You definitely need to find out all you can about gourmet coffee if you plan to operate a successful coffee shop. People love to drink coffee and they don't mind paying for it as long as it is very good stuff. When the quality isn't there though they will complain and they will likely take their business elsewhere.
It is a good idea to have several types of gourmet coffee because the preferences of your customers will be quite different. Arabica and Robusta are the two main types of gourmet coffee beans. All of the variations you serve will likely be made from these two main ingredients. For those that like a light coffee that is smooth Arabica is the right choice. Those that want a darker color and a stronger taste will prefer to go with Robusta.
Yet you can't buy gourmet coffee beans and grounds based on the names alone. You have to be on a quest to find the very best in quality. They also need to smell very good so that customers will find the aroma appealing when they stop in for a cup of coffee no matter what time of day it is. Don't get fooled into buying lower quality coffee though just because it has a good price. In the end this is going to discourage your customers from ordering from you again.
There are enough coffee shops out there that they can take their pick of where they want to spend their money. It is the wise coffee shop owner that never forgets that fact. To get samples of possible gourmet coffees you can offer in your business contact a supplier. They will be willing to work with you in the hopes that you will commit to buying all of your supplies from them. Once you find a good supplier you should work to negotiate prices with them so you can save money but not sacrifice quality at all. The way in which you mix the coffee will be important as well.
It will affect the taste more than you know. Make sure you have equipment that works well to mix the right amount of coffee with the right amount of water. You always want to use clear and delicious tasting water to make gourmet coffee.
Of course the opinion that really matters when it comes to the quality of your gourmet coffee is that of the consumer. You will be able to track what they are buying and what they aren't. You can entice them to try new gourmet coffee though by having daily specials. They may try one and decide they really like it but without your promotion they would never have tried it.
As the owner of a coffee shop, you need to always focus on the quality of your products. This is an area where you never want to waiver. Customers have to know they can rely on you to serve them gourmet coffee that is hot, fresh, and delicious every single time that they come in to order a cup.
Karyn Lewis writes about the ups and downs of the coffee shop business. Avoid the rookie mistakes many new operators make when they buy a coffee shop and read more coffee related articles at her site.