of palate fatigue, where you’ve tasted so much coffee in a short period of time, you can’t seem to taste it as clearly? I’ve experienced this during long coffee cuppings. My friends who’ve judged espresso competitions have had the experience.

It’s like when you’re deep into thinking about a problem or opportunity, it can be hard to zoom and see the the big picture. But some challenges need more than a second pair of eyes — they need an expert set of eyes.

That’s where coffee consultants come in.

I tracked down 16 of the most respected coffee consultants I could to create a pre-vetted list for coffee shop owners, roasters, importers, and other industry businesses.

Represented are experts in supply chain transparency, profit margin optimization, branding and marketing, digitization at origin, and beyond.

If you need an expert’s perspective and insight, you can’t go wrong with one of these pre-vetted veterans.

Meet the Coffee Consultants

I’ve communicated with most of these consultants before, but I wanted to give them a chance to speak for themselves.

Read the micro-interviews to learn more about how each consultant approaches problem solving in their specific are of expertise.

Will Frith

Will Frith

Will is a coffee skills and planning consultant for coffee shops and roasters through his coffee startup training hub, Building Coffee. He currently lives in Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), Vietnam.

Read Will's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

I offer mostly technical consulting and training – usually on the “downstream” side for roasters and cafes. I assist cafes in planning, layout, design, equipment selection, and advise on all sorts of other things (locations, landlords, etc.). I design and develop training programs and quality systems as well. For roasters, I do similar things for production spaces and quality control setups.
I try to stay away from business/financial consulting, as that’s not my area of expertise. I have some anecdotes and general advice, but encourage people to seek out specialists for specific functions. “Work with professionals” is my go-to phrase.
What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?
I’ve done a hybrid mix of consulting and working for various companies. My role at Modbar, for example, was a blend of sales, business development, market strategy, distributor and technician network development, and customer support. When La Marzocco took over, my job was to aid their teams with the transition, as well as getting them up to speed about the product specifics.
In Vietnam: La Viet, The Workshop, Bosgaurus, The Coffee House, Marou Chocolate, The Lab, Saigon Coffee Roastery, [a] Coffeehouse, and others in various capacities.
What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?
I take a hands-on, direct working approach with clients. I don’t use a template, but instead try to learn about each clients’ unique position and goals before tailoring a program for them specifically. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for peoples’ needs. Each client has their own levels of understanding and experience in the various areas of their business, so I tend to do a lot of questioning and listening in the beginning. My training style is a blend of lecture, seminar, and hands-on. I prefer a long term apprenticeship over a high level certification-style training system. I don’t give certificates or trophies.
Matthew Evilsizor

Matthew Evilsizor

Matthew and his team at Conscious Bean call themselves a “caffeination design firm” that helps coffee shops and pop-ups create coffee experiences from the ground-up. He is based near Los Angeles, California.

Read Matthew's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

I like to call us a “caffeination design firm”. Coffee shop consulting is not a one size fits all thing. We offer a range of services to meet the customer where they are at. With that in mind, my strong suit really lies in space flow and function. As a lifelong barista at heart, I have a strong sense of the elements that make something memorable and enticing. This unique combination of skills allows me to create thoughtful, interesting spaces that are intentional and highly functional. 

When creating a space, my equation is to make the best drink possible- with ingredients that tell a story, in a space that holds gravity, while doing it with as few movements as possible. For example, I recently worked on a project where their original designer did a big long bar 30+ ft long. He had it so that every order would take at least 15 steps to get to the drive-thru window. If you’re making 200+ drinks a day that’s an exceptional amount of productivity waste – I was able to get that distance down to zero. These incremental improvements are everywhere and It’s these details that create profitability and quality of experience for staff and guests alike.

Our Services Include: 

  • Space Design (intentional how and why your customers move through your space)

  • Bar Design (Equipment placement, ADA compliance, staff traffic mapping, output flow, etc)

  • Equipment selection 

  • Custom Coffee Blend Design and Roast Profiling

  • Menu Development and Ingredient Selection

  • Product and Ingredient sourcing

  • Coffee Catering Program Development

What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?
We’ve designed coffee bars and caffeination experiences for Rolls-Royce North America, The Academy Awards, Hulu, Aston Martin, Joes Jeans, Maseratti, NBCUniversal, and a good deal of other names you might not know as well. 
What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?
I genuinely treat each project like I’m designing it for myself. I put all of my knowledge and heart into it. Every single project I obsess about the details. You never get a cookie-cutter or “good enough” solution from me, each project is unique and done with purpose. That’s why I love this work! I also have a deep working knowledge of coffee catering program development so cafes can bring an additional revenue stream to their business. In my journey, I wear many hats each with its own discipline. As a barista, I think about ingredient quality, drink consistency, zero waste, showmanship, and engagement.

As a business owner, I think about margins, brand image, company culture, and customer experience. As a coffee caterer, I think about speed, efficiency, and engagement. As a cafe designer, I think about flow, function, and feeling. As an artist, I think about neuroscience, psychology, experience, and beauty. I believe it’s these combinations of skills and experience that define Matthew Evilsizor and showcase Conscious Bean as a specialty coffee consultant. 

Garrett Oden

Garrett Oden

Garrett is a coffee marketing consultant for coffee shops, roasters, and online stores. He runs a micro content marketing agency, Fresh Cup Magazine, Coffee Marketing School, and lives in Austin, Texas.

Read Garrett's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

I help coffee brands across the industry use strategic digital marketing to stand out online, create loyal followings, and build sustainable businesses.

Practically, it often takes the form of:

  • Brand messaging and storytelling
  • Website and email copywriting strategy
  • Content marketing & SEO strategy
What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?
I’ve been able to work with some really incredible clients across the industry, like Caffe Nero, Amavida Coffee, JavaPrese, Wacaco, Alternative Brewing, and Sudden Coffee.
Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?
Yes! So many. Primarily, I suggest signing up for the Coffee Marketing School newsletter. At the start of the COVID pandemic, I started brain dumping a lot of my expertise to give as many people the best chance at surviving as possible. Here are some of the top articles:

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

There aren’t too many of us marketing experts who are also coffee industry natives. That’s really the first thing. With how quirky our industry is, outside marketers often have a hard time speaking our language and resonating.

But beyond that, my core training is in copywriting, which is essentially written sales. I’ve spent years writing websites, emails, trade show handouts, brand stories, and product positioning guidelines.

I see copywriting as the secret sauce to compelling brands. If you can tell a captivating story, or you can position your product or experience in just the right way for your audience, you can capture their loyalty long-term (regulars are the bread and butter of coffee!).

I am also very lucky to be able to bring insights into coffee from my other space of work: food technology. Adapting strategies that work in tech has been very successful in helping coffee companies do things differently from the average competitor.

Chris Deferio

Chris Deferio

Chris is a coffee shop consultant through this company and award-winning podcast, Keys to the Shop. He’s currently based in Louisville, Kentucky.

Read Chris's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

  • I offer both on-site and remote consulting and training for existing coffee bars who want to improve their quality and operations. I also offer consulting and training for people who want someone to work with them from idea to launch of their coffee bar.
  • For existing businesses I often will conduct multi-day on-site assessments of their operations that are very thorough and culminate with suggested solutions, next steps, and continued coaching and support after the visit.
  • For new businesses who want help from start to finish this often means working with clients to fine tune their business plan, build their menu, design their bar, hiring, and prepare the critical operational structure and systems needed for a successful cafe.
  • I also offer intensive on-site barista training that focuses on quality, consistency, workflow, and hospitality.
  • Additionally I conduct remote and on-site workshops for your management / leadership teams.
  • For some clients we simply have regular structured consulting calls where we work through problems, projects, and questions critical to the businesses growth and profitability.
Projects can last anywhere from 3 months – 1 year depending on the client’s needs.
What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?

Here are some of the companies I have had the honor of working with as a consultant:

  • Phoenix Coffee Co. in Cleveland, OH
  • Reserva Coffee Roasters in McAllen, TX
  • Quills Coffee in Louisville, KY
  • Coffee Fest Trade Shows
  • Phil and Sebastian in Calgary, Alberta, CA
  • Big Creek Coffee Roasters in Missoula, MT
  • Cafe Caphe in Kansas City, MO
  • Brueggers Bagels
  • Lucabe Coffee in Columbus, OH
  • Luann’s Bakery and Cafe in Ellington, CT
  • Dean: A Coffee Shop, in Goleta, CA
  • Amity Coffee in Penn Yan, NY
  • Nuova Simonelli
  • Paradeco Coffee Roasters in St. Petersburg, FL
  • Common Ground Coffee in Lake Worth, FL
  • Railway Coffee in Ruston, OH
  • Bungalow Coffee in Las Vegas, NV
  • Corridor Flow in Lomita, CA

Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?

I run one of the world’s leading coffee podcasts called Keys to the Shop. It is focused on equipping coffee retailers and professionals with insights and tools to thrive in their businesses and careers. 
Since 2017 we have amassed close to 500 episodes that cover a wide range of hyper-relevant topics with guests from all corners of the globe. If you listen to the guest episodes which are 75% of the show you will be enriched by a community of coffee professionals and subject matter experts. If you listen to the solo episodes and Shift Breaks episodes you will also be equipped and inspired as well as gaining a real feel for how I approach the coffee industry and the values I have as a consultant.
What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

I think it boils down to depth of knowledge, wisdom from experience, flexibility, and fierce dedication to honesty and my client’s success. 

I have over 20 years of focused retail coffee experience where I was consistently a critical player in the process of scaling and developing quality control / hospitality systems for growing small-mid sized coffee bars. Combined with a successful barista competition career, my podcast, and a long history of training and teaching at international coffee events I can offer my clients both practical and close-up retail business knowledge as well as a larger industry-wide perspective. My insights come from both my successes and my failures along with what I have learned for the thousands of people I have worked with, taught, and been taught by in my career. 
I want to pass these things on to you and providing my clients with custom services that deliver to them exactly what they, their staff, and their businesses need to thrive and find fulfillment in the business of coffee! 
Elisa Criscione

Elisa Criscione

Elisa is the founder and lead consultant at Expressing Origin, a consultancy that specializes in digitalization across the supply chain. She lives near Milan, Italy.

Read Elisa's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

My main role is to support coffee stakeholders in their digitalization processes. The support guides them in understanding what digital tools best fit their needs and challenges. This is a process that everyone can do: from cooperatives and several actors at origin to roasters and other end-market actors.

I also help tech providers in finding the best ways to improve their solutions and better adapt them to the needs of their users. My role is mostly strategic but also intersects with research, communications, and impact reporting. I also support The Chain Collaborative as a Lead Consultant on different assignments throughout the year.

What companies have you worked with?

One of the main organizations I worked with is the Progreso Foundation, especially focusing on the Beyco platform. I supported the marketing and communications and strategic support on business development.

Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?

This is a difficult one! All the sources that were published discuss especially my work with Digital Coffee Future, not really as a consultant. However, this is a small blog that I wrote for Progreso about digital transformation in coffee. Then, this is an article I wrote for Revista Roast about a small research on coffee digitalization and data sharing at origin. Here is the launch of Digital Coffee Future (again mostly talking about DCF but it also explains the why behind the initiative). Hope these work!

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

I think coffee digitalization in itself is an innovative starting point to work as a consultant. I believe that making sure we are able to identify the best technology for our needs is key in this process. Developing and/or start implementing any tech solutions in any company (small or big) takes a lot of time, energy, effort, and also money. So, going for what might appear the easiest and quickest approach in the first place, doesn’t always pay back.

Before starting any digitalization, I think it’s important to understand if technology is really needed, what are the goals and the objectives of using a specific digital tool, what’s the process of the company, who are the target users, etc. and only then, it’s ok to start looking at the perfect match. So, I guess this is what differentiates my approach on this. I try to make the bridge between coffee stakeholders and guide them through this process.

Cody Thieling

Cody Thieling

Cody is a cash management consultant for small businesses through Gambit Profit Consulting, with a specialization in the coffee industry. He lives in Dulush, Minnesota.

Read Cody's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

The core philosophy behind my consulting practice is that achieving maximum profitability starts with placing a focus on developing a healthy balance sheet with significant cash availability. Cash availability grants the opportunity to negotiate towards greater profitability. For example, I have been able to negotiate 15% discounts on professional services by prepaying.

I help coffee roasters and coffee shops through a system that starts by asking the question “What do you do best, and who do you do that best for?” The answer to this question allows us to identify where cash should and should not be spent. Next, we begin assigning a purpose to every incoming dollar just like the old envelope system of budgeting for personal finance where when you get your paycheck, a little goes to groceries, a little to rent, etc. With this system, every incoming dollar is divided up as a little to be retained, a little for payroll, a little for marketing, etc. This process aligns what is spent to what is brought in and sets the business on a path for improved balance sheet health.

Once the business has reached a point of health where there is enough cash available to cover three to six months of operating expenses, we start looking at how that cash position can be leveraged to increase profitability through actions like negotiating discounted prices though COD or pre-payment terms with vendors or investments in the business such as equipment.

Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?

I have the Cody the Coffee Guy podcast. Cody the Coffee Guy • A podcast on Anchor.  This podcast at times touches on some of the subjects that I consult on, but is really more of a show dedicated to entrepreneurs in the coffee industry.  Each episode is an interview with an owner of a business operating in the coffee industry.  I also have the Dough Control blog.  Small Business Advice | Dough Control  This is a blog where I share thoughts and advice on money management for small businesses.  And then I have my main website for my consulting business.  Home | Gambit Profit Consulting 

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

I have a unique background that includes accounting, supply chain management, contract negotiation and more than a decade of experience in the coffee industry.  These experiences have allowed me to develop a very particular skill set that allows me to coach small business owners in the coffee industry through a very comfortable and gradual process of incremental financial improvement.  I am all about simplification.

Jenn Chen

Jenn Chen

Jenn is a digital marketing coach and consultant for companies across the coffee industry, with unrivaled expertise in social media strategy. She’s based in San Francisco, California.

Read Jenn's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

Digital marketing: digital strategy, social media strategy, social media training, voice and tone, and being a general sounding board to those who need an outside perspective.

What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?

CQI, Swiss Water, Mr. Espresso, Amavida, Acaia.
Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?

I have a resources page:

And a blog:

And a coffee marketing newsletter:

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

Coffee consultant is a really broad term and encompasses a number of different fields. So while I do consult in coffee marketing, I also work as a photographer and writer, which often inform my consulting work. I’m not one to be competitive so I don’t know exactly how I am “different” from those in the same line of work as me.

If I don’t think I’m the best person for the job, I will tell you so and also provide referrals if possible. I’m also quite active in the community because I do believe in giving back and contributing to the longevity of the industry.

Stuart Ritson

Stuart Ritson

Stuart is an industry consultant who specializes in the coffee itself, with expertise ranging from sourcing to training to coffee bar design. He is based in Groningen, Netherlands.

Read Stuart's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

While I’ve worked with people to train baristas, open cafes and design spaces, the focal point of my consulting is on coffee itself. I’ve spent years sourcing and selling green coffee and that has given me a deep understanding of the trade. I like to work with clients to find green coffee solutions, sourcing the exact coffees they need, whether that is high qualities or high volumes. My understanding of cupping and sensory analysis comes into play here and I’m happy to advise on the perfection and advancement of cupping protocols and standards also.

What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?

In the past year or so I’ve worked with roasters like Crankhouse Coffee in the UK, Lehmus Coffee in Finland and Jonas Reindl in Austria. I’ve also work with Osito Coffee and Algrano on green coffee and work with marketing and importing.
Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?
Check out my website: for a full list of articles, podcasts and other resources that I’ve been involved in creating.
What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?
I’ve been very lucky to work and live in many different countries as well as travel considerably. This has given me a good overview of the whole coffee industry. I’ve also worked in almost every role possible within coffee: barista, café manager, sales for roasted and green, quality control and buying, production roasting and marketing. What this means is that if you want a second opinion on just about anything within this industry, I can give an informed and engaged perspective.

I’m very strong in my networking abilities and research skills also – I’ve found and sourced coffees that have stumped buyers for months in a matter of days. I really get a kick out of a challenge, so feel free to bring me any kind of complex or interesting trial and I’ll take it on.

Brodie Vissers

Brodie Vissers

Brodie is a communications and marketing consultant for coffee companies, with a heavy focus on content creation. He is currently based in Barcelona, Spain.

Read Brodie's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

I specialize more in communications and marketing projects for a coffee brands. In fact, before I was even a barista I started a project called The Nomad Barista which took me around the world, writing journal articles, and interviewing different coffee professionals on what drives their passion in the industry.  That quickly led into helping a few coffee shops develop their brand on a logistic level, but later transformed into more content creation and communications advising, which I really love. So, for example, I will work with coffee brands one-on-one as a coach online, as what I like to call a partner without equity, and then I will also develop content projects with mostly video and  photos, and sometimes writing as well.

What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?
To name a few of the companies that I’ve worked with, one of my longest running clients is Wacaco which produces portable coffee brewers and other products. As you can imagine, the brewers have served me really well on my travels! I’ve also worked with related beverage brands such as Silk and Kahlúa on some fun content projects, and I’ve also coached a handful of smaller coffee importers, roasters, and coffee shops around the world on their communications and marketing strategies, either through one-on-one sessions or my Coffeepreneur Mastermind Groups. 
Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?

For the majority of my original content anyone can find me on YouTube and Instagram under my name, and for a lot of my early coffee adventures and research. But for those who’d like to hear more of my long-form origin story in the coffee space, I’ve been invited onto a few podcasts if you’re more a listening-type. 

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

I think one of the biggest ways that the specialty coffee industry has been able to differentiate from the bigger coffee industry at large has a lot to do with niching down and really looking at how to make your offering special. For example, it’s not enough  now to just put in an order for any espresso machine, and to just buy coffee from catalogue. Business owners are looking for something more specific and I think this is where niche coffee consultants with an array of different experiences really bring something important to the table in setting their clients apart. 

Based on my skill set and experiences exploring specialty coffee across the globe, I’ve decided to focus more on the side of communications, marketing, and developing strategies to help brands tell their own unique stories to reach their own unique audiences – the ones who love what they do. 

I’ve taken many years and resources to immerse myself in various parts of the coffee supply chain, from the farms to the cafés, documenting and creating content along the way, and I strongly believe that every brand has their own story to tell. So, when working with clients as a consultant and content creator, I like to take a holistic approach, examine their higher level goals, and work with them to not only produce but also increase their creative capacity to produce while they work towards the bigger vision. 

Lee Safar

Lee Safar

Lee specializes in business development and healthy business set up for small to medium-sized coffee companies via her consultancy Map It Forward. She’s currently based in Sydney, Australia.

Read Lee's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

I specialize in business development and set up for small to medium coffee businesses around the world. My other specialty is helping established businesses identify root causes of growth challenges they’re having adapting to changes such as the pandemic. These challenges usually stem from a lack of understanding about the industry, workplace culture, or financial statements. My consulting takes a few different forms – Hourly 1-on-1 consulting, monthly coaching at a set fee each month, online mastermind group coaching with up to 8 clients from around the world learning from each others questions and challenges.
What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?
I have worked with clients all over the world including across the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, The Middle East, and the UK. You can see some of the testimonials here:
Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?
We have a number of resources potential clients can access, some free and some require paying for.

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

I have an unusual ability to see clients blind spots and deep root cause of the challenges they’re experiencing. I work with them to change their behaviours and dysfunctional relationship dynamics whether it be with business partners, staff, customers, or their suppliers by giving them an understanding of whatever information gaps they may have and inviting them to consider alternative perspectives that may empower a more functional work environment for all stakeholders. Knowing the right questions to ask is every consultants super power and it can’t be faked.

Dan Bailey

Dan is the founder and president of Amavida Coffee,  prestigious roaster, as well as the head of the company’s full-service consultancy wing for coffee shops and roasters. He is based in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Read Dan's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

We offer advisory, procurement and support services in the following areas:
  • Business startup and implementation: Services include strategy, concept, design, and implementation of coffee houses, bakeries, etc
  • Coffee education: Amavida is an SCA AST Training Center, offering barista guild classes
  • Procurement services representing key manufacturers: La Marzocco, Rancilio, Mazzer, Ditting, Mahlkoning, Egro, Micromatic, Fetco, Bunn, Curtis, Cadco, Moffat, and others
  • Technical service for repair and maintenance of coffee and espresso equipment
  • Distribution of coffee house related products: Teas, alternate milks, sustainable paper products, syrups, and barista supplies.
What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?
I worked in a different industries over the years before moving to coffee: large industrial engineering and construction, Information technology, business and technology consulting services firms. I decided to start Amavida Coffee Roasters in 2004 as a means to do International development work. It took years and help from great friends and mentors to gain knowledge to tradition to the coffee industry. I am so lucky to have found coffee as it is a wonderful vocation with great people and meaningful purpose.
Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?

This is probably too much information. But hey, you have options….

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

There are several key things that make us different:

  • We are not trying to be everywhere or trying to be the biggest coffee company. We seek out customers where both of us have alignment of values so that relationships are lasting. This allows us to focus our energy better with our customers and grow with them in a collaborative way. We tend to grow slower under this model, but it is focused and it is not random. Plus we really like our customers and makes our work very enjoyable.
  • We are a full service roaster, with emphasis on outcomes. This means that when a cup of coffee is presented to a customer, it is backed by: great coffee, the right water, calibrated equipment, and education.
  • Amavida is a member of Cooperative Coffees allowing us to import directly with small scale coffee producers. This is a farmer focused model, well beyond just pricing. Cooperative Coffees was awarded the Sustainability award last year.
  • Our company offers high quality product with emphasis on creating/reducing impact in the world. We carry numerous credentials to support this: Benefit Corporation, Organic, Fair Trade, Carbon Responsible, and Plastic Neutral.
  • Amavida has been awarded numerous quality awards over the years including golden bean awards and Roast Magazine’s Micro-roaster of the year in 2018. In 2020, we were a finalist by SCA for Sustainability Business Model.
  • What have high standards in our coffee roasting facilities for Food Safety: We carry the classical foods safety requirements but also have GMP and FSMA credentials.
  • We aggregate sustainable products beyond just coffee creating a convenience model that is focused.
Joel Shuler

Joel Shuler

Joel is an expert in post-harvest processing and quality analysis through his role at the Coffee Quality Institite (CQI). He is based in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Read Joel's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

Post-harvest processing and quality analysis.
What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?
I am a partner in Casa Brasil Coffees and Little City Coffee Roasters, both located in Austin, Texas. and the Processing Specialist at Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). Through my work with CQI we have completed projects with diverse origins including the Philippines, PNG, China, Ethiopia, DRC, Rwanda, Colombia, and Brazil, to name a few.   
Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?
The first thing I would recommend for someone interested in processing, or improving their post-harvest processing is our  CQI Post-Harvest Processing program and our Q Processing certifications.
Dr Borem’s Handbook of Coffee Post-Harvest Processing Technologies is still the best general resource out there for coffee processing (disclosure: I translated it and wrote a chapter). Carlos Brando’s chapters on processing in Wintgen’s Sustainable Coffee Production and Illy’s Espresso Coffee are great overviews of coffee processing. Carlos Oliveros-Tascón at Cenicafe has done some great work and many articles are available on their site. Scientific publications by Flavio Borem, Lucas Louzada. Sophia Zhang, Florac DeBruyne, Gerhard Bytoff, Dirk Selmar, (and many others) 

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

For me personally, I have 15+ years experience, have authored or co-authored several important texts on coffee processing, helped to build the Q Processing Certification Program, and have a master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering with a specialization in coffee processing from Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA).  More importantly, CQI has a network of growers across the globe and across the supply chain and a 20+ year history of improving coffee and the lives of those that produce it.   
Michelle R. Johnson

Michelle R. Johnson

Michelle is the founder and CEO of The Chocolate Barista, a creative consulting agency for F&B companies with a particular focus on coffee. She’s currently based in Los Angeles, California.

Read Michelle's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

TCB by The Chocolate Barista is a creative consulting agency for food & beverage ventures of all kinds with a specialized focus on coffee. We get excited about a range of different projects that include building out and improving retail operations, creative marketing strategies, consumer product development, special events and concepts, and training!
What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?
I’ve worked with Califia Farms Australia in the past and currently working on a coffee shop build-out that’ll be a part of a mixed-use art gallery space by the Haas Brothers.
What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?
We have a fuller view of the industry from many perspectives: retail, wholesale, events, and culture—and have multiple successes in these industry aspects. We have a realistic, practical view of coffee businesses that’s completely centered around putting accessibility and bringing more people to the table at the forefront of the cafe spaces we help build out and the companies in need of guidance and direction. We’re where practical meets good taste. Our vision is uncompromising and forward thinking!
Sara Morrocchi

Sara Morrocchi

Sara is the founder and CEO of Vuna Origin Consulting, a seed to cup consultancy with a heavy focus on making the supply chain sustainable and equitable. She’s based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Read Sara's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

Founded in 2015, Vuna has developed its own value chain model, the Cherry to Heart  model. This model focuses on four coffee journeys: Green Coffee & Production (CJ1); Access to Markets (CJ2); Product Development (CJ3); Digital Growth and Consumer Engagement (CJ4). Our services are provided through these four coffee journeys. It means we can support our clients wherever they are on journey. In practice, this means we provide the following services:

CJ1: Value Chain Development; Processing & Quality Control; Price Risk Management

CJ2: Market Intelligence; Marketing Strategy; Sourcing & Quality Control

CJ3: Signature Drinks R&D; Coffee Menu Curation; Barista Education

CJ4: Growth & Analytics; Experience Optimization; Consumer Engagement & Loyalty; Digital Marketing

In 2019, Vuna launched Vuna Coffee School, with the goal to make coffee education accessible anywhere, anytime and at lower costs.

Currently we have course in:

  • price risk management (3 modules, in English and French)
  • seed to cup (1 module, in English)

We have plans to expanding our curriculum and partnership in 2021 and beyond to accelerate the digital coffee education for coffee professionals at origin.

What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?

We have worked with a variety of clients.

Development organizations: Winrock International, Farm Africa, Agriterra, GIZ, Bread for the World, Misereor, InterAmerican Development Bank, Catholic Relief Service, Solidaridad, Cooperazione Internazionale Universitaria (ICU)

Coffee industry organizations: Coffee Quality Institute, Fair Trade US, OikoCredit, Root Capital

Traders & Roasters: Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, This Side Up, Coffee Circle, GEPA

Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

Our Cherry to Heart model was developed with one mission: making coffee equitable and sustainable. To do so, Vuna committed to focus on industry value chain services (CJ1, CJ2, CJ3) but also develop services to connect with coffee consumers online. To us, this is the most critical step in the value chain. This is why Vuna’s services do not stop at coffee product development and R&D, but extend to reaching consumers online and building a community of like-minded coffee enthusiasts.

Scott Rao

Scott is coffee roasting consultant and author with expertise across operations, training, and technical excellence, as well as coffee shop quality and operations. He’s based in the United States.

Read Scott's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

Most of my consulting is with roosters who want to improve their roast quality and consistency. I occasionally do consultations for new cafés, cafes wanting to improve their brewing procedures, or companies looking to improve their business processes.
What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?
I have worked with many hundreds of companies around the world. I don’t generally name them because I respect that some companies may be a little sensitive about having asked for help.
Do you have any resources that potential clients can access (podcasts, articles)?
I have a few podcasts, and I have put several videos on my Instagram account, mostly interviews with Coffee experts. I have had various articles published in Coffee magazines, and of course I have written numerous books.
What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?
Different consultants bring different experience and skills to the table. My unique qualification is that not only have I owned and run several well regarded businesses, but I have consulted on no less than 400 different roasting machines over the years. Roasting on so many different machines has taught me a lot about what strategies work universally and which ones are specific to certain machines or situations. It has also helped me keep an open mind about approaches to roasting because I have had to work with so many variables and machine designs. It has been quite challenging but also very rewarding.
Shawn Steiman

Shawn Steiman

Shawn is a supply chain consultant through his company, Coffea Consulting, with expertise along the entire seed to cup journey. He is based in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Read Shawn's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

I work along the entire coffee production chain, from seed to cup.  My work includes

-Coffee research

-Farm assessment

-Coffee farming, harvesting, and processing

-Coffee storage

-Quality (everywhere and all kinds)

-Quality assessment and sensory science

-Scientific interpretation


-Education (from farmers to consumers)

-Product development

-Green coffee sourcing

-Equipment sourcing

What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?

Here are some:

Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?

Loads!  My CV has links to pretty much everything: things I’ve written, things about me, videos I’m in that are online somewhere:

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

My goal is to teach clients rather than just do the work for them.  Essentially, I try to help eliminate my clients’ need for me.  That isn’t always possible and not everyone wants it but I strongly believe folks should under the process of something rather than just the answer.  Often there is more than one “right” answer and I want to empower folks to make that choice as much on their own as possible.

Relatedly, my information is almost entirely evidence based, i.e., it has survived the scientific process.  I’m a scientist by training and I think the scientific method, while not perfect, offers a lot of value.  There are times when I must rely on experience or anecdotal evidence but I try to avoid it when I can.
Spencer Turer

Spencer Turer

Spencer specializes in quality assurance, product development, and supply chain consulting for coffee companies throughout the farm-to-cup supply chain at Coffee Enterprises. He is based in Hinesburg, Vermont.

Read Spencer's Micro-Interview

What kind of coffee consulting do you offer?

Spencer Turer leads a team of specialists in the evaluation and improvement of coffee & tea programs throughout the global supply chain. Our experience enables us to provide insights that assist our clients in making informed decisions in managing their beverage program by addressing practical issues from a scientific perspective.

Coffee Enterprises’ technical business solutions:

  • Coffee Farm to Cup Consulting: Supply chain and quality control training to manage physical and financial risks, operational and qualification audits, understanding green coffee contracts, buying and selling green coffee, the futures market/hedging, and product specifications, etc.
  • Product Testing: Physical, sensory, and chemical analysis to evaluate coffee and tea quality and consistency.  Scheduled quality control testing, comparative and competitor analysis, and supplier proposal (RFP) evaluations to verify quality and adherence to specifications.
  • Product Development: Formulate coffee products to target price and consumer preferences.  Establish green coffee, roasted coffee, and tea product specifications.
  • Equipment Evaluations: Analysis and consulting for innovation, operation, and beverage quality for coffee and tea brewing and service equipment.
  • Customized Projects: Specialized projects to answer questions and develop coffee and tea quality solutions.

What companies have you worked with (that you can share)?

At Coffee Enterprises we mostly work behind the scenes supporting our client’s quality control, chemical testing, and product development needs. Our clients are recognizable and respected coffee businesses throughout the farm to cup supply chain including. exporters, importers and traders, roasters, and private-label brands.

We support restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, and convenience stores for retail, foodservice, and single-cup products. Our clients include insurance companies, brewing equipment manufacturers, departments of agricultural, and the list goes on. Our clients include entrepreneurial start-ups, independent companies, national and multi-national corporations.

Do you have any resources that potential clients can access?

RoR #2: Exploring Quality Control w/ Spencer Turer of Coffee Enterprises

I am a regular coffee writer for ROAST Magazine and Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, and often interviewed as a reference source and industry “insider” by the news media and academic researchers.

What makes working with you different from other coffee consultants?

Coffee Enterprises does not sell coffee & tea: we test coffee & tea. We are an independent company founded in 1992 providing consulting services, product testing, and food safety chemical analysis for coffee & tea products.  

Our consulting services are based on practical management experience while working in supply chain, manufacturing, quality control, product development, and retail merchandising.  We understand that all businesses are unique, requiring a customized approach for each project to identify the appropriate coffee business solutions to contribute to your success.  Professional experience and practical expertise are the foundations for our consulting.


Hey 👋 I'm Garrett Oden

Hey 👋 I'm Garrett Oden

Freelance Coffee Marketer

I'm a coffee industry native who works with coffee brands around the world to create and execute captivating marketing strategies.

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