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  • Roasted on......or best before.....

    I have had many conversations regarding this topic, and the ethical aspect of it, wanted to get the general point of view of all CSs. Is it ethically correct to put a best before date on a bag..rather than a roasted on date? Many coffee companies put a best before date of up to a year. Of course you can consume coffee that is a year old, but has it passed its best? And if so, shouldnt the coffee company have an ethical obligation to advise customers of this?

    Every company has their different business objectives, some fresh, some not, and the coffee industry in this regard is pretty well unregulated. So, are companies that put best before dates ethically truthfull to their customers with packaging that indicates their coffee is fresh? And who is to say what fresh is? Hmmm....... :-?

  • #2
    Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

    Originally posted by 36292E2D2432292E35202D2E3724410 link=1305755631/0#0 date=1305755631
    . Is it ethically correct to put a best before date on a bag..rather than a roasted on date?
    We do roasted on and let the purchaser decide when its best before.

    I guess the gotcha for the biggies is that if a blend is post roast, it may have been roasted on different days, delivered to silos and then later blended and packaged.

    Sad thing is that Joe Average frequently doesnt know/care because hes never tried fresh coffee.

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    • #3
      Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

      A random thought that is relevant to this...

      coffee suppliers put long best before dates (as you say up to a year) on packets because of the way many supermarket owners conduct their businesses....my own experience is that supermarket owners will take something that has reached its "date" and give it back to the supplier for credit or replacement......INSTEAD OF MANAGING THEIR OWN BUSINESS AFFAIRS PROPERLY AND PUTTING THINGS THAT APPROACH THEIR DATE ON SPECIAL AND MOVING THEM ALONG and or doing what every one else does when they have kept something too long, and throwing it out and copping it sweet themselves.....no care no responsibility.

      Ergo...long best before dates to cater for items that can sit on a shelf for quite a while.

      If you put a short date on something going into a supermarket, it will cause havoc with stock control especially as there is so much choice out there now...

      What happens "at cellar door" is another matter.

      For all the argumentative types in the CS community, this is not an excuse just an explanation.


      A.

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      • #4
        Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

        Fair answer Fresh_Coffee, I agree. But, not all roasters that put best before dates on their coffee, supply supermarkets. How do they sit with that?

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        • #5
          Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

          best before just means it is best before that date, and in this case it is true.

          It just happens that it is best a long way before that date, but you wont get sick using it.

          Lots of things have long dates on them when it is well known that for most food items they are better when fresh.

          Have you thought about what the best before date on "fresh" apples might be?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

            I do understand the business logic behind the best before labelling for supermarkets and dont have any problem with it, but when I go into a coffee roasters shop and ask what dates the beans in the hoppers were roasted, at $40 per kilo I really do like to know the answer.

            Here in Adelaide I visit two excellent coffee roasters: one has the dates clearly labelled on the coffee hoppers and they write it on the bag for you; the other does not, and sometimes the answer given by staff to the question is a wee bit hazy. When were these beans roasted? ...well, either towards the end of last week or earlier this week. So they could be anything from 5 to 10 days old, which would determine the quantity I would purchase.

            That said, the beans have always been excellent from both roasters so I am not complaining!

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            • #7
              Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

              My attitude (and I generally have it to spare) is that if I am going to buy a food product that you are going to "cook" for me, and you cant tell me when it was cooked... I will shop elsewhere. A roaster must know.. has to know, that freshness is a key factor with roasted coffee. If they dont know at least that much, I dont want their coffee. If they do know, and the date is not displayed or printed on the packaging, that is deception and I dont want to do business with that company.

              Tell me and let me, as a consumer, decide.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

                Originally posted by 7162736A67667A6631030 link=1305755631/5#5 date=1305762506
                the answer given by staff to the question is a wee bit hazy. When were these beans roasted? ...well, either towards the end of last week or earlier this week.

                FWIW I wouldnt buy my beans there, just like I dont buy beans from the supermarket. I need to know the roast date so I can work out my own "best before" date.
                You have to keep in mind that we are a small percentage of the population/market and to the majority the "roasted on" date is less important than the "best before" date. Rightly or wrongly.

                To be honest, some coffee roasters using a best before date rather than a roasted on date is the least of my worries ;D

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

                  Originally posted by 5A454241485E4542594C41425B482D0 link=1305755631/3#3 date=1305759493
                  Fair answer Fresh_Coffee, I agree. But, not all roasters that put best before dates on their coffee, supply supermarkets. How do they sit with that?
                  Cant answer as every roaster is an individual business and they do what they do what they do on individual basis!

                  For myself I prefer to let clients know that they are buying coffee that is delivered within the appropriate "drinking window" and as you well know that is a very short period. If they want to know when it was roasted we tell them. We have an explanatory poster written by moi that explains and / or discusses "what is fresh coffee". If they would rather buy the stock most recently roasted but that has not been put out for sale yet as it is still in the settling period, instead of the stock that has "settled", we are happy to do that. They can make their own choice based on presumably, how long they think it is going to take them to get through the beans after they purchase.

                  But in all that you are assuming the clients know about all this stuff and with respect, most dont and are happy to rely on what their supplier recommends. If it tastes good after they have brewed it in whatever way they do it using whatever technique they employ, then all is good. Some take your good fresh coffee beans and destroy them in the coffee making process.

                  Too many variables, and assumptions that most of the clients are well up to speed on all this, but I am afraid that most are not and if in any case they are buying coffee in the supermarket then they obviously do not rate the freshness of coffee beans highly. All this really only comes into it when they have started to look at specialty roasters for their fix instead

                  Rgdz,
                  A.

                  PS
                  Originally posted by 083B343E23051D745A0 link=1305755631/6#6 date=1305766302
                  .......My attitude (and I generally have it to spare).......
                  Oh Ohhhhh.....you mean there are two of us in here lol

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

                    Roasters who sell less than fresh beans are shooting themselves in the foot because customers will just think their product is not much better than the supermarket stuff. Roasters who are local and selling fresh will benefit from educating their customers.

                    I guess weeks old coffee is a likely consequence of selling a long list of single origins and keeping them all in stock. I was impressed when I bought coffee from Dukes in prahan, VIC that they only had 2 blends and 2 SO available. More likely to be fresh that way.

                    I guess customers like a big range and might not know the compromise in freshness that might involve.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

                      Excellent points *home to roast* and that is precicely why we recently reduced the number of coffees we offer in order to better control what is being offered.

                      But how do the offerings get to be a "long list of coffees" in the first place....? By roasters responding to an expanding market of client requests for coffee types that they dont have in stock, and without which it looks to the majority of clients (***who are not coffee snobs / geeks etc***), that you only have a limited range......

                      In there somewhere there lies a happy medium and there is more to it than meets the eye particularly as it involves business as well as pleasure. Businesses that respond to the market while maintaining their integrity and professionalism, generally get to keep playing the game .

                      Rgdz,
                      Attilio
                      very first CS site sponsor.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

                        Im also wondering if it isnt also partly related to potential legislation about "freshness" of foods which appears to be heading in the direction of best before generally I guess because it is easier to police by the authorities, and the big shops, compared to a roasted on date which relies on consumer to know what is appropriate for them......and then I have seen milk that is still within its "best before" range, but is going off

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                        • #13
                          Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

                          Ive said it before and Ill say it again, when I roast for friends I include "Roasted On" & "Best Before" dates.

                          I believe existing legislation dictates what has "Best Before" and what has "Use By" dates.
                          "Roasted On" could still be added optionally by the roaster.
                          My worry has always been with those that dont add it.
                          99% of beans I buy have a "Roasted On" date.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

                            Its always interesting to note in this topic, which incidentally has come up in different threads several times over the years, that no professional roasters other than myself are willing to give their opinions and like to sit silently and watch.....to leave the discussion go around with only the opinions from the retail side of the fence.

                            For this I sometimes earn a "roasting" from the participants for telling it as I see it and not necessarily agreeing with them, and silence / nil support for my views from other said roasters

                            Its always interesting here in the nerve centre of my CosmoreX Coffee fresh roast coffee business!

                            Rgdz,
                            Attilio
                            very first CS site sponsor

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Roasted on......or best before.....

                              Originally posted by 66524553487F634F46464545200 link=1305755631/13#13 date=1305938361
                              no professional roasters other than myself are willing to give their opinions
                              Ive spoken about this previously Attilio.

                              Originally posted by 74414C4B7F634F46464545200 link=1305755631/1#1 date=1305756413
                              We do roasted on and let the purchaser decide when its best before.
                              We do this too, though do make verbal recommendations of best before depending on the particular coffee/how it has been roasted.

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