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Thread: What Coffee Containers?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rusty's Avatar
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    What Coffee Containers?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I notice some CS store their beans in clear containers and even in the grinder hopper :-?

    I always thought that light as well as air and heat could affect the keeping qualities of the roasted beans.

    I would have thought that no hopper was airtight let alone light proof.

    Ive even seen beans for sale in coffee shops stored in clear displays so the customer could see how good they looked ::) I actually challenged one shop owner and he assured me it made no difference to the freshness of the beans ;)

    So what containers do you use?

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: What Coffee Containers?

    I keep mine in one-way valved bags.
    I like the ones with one clear side though so keep them in a kitchen cupboard if they are aging after roasting.
    The beans Im currently drinking only last a week so they stay on the bench facing the wall.

    A lot of hoppers are coloured.
    I think they keep out certain wavelengths of light.

  3. #3
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    Re: What Coffee Containers?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A5D5B5C51280 link=1244949126/0#0 date=1244949126
    I notice some CS store their beans in clear containers and even in the grinder hopper *:-?

    I always thought that light as well as air and heat could affect the keeping qualities of the roasted beans.

    I would have thought that no hopper was airtight let alone light proof.
    It is true that coffee ages and is therefore not as fresh as it was as soon as it came out of the roaster. It is also true that fresh coffee tastes better than stale coffee. It does not, however, follow that coffee is at its best immediately after roasting and that coffee quality declines so much and so rapidly thereafter that we must do everything humanly possible to stop it. In this months Beanscene, Jack Hanna seems to have written an article on that very point - Im yet to read it.

    The fact is that coffee undergoes a whole bunch of physical and chemical changes after roasting. But the only thing that matters is how it tastes. You can certainly have coffee that is too fresh and "fresh" itself is a relative concept - try a three or four week old bag of nitrogen flushed espresso blend if you dont believe me!

    I imagine that most CS members get coffee that is quite young after roasting. Yes, storing it in the hopper might accelerate the rate at which it ages, but that might actually be a good thing in terms of what they get in the cup.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A5D5B5C51280 link=1244949126/0#0 date=1244949126
    Ive even seen beans for sale in coffee shops stored in clear displays so the customer could see how good they looked ::) *I actually challenged one shop owner and he assured me it made no difference to the freshness of the beans *;)
    I worked in a shop that did that very thing. Having beans on display like that is a very powerful way to communicate to the public that they are available for sale. For some reason, a lot of people seem to conclude that all pre-packaged coffee isnt fresh.

    The decision to store coffee on display like that was not taken lightly. At first, we thought that it would basically mean that we would have to throw out a lot of coffee in order to have it on display to sell more, but it actually turned out that we could manage it quite easily, though it did take a lot of work. I used the coffee from the display tubes in the grinder for the espresso machine and we also used it for training sessions, so coffee never really sat in the tubes very long. We also had some perspex dividers made so that we could put less of the less popular offerings in the tubes, whilst still maintaining visibility. It was quite easy to take into account the effect of storing coffee that way on the rate at which it would age so that it was always fresh. Indeed, the problem that we faced was often that some of the stuff needed a few more days to settle. At the end of my shifts, I would strip apart the entire display assembly to clean the tubes inside and out before refilling them. It was all quite a lot of work and Im sure that some, if not most, vendors who store their coffee on display wouldnt have been as rigorous. The point, though, is that its not correct to say that there is only one way to store coffee and its not fair to assume that all coffee stored on display will be stale just because storing it in that manner accelerates the rate at which it ages.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A5D5B5C51280 link=1244949126/0#0 date=1244949126
    So what containers do you use?
    I have been buying a lot of coffee that comes in paper bags, which are pretty ordinary in terms of maintaining freshness. Fortunately, a 250gm paper bag is about the exact right volume to fit into a 750mL plastic takeaway container, so I have a bunch of those and thats what I store the bags in.

    I think that theres some benefit in doing this, but every time you open the container, pour out beans, seal the container again, etc, you are presumably getting rid of the protective layer of gas exuded from the beans and replacing it with atmosphere, which has a high oxygen content. The same is true even if you use valve bags and squeeze out the air - in any case, valve bags arent actually as airtight as you might think. That being the case, I dont think that its necessarily obvious that storing coffee in a sealed container and taking out one or two doses at a time is the best way to go. For example, at the moment I have a coffee that is still fresh enough to be giving off gas, but old enough to be drinkable as espresso. I have a few shots worth in the hopper and the rest stored in the bag in the plastic container. Is this the best way to go? I dont know. But it tastes good.

    Cheers,

    Luca


  4. #4
    Senior Member Rusty's Avatar
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    Re: What Coffee Containers?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight

    Thank you Luca for your insights - they make interesting reading :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 50495F5D3C0 link=1244949126/2#2 date=1244958755
    Is this the best way to go?I dont know.But it tastes good.
    I like your honesty, and you are so right - it IS the taste that counts ;)



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