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How long can my roast last?

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  • How long can my roast last?

    Most info I've read on optimum time to consume a fresh roast is within 3 weeks.
    I have seen roasters/other places on the internet extend this to up to 2 months.
    I was recently in a cafe of a relatively well known coffee roaster, who didn't have roast dates on their bags, and was told by the barista that a coffee 6-7 weeks old was just now getting really good.
    This confused me as it seems to go against dominant opinion. Am I being to pedantic with roast dates by avoiding anything over 3 weeks old?
    I bought 250g because I was curious, and I've got to say I was not upset with the blend at all. Would like to have tried it at 2, 3 or 4 weeks to see how different the flavour was.

  • #2
    After 4 weeks post roast approx the beans have finished degassing and the oils on the surface of the bean become rancid - I for one have a mild allergic reaction to old beans so Im always pretty diligent about freshness!


    • #3
      How long roasted beans will be good for depends on how they are stored. There's an entire forum here dedicated to the storage of beans: Roasted Bean Storage

      A good start would be this thread:

      Java "Store it how?" phile
      Toys! I must have new toys!!!


      • #4
        My taste buds tell me that roasted beans are on their way out after about a 1 week. Mine are at their best from 2 days to a week.

        (I store mine in light-proof cannisters at room temperature that allow gases to escape but oxygen can come in only when the lid is opened.)


        • #5
          thanks for the input. Interesting forum re storing coffee. Still, I was of a mind that even the most carefully stored coffee might be past it come 6-7 weeks. Maybe not? The beans these guys gave me came from a sealed bag that would have had a valve in it. Not sure if they gas flush their beans too, which could make a difference I suppose. Anyway, not sure I'll be chasing down beans from an outlet trying to con/vince me to buy old stock. Although the shots were pretty good. Have had heaps worse. Maybe I'm going easy on it. Maybe it's cause I'm used to stale beans, but I know that's not true!


          • #6
            48 hrs up to 3 weeks.....


            • #7
              My ideal window of opportunity would be 7 to 10 days post roast depending upon the beans


              • #8
                Also depends on the roasting.
                The way I normally roast my beans I can brew them straight out of the roaster, but I also then only get a max of about 7-10 days from this point before they are getting stale. But many roasters say they will need at least that amount of rest time before their beans are even drinkable!
                So I'm sure your local roaster / barista were right. Perhaps that batch was a really quickly / lightly roasted bean or blend that needed a good long rest to bring out the best as espresso. I've talked to roasters who suggest their clients stockpile beans for 3-4 weeks to get the best out of them…
                So roast dates on a bag are a great idea - but really only so you can estimate how long you are from roast date and knowing from experience when they will peak - and each roaster's offerings will be different.
                So, in essence, there is no set answer to how long a roast will last. But most CS'ers will agree that once you have reached the sweet spot once beans have rested (how ever long that takes) the best is around 7-10 days of coffee goodness.
                Cheers Matt