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How to make a bean online!

Cat Poo Coffee

kopi-luwakAs promised on Twitter, this blog entry is all about coffee beans and how one business is making money online selling them. Two days ago I started to Google for some coffee beans as I was getting low and quite fancied trying some ‘cat poo’ coffee, Kopi Luwak. A few Googles soon put me off that idea as it was around £50 for a small 50g bag. However, I did still need coffee so started to look at some sites.

Not all like the High Road coffee shops

The searches revealed a mirror of the high street coffee shops – lots of them and a high degree of uniformity in the coffees they provided and the design of the sites. One site stood out though and that was HasBean. What I liked about it was the range of coffees and most particularly the fact that someone who obviously knows a lot about coffee was writing the copy for the site. Here’s an example:

In the cup, I got fruit salad sweets on the front end (for those who don’t know these are very sweet fruit chews), and a lovely acidity to match that is not over powering but completely in balance with the whole cup. This is what this coffee does best, it is balanced in the cup. This  develops into a winey, complex, rich flavour, followed by a sweet sweet aftertaste that just carries on and on and on.

And not only do we get splendid reviews, we also get a history of the plantation, a map of its location showing where the beans grow and pictures of the growers. El Salvador La Ilusion Cup of Excellence No.1.

Mr HasBean on Twitter

Back at Twitter I commented on Has Bean, remarking that their site stood out over the rest of the paid search companies. Noticing new followers I checked to see who they were and saw a certain @hasbean was in the list. Saying hello I asked Mr HasBean which bean he recommended and was informed that Cacheoria Canario is amazing coffee and not only that, there’s a video on it!

Perfect brew

My Purchase from HasBean

This I thought is impressive and promptly placed an order. HasBean has got all the ingredients for success:

  • Well designed, informative and easy to purchase e-commerce site
  • A blog connected to the site
  • Video blog on the beans
  • A Twitter profile offering personal advice on beans and coffee makers
  • An absolute passion for coffee 

A history of the bean

This is not the story of using the web to get rich quickly. The history of the company is heart-warming and hilarious with great tales of coffee roaster fires in the garage and cups of coffee for the local cops. What’s more, the more I look at the site the more I find and now I’ve enrolled on an online course on coffee in the form of e-mail tutorials.

Maxing the video

The site, service and the owner Steve Leighton are an object lesson on getting it right. The only thing I’d advise would be to make more of the video. Years of sending sales videos inside the enterprise taught me that short is best and these would be my tips for maximising the video element:

  • Keep the video to 5 mins max
  • Edit in any plantation or map pictures to break it up
  • Create a YouTube channel and post them there too (like Hot for Words!)
  • Embed the video in the main HasBean site and have links from the individual bean’s section

True Enthusiasts

Before anyone asks, I’m just a happy punter who likes his coffee. I’ve gotten to like it even more because of the web and true enthusiasts. like Steve. On that note, here’s one of my favourites which taught me a lot about getting the best from my La Pavoni:



Phew, this is thirsty work, anyone for a cuppa?