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Thread: Resting coffee

  1. #1
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    Resting coffee

    Aloha, i've tried searching, but the criteria "resting" appears to bring up every thread ever started.

    I live in the Inner West of Sydney, we have a lot of specialty coffee companies in our area. I've noted that Campos for instance will have a roast date on their bags of beans, this date is normally only 1 or maybe 2 days prior to purchase. So it appears they are not resting their beans more than a day, however the coffee tastes excellent straight off the bat, if anything the freshness/flavour appears to deteriorate with time. I'm pretty sure the coffee they are brewing in house would be relatively freshly roasted too, or is it only the beans they sell, and the stuff they serve on site may have had some time to rest?

    On the forum there is a lot of talk about resting coffee to get the best flavours, we've recently found that our home roasted coffee is hitting it's best at around 4-5 days after roasting. Previously with a hand shaker roaster over the stove i reckon the coffee was at it's best maybe 2 days after roasting..

    My question is, do commercial coffee roasters rest their coffee (apart from all day or overnight in those open top plastic drums) to sell it when it's at it's best, or am i missing that these store bought beans might actually hit peak flavour a week after purchase? Would seem like a LOT of work and space needed if they rested beans for days before selling them?

  2. #2
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    Hi Janus,
    I've often wondered the same. My local is roasting big batches and selling them same day, and using them the day after roasting in their own cafes (the only delay being dispatching wholesale orders first before taking the rest from the roastery to the café).

    I have been amazed how, with home roasting, it is so clear that resting is useful. As they rest they get more tasty. But it seems clear this doesn't happen in commercial roasting, at least from what I've been told when I've asked.

  3. #3
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    PS, I have come up with what I have called Nick's First Law of Home Roasting:

    - Home roasted beans will be at their best drinking just as the last of the batch exits the grinder.



  4. #4
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    Janus, don't know if commercial roasters have a secret method requiring no resting, but can say if I was selling roasted beans I would supply them the same day. Some would be happy to use that day and others would like to rest, let the client make the choice. Saves having to explain to some that the beans aren't stale and saves on rent to store the resting beans.
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  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    A lot of (Bulk Output) commercial roasters leave the beans open to the atmosphere after roasting to accelerate degassing and development; mainly because they expect the beans are going to be used straight away. This effects the useable life of the beans however...

    Just for your info, Andy does NOT do this...

    Mal.
    Last edited by Dimal; 12th July 2017 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Qualification added.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member mwcalder05's Avatar
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    Hey Janus!

    As coffee is roasted, a lot of things happen to the bean. One of them is the releasing of CO2 which begins to occur around first crack but then continues for some days afterwards (called degassing). If you get a bag of coffee that is really puffy, then degassing is occurring! And this is where we get the crema on top of our espresso from. Essentially, it's frothed up coffee from the turbulence from the CO2 in the extraction. Extract a coffee too early (i.e. 0-3 days), then you'll get a lot of crema and not much flavour because of that turbulence in the puck. Extract a coffee too late (>30 days) then you'll get a really thin, pale crema without much flavour because the coffee has been oxidised or gone stale.

    I've worked at a roastery/cafe outlet for 6 years now and for us, we aim to sell the product as fresh as possible to our retail customers, because we don't want to have old stock on the floor, and it ends up being less than a week old for our wholesale customers. I find, for our coffee, that it tastes best after about 10 days post-roast to about 30 days. Then, the oxidising process really takes an affect on the flavour profile.

    Here's something to consider: less developed or lighter coffees will generally take longer to degas. (And that is very general by the way) This is because their structure is firmer and will withhold all that gas OR because it hasn't actually been developed to the point of degassing. Over developed coffees or darker roasted coffees will take a shorter amount of time to degas because the structure is less dense OR they have just been cooked to the point of charcoal!

    I find the Campos story intriguing because they don't generally roast overly dark. So the only reason that their coffee would go so well is because it hasn't been handled carefully (i.e. bins left open overnight) OR you aren't brewing it as espresso!

    Anyway, hope my ramblings make sense!
    Michael.
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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    This thread is very timely for me. I have been asked at short notice to do coffee for a group of 25 - 30 people this weekend, and I had to do a roast yesterday, as I didn't have enough beans on hand.

    I find most of my roasts are still improving up to about ten days and as Michael said above they tend to be a bit bland, and sometimes even a little harsh for the first 3 or 4 days.

    So if I want to speed up the aging/maturing process, should I leave these freshly roasted beans out in a shallow open container for a couple of days ??

    I was about to start a new thread, but this one is so applicable I have posted it here - hope you don't mind.

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    Don't reckon you could go too wrong trying... not like you have much choice

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    Senior Member mwcalder05's Avatar
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    For quality control, we cup a lot of our roasts once they have cooled by grinding the amount needed and leaving it for a number of minutes. Grinding and resting speeds up the process of degassing but also the oxidising of the coffee.

    I guess if you leave the coffee whole beans in an open container, the process will be sped up because of the exposure to the O2 and because the gasses haven't been trapped, which, theoretically, would slow down the degassing process!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janus View Post
    Don't reckon you could go too wrong trying... not like you have much choice
    Too true !!

    So I'm giving it a try. I did two batches, one Colombian, and one India Elephant Hills, both stopped just before second crack.
    I've spread them out in shallow trays, and will try them both tomorrow, and again on Saturday before the acid test on Sunday when I serve them up at the club.

    I'll probably be too busy to allow much time between grinding and brewing, but I have two two PF's and baskets, so maybe I could alternate between them letting one rest while I'm pulling a shot with the other, staying one grind ahead of demand.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwcalder05 View Post
    For quality control, we cup a lot of our roasts once they have cooled by grinding the amount needed and leaving it for a number of minutes. Grinding and resting speeds up the process of degassing but also the oxidising of the coffee.

    I guess if you leave the coffee whole beans in an open container, the process will be sped up because of the exposure to the O2 and because the gasses haven't been trapped, which, theoretically, would slow down the degassing process!
    Ah so that's how cupping is done so close after a roast, will have to give that a crack, even might try that with espresso. Grind it soon after roasting, leave for a couple of minutes and pull. I'd imagine the finely ground particles would degas and oxidise fairly quickly.

    Ah this is interesting, be keen to see how you go deegee! Great topic, and I've always wondered about roasted coffee sent to cafes. I remember when I did barista work sometimes the coffee would seem a bit fresh at times but you'd make do with what you had and tried to alter what you could to get a great shot.

    Yeah it really does depend on the coffee and the roast depth for sure.. Just roasted up the Ethiopia Sidamo Ardi Naturals to roughly 30s Pre-SC, and day 4 the pour was horrendous and couldn't get anything decent flavourwise, left it until day 8 and my oh my a massive improvement.. was blown away by it, it really highlighted to me the importance of rest (and patience hehe ).
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  12. #12
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    Haha...

    Yep, the 'patience' bit can sometimes be the most difficult...

    mal.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Haha you guys go through beans so much quicker than me, I need to up my game XD
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  14. #14
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    I'm already planning my next roast batch...

    Mal.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    My best laid plans on resting roasts for home consumption go out of the door regularly, I had two bags resting for next week's consumption and then my neighbour messaged for urgent supplies so Torre will be fired up this afternoon for urgent re-stocking!!!
    It is interesting savouring roasts as they develop day by day with subtle changes, one of the great joys of being a home roaster!!!!
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    I've only just started roasting in a Behmor and as someone who struggles with patience and waiting, I decided to try out some PNG Wahgi about 18 hours after roasting.

    The beans already smelt great and tasted pretty good. I've a long way to go before understanding and improving the roasts but it already seemed pretty good to me.

    I have some more of the Wahgi which has been resting for a few days which I will try this afternoon and see the difference.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Ah this is interesting, be keen to see how you go deegee! Great topic, and I've always wondered about roasted coffee sent to cafes. I remember when I did barista work sometimes the coffee would seem a bit fresh at times but you'd make do with what you had and tried to alter what you could to get a great shot.
    For Simon and anyone else still interested, I would say that leaving the beans out in the open air for a couple of days probably helped a little, but it's hard to say how much. I post-blended the two batches on Saturday and tried a couple of shots, one espresso and one flat white. The espresso was just fair and the white was OK, but not great.

    On Sunday most of my orders were for cappuccino's, but there were a couple of long blacks and an espresso. Comments were favourable, and a few came back for seconds so it worked out OK - admittedly with a non-critical group of people.

    I have a little of the blend left, which I will leave for a week or so, then see if I think it is any better. It will be very subjective of course, because I will be trying to compare it with what I remember from a week earlier.

  18. #18
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Ah that's great to hear, thanks for keeping us updated! Looks like they loved it if coming back for seconds! It's an interesting topic, and I guess the pros and cons need to be weighed up (leaving the beans out helps speed up degassing but exposes them to oxygen), and would be interesting to know how long is a good time to leave them out without significant deterioration (of course it all depends on local conditions anyways!).

    Anyone have some high-tech equipment that can measure all these CO2 and oxygenation levels?

  19. #19
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    When i first started roasting i did my first batch and left it a few days to rest and then when i tried it, it was just flat, no real flavour. I thought "oh no, i've invested all this money in roasting coffeeand i suck at it" after a few more days the flavours came through and i was so relieved.
    Sometimes i'm over 14 days post roast and the coffee just hits new levels after already being good.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    I've only just started roasting in a Behmor and as someone who struggles with patience and waiting, I decided to try out some PNG Wahgi about 18 hours after roasting.

    The beans already smelt great and tasted pretty good. I've a long way to go before understanding and improving the roasts but it already seemed pretty good to me.

    I have some more of the Wahgi which has been resting for a few days which I will try this afternoon and see the difference.
    Nice one Luke, it's fun isn't it? A few basic mods should be pretty straight forward for someone with your skill set too.

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    I used to rest my beans for usually 2 days, but that was in a vacuum sealed container, so maybe that made no difference after all now that I think about it.

  22. #22
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    How and where you store your beans will affect how long they need to rest before they hit peak flavor as well as how long it will be before they go stale: Introduction to the storing of roasted beans


    Java "No vac" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  23. #23
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    Resting coffee

    I just listened to a YouTube video talk by a guy called George Howell, reckons they did side by side daily comparisons of different storage medium, and found freezing (in zip lock bags) to maintain freshness and flavour in cup the best over time. It's in one of the "what's brewing" episodes.

  24. #24
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Yeah I've read a bit about freezing beans recently... it makes sense, as long as they're well contained and that you don't thaw then refreeze, I'd imagine that would work... I'd be worried about beans picking up/absorbing smells of other foods etc, but not sure if that would be legit in the freezer..

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    I still don't understand how this works, there is still C02 in the beans even after aging, otherwise we would have no crema

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    Quote Originally Posted by ultrasuede View Post
    I still don't understand how this works, there is still C02 in the beans even after aging, otherwise we would have no crema
    You are dead right. There will still be CO2 left, but as the amount of CO2 left in the beans decreases, so does the rate of degassing.

    I found a journal article a while back where they measured the rate over 2 months or so. Worth reading - http://www.diycoffeeguy.com/recent-d...ffee-roasting/

    There is a great chart showing the cumulative evolution of CO2 over time.
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    I think part of it is expectations of flavour profiles. A young coffee will be blander of body and perhaps drier and cleaner in the nose, but also a bit more aromatic. To me the body and caramel take over after a few days but the coffee loses that fresh cut grass aspect. Sometimes I want that, sometimes I don't. 1-3 days is peak aromatics in that case, again, personal taste and on a lighter roast and as a pourover (body is more important in espresso). When I order roasted and it arrives a week later, I'm a little annoyed to have been deprived of that floral phase.

    But taking a Colombian to a darker roast, or monsooned coffee, then the flavour doesn't really peak for a few more days. I don't understand the 30 days though; I've never had a roast that was not distinctly tasting off (flat, stale like supermarket beans) after just a couple of weeks, three at most.

    The same idea with wines: compare French and Australian. A tannic Bordeaux is made for aging, it is harsh and relatively flavourless in its first years (the guy who ran a cellar in my parents' hometown would call it "infanticide") but a couple of decades in the cellar bring out a whole world. Many Australian reds by comparison (especially Cabernets and Shiraz) are all about sweet and simple power and I prefer them younger; the DNA of the plant might have been the same initially but the weather and soil give a very different result.
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  28. #28
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    Quick update to this, i've checked with a couple of my favourite roasters here in Sydney Inner West, answers were coffee is roasted 9 days and 10 days before serving.
    I haven't asked Campos about it, however their bags often show the roast date of the day or the previous day - will report back next time i drop in, to see how long the coffee they are serving in shop is rested.

  29. #29
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Ah nice, cheers for the investigating, I always try (really really try hehe) to rest beans for at least a week. Tried some beans the other day at day 5 and they were horrendous... day 8 they were incredible! Could not believe how dramatic the difference was! Must depend on the bean I think.

    I'm going away for a week next week and I'm actually gonna give freezing my beans a go! See how it affect freshness, flavour etc. Would rather try freeze them than letting them sit there for a week

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Ah nice, cheers for the investigating, I always try (really really try hehe) to rest beans for at least a week. Tried some beans the other day at day 5 and they were horrendous... day 8 they were incredible! Could not believe how dramatic the difference was! Must depend on the bean I think.

    I'm going away for a week next week and I'm actually gonna give freezing my beans a go! See how it affect freshness, flavour etc. Would rather try freeze them than letting them sit there for a week
    If you do freeze the beans, just make sure they are in an airtight container at the back of the freezer. Opening and closing the door will allow them to 'defrost' slightly and possibly get moisture in them, which is the enemy. Back of the freezer, they will get less variation.

    Also air tight because your freezer has all sorts of goodies in it and coffee tends to soak up flavours easily when in the freezer

  31. #31
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, yeah was thinking of just closing up the ziplock bag they are in as well as the one-way valve bag (which should be airtight) they're in and straight into the freezer. But might further chuck that into an airtight container too just to be safe hehe, cheers

  32. #32
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    What Javaphile said up above in post #22...

    Mal.

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    Noob here. Great thread thanks

  34. #34
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Just an update, I froze my beans for approximately 6 days or so, thawed them out overnight, and next day seemed just fine, no real issues (apart from the usual issues I was having prior haha which I think might be my roast...), but still produced great shots (72% of the time XD). Not therefore conclusive regarding freezing beans but seemed to not affect them in a negative way

  35. #35
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Just an update, I froze my beans for approximately 6 days or so, thawed them out overnight, and next day seemed just fine, no real issues (apart from the usual issues I was having prior haha which I think might be my roast...), but still produced great shots (72% of the time XD). Not therefore conclusive regarding freezing beans but seemed to not affect them in a negative way
    To do this properly (including all the double-blind taste testing), you would need to roast two separate batches to the exact same profile such that from the time of freezing until they're thawed, results in the same development time starting point for the non-frozen batch and the frozen batch. Once you open both bags at exactly the same time, start taste testing from each over several days. You will eventually start noticing that the frozen beans will start 'going off' before the non-frozen batch. At least, this is what I noticed when I ran the experiment several years ago...

    Conclusion:
    No frozen beans for me...

    Mal.
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  36. #36
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    This still makes frozen beans viable though, the freezer gives you a longer lifespan, it’s just important to drink once defrosted right? So potentially the benefit is in only defrosting the beans you would use daily and leaving the rest frozen?

  37. #37
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    More trouble than it's worth for me to go through all that though...

    Mostly, roast batches around here only last about 10-12 days and up to 14 days, so wasn't practicable.

    Mal.
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  38. #38
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    Indubitably.

  39. #39
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    To do this properly (including all the double-blind taste testing), you would need to roast two separate batches to the exact same profile such that from the time of freezing until they're thawed, results in the same development time starting point for the non-frozen batch and the frozen batch. Once you open both bags at exactly the same time, start taste testing from each over several days. You will eventually start noticing that the frozen beans will start 'going off' before the non-frozen batch. At least, this is what I noticed when I ran the experiment several years ago...

    Conclusion:
    No frozen beans for me...

    Mal.
    Ah right fair enough good to know. I was just giving it a crack however just to see what happened, wasn't really doing a conclusive study and answer to the whole thing hehe, but will for sure keep that in mind
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  40. #40
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    My roasted PNG beans aren't quite ready yet for brewing and need more rest...

    ...yet.... my supplies dwindle... what to do.. what to do... ahhh I shall whip out the ol trusty popper and roast up some beans for filter!



    Now, as they'll be roasted today and brewed tomorrow, I'm going to leave them out open for a couple of hours spread out on my cooling tray before one-way-valving them (not sure how long to leave, maybe 3 hours?), and then when it's time to brew tomorrow I'm gonna grind up the beans and let it sit for 10 minutes before brewing (unless anyone has any other recommendations or experience with 'quick degassing'?).

    Shall see how it goes!! Wow, what a wild lifestyle this is! Hopefully the authorities don't catch me...
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  41. #41
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    …(unless anyone has any other recommendations…)
    Yep - just roast and drink! Freshly roasted beans are always good in my experience – but they just truly 'explode out of the cup' at slightly different spots. Just enjoy it when it happens
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  42. #42
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I frequently roast and drink, usually pretty good hot from the roaster, it's also nice to monitor changes over the week or so post roast.
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  43. #43
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Hehe done, I left it for a bit after grinding today, wasn't all that impressed, so will brew straight after grinding tomorrow.

    In fact it had been so long since I'd used the popper that I honestly almost forgot how! The roast turned out a little funny though as a result I think, and I am not joking when I say this, but smelling the beans after I'd roasted them, they smelled like KFC chicken!!! I was shocked, like honestly, smelled exactly like the 11 herb and spice blend...

    It didn't taste like that, but the smell... wowza that was WEIRD!
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