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Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

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  • Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

    Hi, guys!

    I know its a question which was asked like a million times and I am surprised to, from time to time, find different answers to it.
    First I thought freezing coffee is good, then I was told by a couple of respectable coffee professionals that its about the worst thing you can do to a bean. Today I was glancing through Paul Bassets recent book and I again noticed that he advocated freezing beans, or at least was suggesting it was better than just keeping them in the cupboard.

    So I am lost and I need an advice ;-)

    I dont roast my beans (at least yet ). I buy beans from good local roasters and the beans are fresh. I drink reasonable much coffee with my wife but I always have to have at least two blends available - normal and decaf. I buy beans always in 250g valve bags and re-seal those when take some coffee to put in the grinder for immediate use. Once opened the bag never lasts more than a week (usually it takes shorter time to consume it)

    Questions are
    1. is re-sealable bag the best option, or should I buy a container to pump the air from it..
    2. do I need to put bags in the fridge?
    3. realistically, how long does the coffee last in the sealed bag before I open it the first time (because I buy it in the small bags, I sometimes have to buy a few to have some stock just in case I have a party or something)

    thanks a lot
    Ed

  • #2
    Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

    Ed,

    Yes, I have heard plenty of conflicting arguments on the freezing and the fridge thing.
    Personally, I think that if you are buying fresh beans and use them within a week, then the fridge/freezer would be useless regardless of which camp you believe.

    I suggest doing more research and reading a few more articles on this point, then make your own mind up as to whether you want to try it out.

    As to the questions
    1 - Re-sealable bags. Personal preference, airtight canister away from direct sunlight.
    2 - I say no, but see above.
    3 - Freshly roasted coffee is usually best consumed within the 1-8 week mark. Different beans and different roasts will have different sweet spots, but generally speaking, past 8 weeks youll be pushing to get the best out of it. It will remain drinkable for quite some time (hence long use-by dates on supermarket beans) but the taste will certainly be best prior to a few months passing by.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

      3 - Freshly roasted coffee is usually best consumed within the 1-8 week mark. Different beans and different roasts will have different sweet spots, but generally speaking, past 8 weeks youll be pushing to get the best out of it. It will remain drinkable for quite some time (hence long use-by dates on supermarket beans) but the taste will certainly be best prior to a few months passing by.

      No offense mate, but are you having a laugh ?

      Unless there is something wrong with my tastebuds, grinder and VBM, after 3 weeks its in the bin for me.
      I have even binned Black Cat from Intelligentsia after 4 weeks, but thats just me.
      Also the long use by dates in the Super Market :-[ has absolutely nothing to do with freshness, if it did they would be "Roast Dates" not use by dates, these are purely to sell their crap longer

      CB

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

        Yep,

        Im on the past 3 weeks = bin fodder approach as well!!! There are a few... very few.... beans that are still reasonable past that but they are certainly the exception!

        Roast them fresh (or buy freshly roasted).... store them in one way valved bags (not in the fridge or freezer but in a cool spot)..... squeeze as much air out as you can when you reseal.... and consume within 3 weeks....

        And dont apply a vacuum.... that just sucks out the volatiles making the espresso taste flat (but consistently flat for a longer time admittedly)...

        And I wouldnt touch anything without a "Roasted on Date" (about 7 days ago max!!)..... they will be stale before you get them!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

          Originally posted by redzone link=1212551544/0#2 date=1212554354
          Unless there is something wrong with my tastebuds, grinder and VBM, after 3 weeks its in the bin for me.
          I have even binned Black Cat from Intelligentsia after 4 weeks, but thats just me.
          Also the long use by dates in the Super Market :-[ has absolutely nothing to do with freshness, if it did they would be "Roast Dates" not use by dates, these are purely to sell their crap longer
          just to put things straight... we are not talking supermarket coffee anyway. No question its stale. However, I though that coffee in a valve bag, packed 24 hours after being roasted should last at least 3 weeks without being opened, shouldnt it?
          If not, then how is it possible at all to have any fresh coffee without actually roasting it yourself?!
          I am already not sure one can justify buying roasted coffee in any bag bigger than the smallest one...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

            I think saying coffee, whether the bag has been opened or not, 3 weeks from roast date before bin time.

            No vac container.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

              Originally posted by redzone link=1212551544/0#2 date=1212554354
              3 - Freshly roasted coffee is usually best consumed within the 1-8 week mark. Different beans and different roasts will have different sweet spots, but generally speaking, past 8 weeks youll be pushing to get the best out of it. It will remain drinkable for quite some time (hence long use-by dates on supermarket beans) but the taste will certainly be best prior to a few months passing by.
              No offense mate, but are you having a laugh ?

              Unless there is something wrong with my tastebuds, grinder and VBM, after 3 weeks its in the bin for me.
              I have even binned Black Cat from Intelligentsia after 4 weeks, but thats just me.
              Also the long use by dates in the Super Market :-[ has absolutely nothing to do with freshness, if it did they would be "Roast Dates" not use by dates, these are purely to sell their crap longer

              CB
              Offense taken.
              Some roasters can roast beans that peak later than others.
              Yes, 8 weeks old is unlikely to be any good, but blanket statements dont really work for all cases.
              Not ALL beans are crap after 3 weeks.
              As for the use by dates - I was just illustrating that whilst it is still technically drinkable, it is not to be taken seriously. Anyhow, the OP knows this already.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

                Not ALL beans are crap after 3 weeks
                Having a little trouble finding those exact words in my comments and also it was a personal preference not a blanket statement, Big difference !

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

                  Originally posted by fatboy link=1212551544/0#6 date=1212556239
                  Not ALL beans are crap after 3 weeks.

                  I agree.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

                    Never said that was the exact phrase in your post.
                    Thats just my personal opinion.
                    I also never said the use by dates on Supermarket coffee had anything to do with freshness.
                    And whilst highlighting some of my post, you may have seen the word usually was in italics.

                    But when you start your reply with -
                    No offense mate, but are you having a laugh ?
                    it just seemed a little personal to me.

                    I cannot find the appropriate emoticon!


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

                      Chartres, if you get your beans fresh out of the "oven" and in small quantities from your local roaster, then keeping them in a valved bag in a dark and cool spot should not deteriorate them too much within the week.
                      a cupboard away from the stove/oven/direct sunlight exposure will do fine....

                      vac-jar sealing is generally not advised, as the vac process gets rid of most of the volatile oils = the yummy bits.
                      fridge/freezer will cause some moisture to form on the beans and that isnt good either, for the beans or for the grinder.

                      it would pay, though, to ask your roaster what resting times he recommends for the particular blend/SO you are buying from him/ when he thinks the beans are at their peak... some beans do indeed need more than 1 week before they get to their very best.

                      have fun!!

                      L

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

                        Most of the things I was going to say have been said but Ill say them again anyway.

                        Chartres I too go through a 250g bag in a week and dont have any problem regarding freshness in such a small perieod of time.

                        Im currently roastng PNG Kimel and prefer it after 7 days.
                        Its still quite good at 14 days through to 21 and Ive tried it at 6 weeks and while I dont prefer it, Ive had worse.

                        I recommend you keep going as you are and buying your beans fresh and grinding them as you go.
                        Keep them in the valved bags in a dark cool cupboard with most of the air squeezed out.

                        Dont put them in the fridge.

                        Dont pump the air out.

                        The beans should last a little longer unopened because oxygen is not getting to them but I dont think theyll last too much longer.

                        If you know how long your beans last then you can work out how much you can buy.

                        Example:

                        If you buy a 500g bag you can put half in a smaller bag and put it aside.
                        By the end of the week you can reopen the 2nd bag, and provided you know your beans are good for at least 2 weeks, you dont have a problem.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

                          Gday chatres,

                          All good advice above there mate, but why not do a bit of experimentation? Sacrifice a batch of roasted beans and over an 8-10 week period, pour yourself an occasional brew and make notes of your impressions over that time. It is worth it to experiment you know, as not only are we all different but so too the beans, the processing method used, the method of roast, the roast profile and many other contributing factors.

                          When youre done with the experiment you can tell us exactly what happens and your personal impressions. All the best mate ,

                          Mal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

                            Hi Ed,

                            You are no doubt as confused as you were before!! People will always have different opinions..and so it saying that - here are mine!

                            * Definitely dont keep your coffee in fridge or freezer
                            * You should ask your roaster when his coffee is best after roasting - this really does vary for different coffees quite a bit - I used to use a coffee that was great at week 3 and my new coffee is great at week 1!!
                            * I now use a vacu vin container at home and at the cafe and have found a HUGE difference in the freshness of the coffee - totally recommended
                            * If you dont want to use one of these you should keep the coffee in the bag it came in, wrapped up to get the air out and tied off with an elastic band or something

                            Key points: out of air, out of light, away from moisture!

                            Good luck!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Storing coffee, give some advice please ;-)

                              Originally posted by Mal link=1212551544/0#12 date=1212586474
                              Gday chatres,

                              All good advice above there mate, but why not do a bit of experimentation? Sacrifice a batch of roasted beans and over an 8-10 week period, pour yourself an occasional brew and make notes of your impressions over that time.
                              Thanks, Mal!
                              In fact the whole topic was raised because I have done some experimenting and I suspected that I perhaps wasnt storing the beans in the correct way.
                              In brief, I noticed that beans in the opened bag deteriorate quite fast - say, if I open 250g bag of freshly roasted (not more than a week ago) on Monday, the first few pours are fantastic. I keep the beans in the bag and re-seal it and try to squeeze the air from it. Nevertheless by Thursday or Friday the shots are ok, but could not compare to the shots I made on Monday or Tuesday in brightness or richness of flavour... I do keep the bag in a cupboard, away from the light (even though its a foiled bag)
                              So it might be its just the way it is..

                              I was talking mostly of single origin roasts that I was buying from StAli...

                              Cheers,
                              Ed

                              Comment

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