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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; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:33 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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  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
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    Don't reckon you could go too wrong trying... not like you have much choice

  9. #9
    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
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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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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  16. #16
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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
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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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
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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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.

  21. #21
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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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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    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
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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