Starting a coffee business can mean different things, and answering what kind of business you want to run, is a great starting point.
Among the best-known coffee businesses are an estate, a green coffee
buying company, a roaster, or a coffee shop.
I would say that before deciding what to study in more depth, it's great to take an introductory course in coffee, to understand the depth and complexity of the coffee value chain.
The Specialty Coffee Association, for instance, offers an Introduction to Coffee course that's great for this purpose. Another way to explore the topic from a business perspective is to read the book: The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee.
I find interesting the way that Blue Bottle founder, James Freeman, tells the story of his coffee shop, as he connects the dots that high-end cafés need to consider to start. Additionally, as a keen businessman, James thoroughly explains his insights, challenges, and opportunities for Blue Bottle.
The Coffee Knowledge Hub is an excellent resource to understand several business aspects and learn coffee skills. They even have some specific courses to learn how to operate a coffee shop and some lessons to learn quality control and standards to buy green coffee and roast it.
Barista Hustle is another inexpensive resource available with a rich and deep educational offer for baristas and coffee professionals. They have a very scientific approach for the most complex topics and can be intimidating for some people, but it's interesting.
In any case, to offer the best coffee that we can, it's essential to master a wide range of skills, and it usually takes a team of enthusiastic experts to accomplish the best results.
Another aspect that's crucial to take into account is to learn the basics of business to deal with other more general aspects, like accounting, management, recruiting, and building a team.
I encourage you to explore this topic and start with your favorite role in the value chain: roaster, green coffee buyer, producer, or coffee shop owner. All are crucial to offering great coffee, and they have exciting and challenging features.