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One year use by date on roasted beans.

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  • One year use by date on roasted beans.

    Yesterday I roasted the last of my beans and had one of those, oh hell Ill have to go and by some beans moments. Not wanting to buy supermarket(stale) or Rio beans from one of the cafes in our area as I have found they are always over roasted, I decided to try the beans of another roaster who actually puts the roasting date and use by date on their beans.

    So I was looking at the bean blends (this roaster also puts the name of the beans used in the blends) and was checking out the roasting date and a couple packs were roasted in November or december with a twelve month use by date

    As you can imagine I put them back on the shelf mighty fast. I did manage to find beans that were roasted on the fourth of January 2007, but these also had a twelve month use by date on them. I had a coffee in this shop and it was very very nice, which is why I bought the beans, but I did restrain myself from pointing out they had stale beans on the shelf and they should send them back.

    This roaster has seemed to have everything else right and I was disappointed that they had such a long useby date on their beans. I know the general public doesnt always know better, but someone who is a professional roaster should know better than this and as a point of pride and good reputation should be ensuring they put the appropriate useby dates on their blends and making sure any stale beans come back to them to be disposed of appropriately.

    EDIT:
    I forgot to say that they do state "...all coffee beans should bebought as soon as possible after roasting and consumed within 2 weeks from this date.(Beans are of course suitable for use until use by date)...."

  • #2
    Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

    I dont know where you are Cindy, but in my small region the coffee roasters do the same thing. I just go by the roast date, if there isnt anything recent out I ask the proprietor, he can generally produce something that has been roasted but not yet bagged.

    I figure that there are a only few thousand of us and we cant keep all the roasters in business, and that a lot of people would say "Im not buying this specialty coffee, it wont last as long as the supermarket stuff." So its in the small roasters interest to have the longer use by date. At least your guy put the roast date on, giving you something to go by - a lot of places dont do that.

    Ask this guy next time you go by - he would probably be very happy to have another customer who knows what theyre talking about. I dont think people would set up a small roastery only for profit, they would have a passion for coffee as well.

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    • #3
      Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

      12 mths Use By seems to me to be pretty standard.

      The best alternative I can come up with would be:
      Roasting Date &
      Best By Date &
      Use By Date

      Overall though they may be constrained somewhat by legislation.
      I imagine they HAVE TO put a Use By Date.

      Good roasters put a Roasting Date for the benefit of Coffee Snobs.

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      • #4
        Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

        I have just had a taste of the beans I bought and even though they should wait a couple of days (huge crema) they were very very nice.

        I actually didnt buy from the roasters themselves, I never thought that they would have to put a useby date and all the other stuff. I was just a bit shocked when I initially read it.

        Having a roasting date there is why I bought the beans in the first place so I shall stick with that I think. Especially if I get caught out again.

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        • #5
          Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

          Lucinda, you should try Rio coffee.
          Tony (master roaster) = massive street cred

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          • #6
            Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

            Sorry rice, BUT I have bought Rio coffee on a few occasions at some of the coffee outlets and I am not the only one who says this, they over roast their beans, sometimes to the point of burning. Maybe the beans that can be bought at the shop are fine, but the two or three blends I have bought have always tasted burnt to me.

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            • #7
              Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

              Often, the biggies will put a pack date on their stuff- rather than a roast date. I guess it makes sense if theyre doing a post-roast blend of stuff roasted on different days (which they might do if it hits a peak earlier or later or for the usual other roast time/temp related reasons). Hopefully, good cafe owners ensure that its gone way quicker than that....

              One amazing thing I have noticed though is that they often put 12 months on wholesale (i.e. 1kg) product and then 2 years on the retail (250g and smaller) stuff.

              Clearly coffee ages much more slowly when its for domestic consumption...:

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              • #8
                Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

                Originally posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1168042346/0#6 date=1168144269
                One amazing thing I have noticed though is that they often put 12 months on wholesale (i.e. 1kg) product and then 2 years on the retail (250g and smaller) stuff.

                Clearly coffee ages much more slowly when its for domestic consumption...:

                Im sure Ive done a paper somewhen on the temporal eccentricities of coffee beans.

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                • #9
                  Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

                  There are reasons for having lengthy use by dates on supermarket packet coffee, most have nothing to do with the coffee but that doesnt mean they are not legitimate reasons.

                  There is room for both "markets".....many will buy their fave brand from the supermarket and always like it, and others will seek out specialist roasters and buy there.

                  Thats life!

                  Regardz,
                  FC.

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                  • #10
                    Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

                    Originally posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1168042346/0#8 date=1168210420
                    There are reasons for having lengthy use by dates on supermarket packet coffee, most have nothing to do with the coffee but that doesnt mean they are not legitimate reasons.
                    Do go on...please.

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                    • #11
                      Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

                      Originally posted by Thundergod link=1168042346/0#9 date=1168219527
                      Originally posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1168042346/0#8 date=1168210420
                      There are reasons for having lengthy use by dates on supermarket packet coffee, most have nothing to do with the coffee but that doesnt mean they are not legitimate reasons.
                      Do go on...please.
                      As Attilio correctly states, supermarket use by dates have little to to with the freshness or otherwise of the coffee. Its about compliance and health departments and that sort of stuff. I guess that product is considered "fit for consumption" if it doesnt cause you to become ill...

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                      • #12
                        Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

                        Heres a link to some info about use by and best before dates on packaged food items.
                        http://tinyurl.com/y6z3xo
                        An interesting snippet from the page is that you cannot use a packed on date as the only mark on the food item.
                        This would mean that the roaster would have to put a best before/use by label as well as a packed on/roasted on label.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: One year use by date on roasted beans.

                          Thats what I was trying to say.

                          Best before/Use by date would be a legal requirement.
                          Any other dates are probably at their discretion.

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