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  • How Fresh is your coffee??

    The best and freshest coffee i have purchased is from the local roasters in Canberra. However, I have also had some very dissapointing coffee from the same two roasters and i believe it is related to how long since the coffee has been roasted. I have to say that even when the coffee is at its worst it is 100 times better than anything from the supermarket.

    Its really annoying me that the retail outlets for these beans are reluctant to tell me how old the coffee is. They always say its fresh but will not tell you the roast date. One place just says 1 to 2 weeks old and thats that. I have had extremely good aswell as bad coffee from this place always buying the same blend at the same time of week.

    We all know that coffee peaks 3 to 7 days after roasting. All i want to do is buy coffee before it peaks, enjoy it while it peaks and finish it as it declines, but this seems to much to ask from canberra roasters. Its more like a lucky dip, and i think that sucks.

    Do other coffee snobs know how old their coffee is?

  • #2
    Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

    I tend to let mine sit for four or fiive days before I touch it if it is stuff that I have roasted and between 10 and 15 or so days if it is stuff that I pick up from work. We were having a bit of difficulty keeping track of roast dates, so I found a whiteboard that we could put up in the office ... heaps easier now!

    Originally posted by Sink cut link=1175597505/0#0 date=1175597505
    We all know that coffee peaks 3 to 7 days after roasting.
    Thats what I thought, but I think that there are a myriad of factors that affect this. For example, fast popper roasts stored in the open are going to finish resting and start staling before nitrogen flushed drum roasts are ready to crack open.

    ... then lets not forget the actual beans! I find that robusta and monsooned malabar blends tend to taste best at the end of the second week or the beginning of the third. The yemeni coffee that I have had recently (ismaili and red sea blend) liked to sit for seven or eight days. On the other hand, sometimes I like dark roasted mandheling at three days.

    It is interesting that the world barista championship winners have always used coffee between about 20 and 30 days old!

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    • #3
      Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

      I was going to say that yes...a lot of the WBC winners have used a month old coffee....interesting stuff.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

        The fact remains still that if your roast date is a variable somwhere within a 2 week long range, when your coffee does peak (if you catch it) you still dont know what age it is peaking at and therfore are missing out on making observations about peaking age for various varietys of coffee.

        I have mail ordered coffee on a few occasions from various NSW roasters. These roasters are extremely happy to give me the roast date and will actually package the batch they have just roasted and i get it withing 24hrs. It has only been in these transactions (and rarely form local roasters) that i have been able to observe the peaking time in actual days since roast.

        As much as i complain i have still had my very best coffees from local roasters, so i keep trying.

        I realise that most customers probably are not as obsessive as me (except for people on this forum) so it probably is not really an issue from the roasters point of view.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

          Originally posted by Sink cut link=1175597505/0#3 date=1175599423
          The fact remains still that if your roast date is a variable somwhere within a 2 week long range, when your coffee does peak (if you catch it) you still dont know what age it is peaking at and therfore are missing out on making observations about peaking age for various varietys of coffee.

          I have mail ordered coffee on a few occasions from various NSW roasters. These roasters are extremely happy to give me the roast date and will actually package the batch they have just roasted and i get it withing 24hrs. It has only been in these transactions (and rarely form local roasters) that i have been able to observe the peaking time in actual days since roast.

          As much as i complain i have still had my very best coffees from local roasters, so i keep trying.

          I realise that most customers probably are not as obsessive as me (except for people on this forum) so it probably is not really an issue from the roasters point of view.
          Seems like a simple solution to me...Buy a Gene Cafe, get your greens from Andy at under $10/kg (with the knowledge that you support Fair Crack) and there will NEVER be any doubt over the issue of freshness.

          On the other hand, if you wish to buy fresh in Canberra, have a chat with directly Attilio...Youll get the facts, no dodgy info and most probably a bag o brown beans still warm from the roaster.

          If youre prepared to pay for a little freight, try some CS brown beans. Andy is launching this month and the result will be guaranteed achingly fresh...

          So you have three options, all winners in my opinion  8-).

          2mcm

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

            Seems like a simple solution to me...Buy a Gene Cafe, get your greens from Andy at under $10 and there will NEVER be any doubt over the issue of freshness
            I realise roasting my own probably where ill end up. I have been resitsting because i was under the impression that you could not roast at home to the same quality as the commercial machines (and operaters) do. I have heard home roasters have trouble achieving the same sweetness...any comments???

            anyway 2muchcoffeeman, could you message me the price on Gene Cafe?

            Thanks

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

              Hi Sink Cut,

              I recently bought a gene cafe from 2mcm. Id highly recommend him and the gene - Im only a newbie at roasting, but I already can tell you that I love having control over the production of freshly roasted beans. I also found it handly to calculate how long it would take before my gene paid for itself (ie, calculate cost of buying retail versus green - make sure you include postage if you are having beans sent to you) and you may be pleasantly surprised how quickly the gene pays its way. That wasnt my main motivation for buying one - fresh beans and convenience were. Another added bonus I hadnt considered is the sampling of different single origin beans (and eventually making my own blends).

              Anyhow, good luck with your decision and your quest for fresh beans.

              Cheers,, Mary

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

                Coffee in my cabinet is never more than two weeks old. It never lasts that long.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

                  I know when the beans I buy are roasted as my roaster also dates the package.
                  Maybe they are one of the NSW ones you bought online from.

                  I have actually watched a batch of this blend roasted from go to whoa and packaged for me. Cant get fresher than that.

                  I usually buy the same blend and have found I like it from 7 days on and to me it only starts to decline in the 3rd week.

                  I bought some today that was roasted today and will use it earlier than usual because for a start Ill run out of my previous stash tomorrow and also because I occasionally like to try it again earlier and this batch she said she "nailed" so should be interesting to compare.

                  As for not roasting as well as commercial, I know where you are coming from as I dont consider my roasting experience good enough yet to compete, but my roaster started with a popper and still roasts small batches this way for particular customers and she has asked me about heat guns as she is thinking of this method for slightly larger batches that are still too small for the big commercial roaster.

                  If poppers and heat guns are good enough for her then I have to surmise that it is possible for us home roasters to roast to a similar quality.

                  It would just be a matter of practise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

                    Im another that buys commercial instead of roasting my own and I LOVE to see date stamped retail packaging of commercial roasts. Warms my heart.

                    First came across that sort of transparency in Melb with Coffee Supreme and then StAli.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

                      The only dates i get on my packages are token use by dates which are 6 months after purchase date

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

                        Good morning Sink cut.

                        The situation is easily resolved but as with everything in life you have to talk to the right people or ask the right questions, and you have to have some understanding of the other side of the coin as well!

                        If one of the roasters you like in Canberra is my own establishment, thank you for the kind words above and please, just ask for me next time you come in (make sure to advise the staff you are a member of the CoffeeSnob group). As long as I am not in the middle of something life threatening, we can have a coffee together.

                        For that matter, all CS people should do the same!

                        It cant get any better than that.

                        Regardz
                        FC.

                        For the record, we only put "dates" on supermarket packets not on coffees sold essentially as "bulk coffee on which there is by comparison, a very quick turn around. Beware marketers who are "happy" to put dates on their products. Many will just put todays date on (ie the date of packing your order), and you are either dealing with honest people that you have some faith in to deliver you a quality product (and all that entails not just a roast date), or you are not.

                        And lets not forget, the variation you say you have found may well be due to the state of real freshness of the coffee you are buying. If as an individual you wish to purchase only coffee that is for example less than a week from roasting, I think you would need to build a relationship with someone in the roasthouse who will look after your particular requirements as they do fall outside the realms of the norm (no disrespect intended).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

                          Sink cut - dont resist roasting. If you are having any doubts at all about roasting and dont want to go to the expense of buying a gene cafe try roasting in a popper. Poppers can be bought anywhere and are 20-40 dollars.

                          Have a read of the the following http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1174699442

                          It is really very easy. I can guarrantee that once you get the hang of it, and it doesnt take long, you will get coffee that is equal too and sometimes superior to what you are getting from some roasters.

                          Once you have done this you can then make the decision to upgrade to an IRoast2 or a Gene cafe or Hottop roaster.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

                            Originally posted by lucinda link=1175597505/0#12 date=1175648985
                            ...It is really very easy. I can guarrantee that once you get the hang of it, and it doesnt take long, you will get coffee that is equal too and sometimes superior to what you are getting from some roasters...

                            Hi Lucinda,

                            sorry, but I think not!

                            Whilst an operator can become very familiar with his or her chosen piece of equipment there is simply no way you/we/anyone can compare coffee beans roasted with a pop corn popper, and coffee roasted in a professional revolving drum batch roaster.

                            You may well destroy a batch of nice greens in a professional drum batch roaster, but atleast they will have been "consistently" destroyed hehe!  The words "consistency", and "popper", cannot coexist in the same sentence Im afraid.

                            Regardz,
                            FC.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How Fresh is your coffee??

                              I think lucinda is correct.
                              When roasting your own, you will certainly
                              .. get coffee that is equal too and sometimes superior to what you are getting from some roasters.
                              Not better than ALL roasters.

                              I doubt that anyone here thinks being a professional roaster is easy.
                              But roasting coffee at home IS easy.
                              Getting consistent, repeatable results that you are happy with, well that is harder.

                              It is the same as baking bread at home is easy.
                              Does it mean it tastes better than most bakeries? - usually.
                              Does it mean we suddenly think we are capable of running a bakery? - I wouldnt think so.

                              As for the comparisons between popper and professional drum roasted beans, well thats a whole different ball game, but Im sure people can figure out when/if they want to compare for themselves.

                              As for me, since beginning home roasting, I havent bought any roasted coffee for my own personal use. Its not because I think ALL of my stuff is better, its just that Im having so much fun trying it all.

                              Smiley face, smiley face, wink, rim shot, howareya, howareya, howareya (lest this post be seen as an insult).

                              Comment

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