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  • the truth about storage + espresso grind

    Hiya All,

    So tell me, what is the truth about storing:

    1) Green beans
    2) Roasted beans
    3) Ground beans

    ???

    For example, some specialty web sites say to store your (roasted) beans in a cool dry place, but the instructions on the back of a packet of beans might say to store in a cool dry & *dark* place.

    So whats the deal?

    I was thinking of buying three airtight see-thru jars from the general trader or somewhere like that to display next to my roaster, grinder and espresso machine - to make a kind of coffee corner in the kitchen!! Granted this would be a cool and dry place but I would not say dark - (dark enough mind you to sabotage any efforts in growing zygocactus there...)

    On a slightly different matter, my grinder is a Breville Cafe Roma. I have used it say 6 times and thats it (I almost fill it with beans everytime I use it). The first batches of "Espresso" setting producing fairly good results but I think that is quickly changing. Just yesterday on the 1.5 setting (one stop above the finest grind possible) it looked pretty coarse - perhaps a tad bigger than sugar crystals. I looked at the burrs and I think they are already wearing. So what to do? Take it back and say it is not working properly and upgrade (the easy path) or contact Breville with my concern? Being a bit wiser since I bought it I would like to take it back and upgrade to the Sunbeam conical grinder......

    DrT


    PS- Is "german" coffee the name of some type of blend or is it a roasting style, or something else completely?





  • #2
    Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

    DrT (Mister T went back to uni and got a PHD??),

    So many good questions.
    The storage thing has been discussed quite a bit, so perhaps a search of the site might turn up some good info.

    Generally speaking, green beans can last for a couple of years as long as the conditions are good. This usually means a calico bag (or something that breathes) and low relative humidity. There are other factors, but these are the main ones.

    Roasted beans, cool, dry and dark is correct. Light does effect the freshness. Not sure if it is all light or just sunlight, but I play it safe and have ceramic jars. My machine is by the kitchen window, so direct sunlight does come in there. For excess beans, I store in zip lock bags in the pantry away from light (as these are see through on one side).

    Ground beans - Should be consumed within 2 hours really. However, I do grind a batch each week for plunger (work) and take it in a tin. Not airtight, but pretty close. Coffee remains way more drinkable than anything else on offer.

    There are articles all over the place about storing whole bean or ground coffee in the fridge or freezer. I reckon it is all a bit of overkill. Fresh is best, thats it! If youre an obsessive like me (and worried about running out), then you do an extra roast each week just in case. Sometimes it gets used as the primary coffee, sometimes it gets relegated to the plunger, sometimes it gets blended with other bits and on a couple of occassions, it even got dumped.

    Grinder - the Breville will not cut it for any serious machine. What machine do you have?
    The Sunbeam is really the minimum you should consider, but I would say - call a sponsor and talk about getting one that will last you a while. Good grinders can grind for a lowere level machine, lower level grinders CANNOT do it for a higher level machine.

    As for "german" coffee. Not sure. Perhaps one of the coffee professionals on the site will know. Best I can come up with is efficient coffee or coffee with no sense of humour.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

      Hey Dr T,

      The simple answer is that it is best not to store any coffee for any length of time if you can avoid it. But a more comprehensive answer would be:

      1) Green Beans

      Most people would say that they can be stored for a long time. Like in the order of up to two years. Roasters usually store them in hessian bags, on wooden slabs so that they dont go mouldy where they contact the concrete (!) If you smell fresh greens and two year old greens, there certainly is a difference, so Id always try to use the current crop if possible. (Unless youre using an aged coffee)

      2) Roasted Beans

      I have never really worried too much about this, as I always try to drink my coffee in its optimum period. Theres usually a three or four day window when its right on and a few days either side when its useable. I have always stored my coffee away from light. Anecdotally, it seems to me that coffee stored in the light tends to oil up faster; this idea would be easily proved or disproved by a few experiments. In terms of coffee that Im actually using, Im not adverse to just storing it in the grinder hopper, but there are heaps of home baristi who go the other extreme. Youve really got nothing to lose by storing it in the dark.

      3) Ground Coffee

      DO NOT store it. Use it within a few minutes of being ground, if possible.

      I have no personal experience with the Breville grinder, but I have heard bad things about them and would not be surprised if they are inadequate for espresso, as most cheapies seem to be. I would return it and go and buy an Iberital grinder elsewhere.

      No idea about german coffee ... although I know that the germans love their kenyan coffees in drip machines!

      Hope thats helpful,

      Luca

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

        Hey fatboy,

        We said the same thing at the same time ;P

        St Ali and a few others now have zip-lock valve bags that are opaque on both sides. I wonder if we could poll a bunch of them at some stage ...

        Cheers,

        Luca

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

          Originally posted by DrT link=1157335722/0#0 date=1157335722
          Hiya All,

          So tell me, what is the truth about storing:

          1) Green beans
          2) Roasted beans
          3) Ground beans

          ???
          1. Just use the rule of 10

          Green beans 10 months
          Roasted beans 10 days
          GRound beans 10 minutes

          For example, some specialty web sites say to store your (roasted) beans in a cool dry place, but the instructions on the back of a packet of beans might say to store in a cool dry & *dark* place.
          2. Cool dry and dark trumps plain cool and dry every time

          perhaps a tad bigger than sugar crystals
          3. Id say your grinder is zygocacatus  refund and get a sunbeam or >

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

            What-ever container you use to store freshly roasted beans make sure it allows the inevitable gas build-up to vent.

            Java "Otherwise the inevitable will follow!" phile
            Toys! I must have new toys!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

              I thought it was a Rule of 3:

              Green: 3 Years
              Roasted: 3 Weeks
              Ground: 3 Minutes

              when properly stored

              :-/

              Matt

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

                3s is the go.

                Green beans kept in calico/hessian/burlap bags fare better than those kept in airtight containers. Beware of too high humidity.

                Roasted beans need not be stored in airtight containers unless significant storage time is required. Freshly roasted beans require carbon dioxide to be liberated, so a vent/one way valve is the go. I use ice cream containers with glad wrap, pinpricked. Try to limit excessive light exposure and humidity.

                Grind coffee for each cup. Vaccuum seal if necessary, but dont expect optimal freshness, especially after a day or so.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

                  Reckon I have the answers I am looking for - thanks.

                  In response to fatboy, a Sunbeam EM6900 - but have not used it yet!! (That and an i-roast2 are a wedding anniversary gift combo to my wife and myself to be opened in a few short weeks...)

                  Have been using a fairly el-cheapo machine for a while now with the results from my breville grinder. Seems OK to me - cant wait for the step up to taste what I have been missing.

                  Ah yes, the DrT thing - this chap does have a PhD (and two other degrees) and first name is Tim. Had thought about MrT as a sign in but dont have the same hair-do and demeaner so DrT will have to do!! Maybe I should use a signature like "I pity the fool that doesnt use fresh beans"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

                    Originally posted by DrT link=1157335722/0#8 date=1157345806
                    Maybe I should use a signature like "I pity the fool that doesnt use fresh beans"
                    I believe that that will make an excellent sig, DrT!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

                      Originally posted by DrT link=1157335722/0#0 date=1157335722
                      PS- Is "german" coffee the name of some type of blend or is it a roasting style, or something else completely?
                      http://www.monkeyandson.com/about.htm

                      I just came across the term while browsing the website above, I still dont figure out what
                      they mean. ;D



                      We use a German-made Probat barrel style roaster and slow roast our coffee in the Northern German method. At the end of each roast, the exhaust valves are closed and the coffee is "smoked." This action forces much of the flavor and aroma released from the beans during the roast back into the coffee while it is still hot. The beans are then air-cooled, resulting in a more completely rounded full-bodied cup.

                      http://tinyurl.com/qwk49

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

                        Originally posted by rice link=1157335722/0#10 date=1157468589
                        I just came across the term while browsing the website above, I still dont figure out what
                        they mean. ;D



                        We use a German-made Probat barrel style roaster and slow roast our coffee in the Northern German method. At the end of each roast, the exhaust valves are closed and the coffee is "smoked." This action forces much of the flavor and aroma released from the beans during the roast back into the coffee while it is still hot. The beans are then air-cooled, resulting in a more completely rounded full-bodied cup.

                        http://tinyurl.com/qwk49
                        On commercial roasters (and high end sample roasters) there is a valve that controls the amount of air flowing through the roasting barrel. By closing this valve off fresh air is no longer being drawn into the barrel nor is the smoke from the roasting benas being exhausted. Resulting in the beans tossing about in a heavy smoke instead of fresh air.

                        Java "Loves his Gothot" phile
                        Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

                          Hey,
                          Where would you store beans in summer? since we get heat up to 30-35degrees and the rule is store in a COOL, dry and dark place. Add a few ice cubes in a cooler? and put a bag of beans on top of it?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

                            Airconditioning, a Safe, or a Good Esky..
                            In that Order

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: the truth about storage + espresso grind

                              For green beans, while they are in a cool dark place, avoid storing anything next to them that has a strong aroma, like onions for example, if youre storing then in the pantry, or like sweaty shoes if you store them in the closet.

                              As far as trying to keep them cool in warm ambient temperature, try keeping them as close to the ground as possible, on the coolest side of the house. Our garage is on the eastern side and the floor is like a freezer slab even in summer. I keep the them in large tins with the lids fitted to keep the dust out.

                              Boris

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