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Thread: Use by date or batch label?

  1. #1
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    Use by date or batch label?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All.
    Ive just started getting in to grinding beans which I can buy fresh from a range of places locally. It just so turns out that I live within a couple of hundred metres from Belaromas big roasting factory - some days I can smell the coffee in the air around the area!

    Having never ground my own beans until recently I use to (prepare to cringe) buy supermarket ground beans. Now however Im on the hunt for a nice blend that I can enjoy with my milk based drinks - usually flat whites and lattes.

    Any of you CSrs tried Belaromas blends or have any recommendations from them?

    PS. Last time I was at their little cafe Scottie Callaghan was there getting some coffee - I wouldnt have known who he was until I went to the desk with some magazines on it after ordering my coffee, and he was on the cover of one. Haha. :)


  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    No, but I have tried lots of CS sponsor blends.

    Andys espresso wow is outstanding...

    Given that you are a member, how about giving some sponsor beans a crack :-?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Quote Originally Posted by 475E404E5C4A59461C1A1A2B0 link=1279602843/0#0 date=1279602843
    Any of you CSrs tried Belaromas blends or have any recommendations
    Yes. I recommended that they stop putting use by dates on their coffee. Have they done that yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by 475E404E5C4A59461C1A1A2B0 link=1279602843/0#0 date=1279602843
    PS. Last time I was at their little cafe Scottie Callaghan was there getting some coffee
    Maybe thats because he works for them.




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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Oops sorry guys.. didnt expect such sour feedback :-/

    Ill give some sponsors blends a go. I have some reading to do :)

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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Quote Originally Posted by 735259595E44370 link=1279602843/2#2 date=1279605976
    Yes. *I recommended that they stop putting use by dates on their coffee. *Have they done that yet?
    I believe that is an interpretation of the food labelling laws requiring used by dates on food products. Not everyone does it so it may just be them covering their behinds.

  6. #6
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Yep, use by dates are a food labelling requirement by law.

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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    If you can get your hands on the delacremmm, do it. We use no. 5 at work which is pretty reasonable...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Quote Originally Posted by 504957594B5D4E510B0D0D3C0 link=1279602843/5#5 date=1279619314
    Yep, use by dates are a food labelling requirement by law.
    Where did you get that little nugget Luke? Im sure many people think so, but it isnt true.

    The facts:

    1. Food that is made and packaged on the premises from which it is sold is not required to have ANY label on it, ie. no identification at all, let alone a use by date.

    2. Coffee is not required to have a use by date on the pack. When distributed to other points of sale it must have a "best before date" along with a few other requirements.

    3. There are plenty of foods that are not required to have either a use by date or best before date. Go to your pantry or supermarket shelves and check out the baked beans, or many of the other canned foods that are in the same aisle. Very few, if any, will have either use by or best before.

    Been there - done that. ;)



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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B4A4141465C2F0 link=1279602843/7#7 date=1279624211
    Where did you get that little nugget Luke?
    High school food tech.. :-[

    Maybe they just werent thorough enough when it comes to important things like coffee. :)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Quote Originally Posted by 647D636D7F697A653F3939080 link=1279602843/8#8 date=1279624928
    Quote Originally Posted by 6B4A4141465C2F0 link=1279602843/7#7 date=1279624211
    Where did you get that little nugget Luke?
    High school food tech.. *:-[

    Maybe they just werent thorough enough when it comes to important things like coffee. :)
    ;D ;D ;D

  11. #11
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A435D534157445B010707360 link=1279602844/0#0 date=1279602843
    Any of you CSrs tried Belaromas blends or have any recommendations from them?
    As a member and moderator of Coffeesnobs, this is not something I admit to often and some who know me well, know we use this product in our business.

    Mind you, being a client of Belaroma has its benefits, one of which I got to attend an advanced workshop run by Scott last year.

    We put the No.5 blend through our machine as it is our preferred Belaroma blend.

    Our actual preferred coffee is Espresso Wow. I have quite a local client base who regularly purchase this blend from me. *

    As I am not really keen to say much about our coffee supplier on a public forum, I am happy to answer any of your questions via PM. I just dont believe that everyone here needs to see my opinions on Belaroma, whether they be good or bad. They are my opinions and I dont need people misconstruing things I might say. So, I reiterate that if you wish to know more, please PM your interest, Luke.

    Dennis, Belaroma are still putting useby dates on their bags of coffee, Im afraid. I cant see that changing quite frankly. However, there are still batch numbers and I guess if we were really keen to know when the coffee was actually roasted, we could ask them to tell us what date the batch number matches. Ive never done that how ever.



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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Hello Scoota.

    Off topic but.....As a roaster, I would say that wanting to know what the batch numbers mean (in terms of roasted date or how old is the coffee) is superfluous. The beans either produce a good result in the cup when brewed properly by a knowledgable professional barista looking for the best possible result during the course of his/her working day, or it doesnt. If it produces a good result, then the roasted date or batch number doesnt come into play.

    An individual baristas opinion of what constitutes "good" then also comes into play...OR, an individual baristas opinion of what constitutes "commerically acceptable" or "fit for purpose" comes into play.....all subject to the individuals opinion.

    In my opinion, a roaster probably would not divulge to a client how to enterpret their batch numbers. If it became common knowledge, a business could have massive problems with individuals differing opinions on what constitutes "fresh" coffee or not and the roaster would be run ragged swapping coffee around all over the place just because of the individuals interpretation of the "worth" of the meaning of the batch number and its possible theoretical effect on the quality of the beans....phew. It would be a nightmare for any good name roaster plying their trade in an entirely professional manner.

    Batch numbers I believe, are for "internal use" only, where they can be accessed by the roaster, if a problem in the quality of the pack is observed.

    On another note I agree, "use by" dates on coffee packets are silly *:D !

    Just my 3.5 pesos worth! ;)

    Regardz,
    A.
    (see you Sunday?).

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D594E58437468444D4D4E4E2B0 link=1279602844/11#11 date=1279800441
    On another note I agree, "use by" dates on coffee packets are silly
    Hi Attilio

    Some irony with these use by dates:

    1) Regular customers would be able to work out when it was roasted.

    2) As they are regular customers its safe to say they are also regularly happy with the product and have no need to look at the date on the pack.

    We have a famous hamburger shop across the road from mine, They make and sell their own pineapple crush. The type with chunks of pineapple in it that isnt too sweet, takes me back to childhood memories, and tastes wonderful.

    They sell it in an opaque plastic bottle and there is absolutely no identification of what is in those bottles. Just plain plastic bottles that customers buy by the gallon!

    (Ill be there Sunday and looking forward to meeting you!)


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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    fantastic, C U then.

    (not quite my shortest post ever,..but close :D

    A.

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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Thanks for that, Attilio, a great perspective there...personally, weve been shown round the roastery at Belaroma and weve been assured of their products freshness. Ive always found them quite open to deal with and theyre a company with passionate people in it too! Hence why Ive never bothered to question any of their dates/batch numbers etc on the bags. Like Dennis said, were regular customers who are regularly happy with the product.

    Mostly, I use the dates to make sure that weve done proper stock rotation, which seeing as we churn through about 15kgs a week at the moment, isnt a huge issue either!

    And Im pretty confident I can spot/sniff a stale bag of beans from about 20 paces away too! ;D

    No, sorry guys, you wont see me in Sydney this weekend, Im still managing this shop for the owners who dont return from their OS trip till the end of next week. As much as Id love to be there...have fun yourselves!


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    Senior Member bennett's Avatar
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    I have a friend who works for Belaroma, and I will qualify by saying I have never tried their coffee. From his ramblings it seems they have quite a professional approach to coffee roasting. *However as an outsider I get the impression they have an image problem. What I mean by that is that for some reason in my head I associate their brand with supermarket type coffee. Maybe its because of all the crappy cafes in Sydney that used to serve their coffee in the 90s. I genuinely feel they want to be considered a quality force in the Australian coffee market, but they also have a touch of the V*#ttor*#a about them. If they want to be taken seriously they need an image overhaul. They can start by removing use by dates from their coffee and moving to roasted on dates. I guess employing Scottie Callaghan is also an attempt to improve their image. All I will say is that FOR NO VALID REASON if I see a cafe selling their brand I steer away, and I know this is shallow because I have never tried their coffee but its just the way it is.

    mod edit- I think this topic has diverged far enough that a rename is appropriate....I have done that..
    2mcm

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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    I think batch labelling can be fine for commercial product, except when less scrupulous roasters use the process to hide shoddy production and/or warehousing. In retail product, use by dates are a laugh serving only as an indication of how close to 12 or 24 months post roast the product is... ::)

    In one cafe I owned, my experience was with batch labelled product which was initially good and fresh. Later batches were really poor. A few questions to the right people revealed that the batches we were receiving at that time had been roasted 6 months or so prior. Why the roaster allowed that to happen, I have no idea ::)

    Roaster/retailer is a two way relationship. The roaster should be able to provide fresh coffee as the retailer needs to manage stock holdings to ensure that the optimum result is in the cup...If either party is dishonest or slap dash in the relationship, the customer suffers and the reputations of the roaster and of the cafe move a notch in the southerly direction.

    Brand cred once sullied is extremely difficult to retrieve. It why we see wind barriers outside places that demand a truck load of freebies and think "no way"....

    Chris

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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Roasted on dates would be nice on all bagged coffee particuraly where product is being shelved and resold to enable proper stock rotation. Larger bags for shop consumption are easier to manage providing the turnover is good. Best befores are a WOFTAM and Roasters should stop using them NOW.

    The large commercial roaster I deal with only has some sort of batch numbers on the bags but I trust them to send me fresh beans without a roasted on date and as Chris mentioned above "Roaster/retailer is a two way relationship".

    Part of the reason to pick a blend is consitancy, freshness and how you find company X is to deal with. Price and freebies are really low on my list but in looking around my little town over 2/3s of the cafes have been swayed by freebies and most wouldnt know or care if the coffee was a month or three old. :P

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    Senior Member dr.a.j.pickering's Avatar
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    I was in bellaroma the other day and noted they have rosted on dates on all single origin coffees but use by dates on the blends, I also noted that use by date was exactly 6 months after the stated rosted on date of current blend running in the coffe center and I recall that is usually the case.

  20. #20
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Hey doc...I now see that we are getting our blend with both roasted date and use by date on them from Belaroma again. Were supplied with the 1kg bags, so I can only speak from that perspective.

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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Im always surprised with this topic of freshness. What surprises me is that so many operators are ok with "trusting" that the producuct they are buying is fresh. Happy to take the word of the roaster, and if the roaster wont give the information freely on the roasted date, how many operators think that it is fine.

    For me personally, freshness is vital. If I deal with a roaster in any way, and they can not, or will not, tell me when the beans were roasted, I wont deal with them at all. Every customer is entitled to know when the product they are brewing or selling was roasted. I have dealt with many roasters over the years, some bad, some amazing. Openess of knowlege and information is the way to go, roasters that dodge the question of when the coffee was roasted on....not cool.

    At the end of the day, the coffee industry is completely unregulated, just like mush of the food industry in Australia. Wouldnt it be great though, if the coffee industry could lead the way in freedom of freshness information. Quality freshness, instead of use by dates/best before dates, that allow a roaster to work their business more easily, yet not nneed to worry about freshness and quality.

    I have a dream........ :D

  22. #22
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E2126252C3A21263D2825263F2C490 link=1279602845/20#20 date=1309218093
    just like mush of the food industry in Australia
    Haaaaaaaaaa, this has got to be one of the best Freudian slips ever! (Unless you did it deliberately--then its just great!)

    Greg

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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    I picked up bag of grinders coffee beans at a cafe / snack bar , it had a use by date of some time in 2013,
    I laughed and quickly put it back.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Use by date or batch label?

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 76594255405F475542300 link=1279602845/22#22 date=1309334673
    I picked up bag of grinders coffee beans at a cafe / snack bar , it had a use by date of some time in 2013,
    I laughed and quickly put it back.
    Actually, thats correct. You can use Grinders coffee in 2013 and it will pretty much taste like it does today.




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