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Thread: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

  1. #1
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    Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    How do we know the Coffee we get from Cafés is Fresh Roasted and how old is it before we get it?

    I posted this in a test forum we had a while back and thought I might add this to the discussion group.

    Many of us undulge in our own roasting and brewing and we know how old our roasted beans are before the brewing process, However many of us also go to Cafés for a shot from the other side. My question to you all, is How do we know the Coffee we get from Cafés is Fresh Roasted and how old is it before we get it

    We often say that the quality isnt there in much of these Café Coffees and I just wonder does this have a lot to do with the time the Raosted Beans are stored in the sealed Bags.

    FrenchBean :)

  2. #2
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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    FB.

    If you think the MILK coffee (ateast 90% of Oz cafe sales) you have purchased in a cafe has been well brewed, is pleasant and therefore satisfies your need, then maybe it doesnt matter....

    Otherwise of the opposite has occured and that is, that the MILK coffee you have purchased in a cafe is awful or unsatisfactory in some way, is not pleasant and therefore does not satisfy, then I will stick my neck out again as usual and say that it is most probably the result of bad handling by the EMO (espresso machine operator) so freshness of beans probably doesnt come into it.

    If on the other hand you have ordered a "simple" espresso and it is brewed well but is merely palatable, then you can I think, think about freshness. However you only have to note that most "cafes" (eateries with a coffee machine) still dont run the contents of their doser mehanisms down and out towards the end of the day so what they start with next morning is stale grinds....and most dont understand the makings of a decent espresso anyway.

    So, I think there are other variables, that are perhaps more important at the brewing end of things, than freshness of beans "per se".

    Over to you.

    Regardez,
    FC.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    Most certainly FC....

    But my question still stands and that is How fresh are the Beans...... I saw one company that has their 1.5kg roasted beans in bags that was roasted 3 moths prior and I questioned the dealer and he said that this was normal practice.

    I know that when our beans get a bit old the flavour is decreased significantly.

    so I still persue my Question.

    How do we know the Coffee we get from Cafés is Fresh Roasted and how old is it before we get it.

    Equipemt, Barrista etc but this instance I am concentrating on the actual Beans.

    FB

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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    I guess your best bet is to frequent places that use a smaller "local" roaster but even then, it really does depend on the individual roaster.

    For example, I know of one that is convinced that the clients like the flavour of the coffee best AFTER it has been aged for a few weeks before despatch. Dont panic, hes not in your area, or mine.

    The yanks have devised some kind of test that measures solids in the brew...whatever that means. Businesses that "come on board" can submit to these tests and can then advertise that they meet a certain standard...al la "quality assurance"... that all the coffee you paid for is actually in your cup...! This I suppose has something to do with freshness in itself but really, how many hours are there in the day ;D

    Anyway getting back to specifics, I dont think you can know how fresh the beans are in the cafe, except when they are old enough or have been stored poorly enough that you see the obvious signs of ageing (staling), such as the smell, or the way it makes the crema uypon extraction...which is something the client is not necessarily privy to ( seeeing his coffee being brewed).

    Youre making us put our thinking caps on on this one...good topic.

    Chiz,
    FC.

  5. #5
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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    But FC I am sure you understand my point though. and you have hit the nail on the head... the client doesnt see whats going on.... So many people are fooled into thinking the coffee they have is fresh because it is from roasted beans....

    But really it is something that the general concensus doesnt realise.

    I find no greater enjoyment in my coffee shots then when I have an extraction and see marbling in my Crema and then watch it settle to a good head, but what I often find is that the crema is so lifleless and thin and the snap in the taste just isnt there in many of the Cafés we have around our area. We are fortunate to have one Café here that roasts his own beans and this is a pleasant little place to go, but its so busy all of the time....... I wonder why.

    Cheers

    FB

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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    Indeed I do understand.

    The point is however that it is part of a total "quality assurance" approach from the point of view of the cafe industry.

    IE
    Stop all this "brand & brand image" nonsence, which would allow them to
    Buy "real" fresh coffee (rather than a "ready made perceived image" for their cafe)
    Train staff properly;
    Supervise staff properly;
    Take responsiobnility for the quality of the brew they serve.

    This is not as simple as it sounds.

    Members of the "cafe industry" need not get their knickers in a knot over this as it is not intended to offend anyone...its just an individual observation from a related but separate or different industry, that is the "coffee industry". The coffee industry has its own problems to deal with!

    In addition, may I add that it is necessary to debate what "fresh roasted coffee" might be...and also that this is governed not just by an arbitrary perception of amount of time since roasting, but by amount of time since roasted INCLUDING the required variables of running business (both coffee and cafe business), and the length of time that roasted coffee beans remain in good condition before they start going "down hill" (if stored properly) which in a realistic business sense, is a good three weeks from roasting.

    And of course if all groups responsible for the brewing of your cuppa did the right things all the way through the process, we wouldnt need to have people trying to invent machines that tell you if all the "solids" you paid for have been shown to be present in your cuppa, or that the coffee beans really are "fresh" !!!

    Regardez,
    FC.

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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    Yes, you have to wonder why places like that do so well, dont you..... cant be because the general population know what a good coffee is, because those other places still do a good business. (BTW, the first bit is tongue in cheek)

    There are some places, for example BG&D and Maltitude in Melb or Campos & Tobys in Sydney or Core Espresso in Perth, that actually are trying to excel in the marketplace. The most important thing to them is the end product and appealing to the minority (the coffee geeks/connoiseurs) rather than the majority (general public who want a good consistent coffee, not necessarily a great one). This means they know about freshness, and they aim to control it, and from what Ive seen on coffeegeeks (Maltitude specifically), they know their usage and buy appropriately, even to the point of knowing that on day 3 its at the peak, so buy it progressively to make the most of that sweet spot. I visited Core espresso in Perth, and their roaster was at the shop, he had enough interest in the quality output that he makes regular visits to them. That has to help a shop keep fresh supplies too.

    I suspect other locations dont overly worry about freshness - I walk past a place at least once a week and have seen 3 or 4 bags of roasted beans sit on the shelf, pressed up against the glass window in direct sun for the first 4 hours of the day. They might stay there for a month or more - they obviously bought them all at once, and use them in a very small trickle. Im sure its hard for a place like that (out of the way, small turnover) to manage stock levels - and if nobody drinks their coffee, they never get through it, their vendor doesnt tell them they need to keep stockpile down to assist freshness, and the situation never changes.

    There arent many places I like to buy coffee from in the city, but the ones that I think are worth visiting churn thru the coffee at a regular pace and so keep the freshness as good as possible in their environment - they cant control how long it takes to get to them though. Most of the ones I like use smaller roasters not the big commercial places, and in general I think that this improves the freshness to the cafe - big places may be more likely to have older stock on hand because of the logistics they need to employ.

    So my two key takeaways to deciding whether a cafe will have fresh beans or not are: Turnover, and Enthusiasm for coffee. If they dont have BOTH of these, then the chances are they wont have fresh beans. If they have one but not the other, then the chances are youll still get a good coffee but perhaps not with very fresh beans. And the holy grail, with both youll get an exceptional result.

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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    You are right....the enigma is and will remain...why do places that brew such awful brown muck, continue to do so well regardless?

    By the way, a "3 day peak" is madness from the point of view of running a business. The coffee changes so much in the first few days after roasting, that the cafe cannot get a continuity of product to work with when it is this fresh. This basically, is TOO fresh for delivery at this stage in the education process for cafe staff in general and clients alike, where most think that "consistency" is all.

    Fresh coffee is not "consistent" (but I am!!!).

    Regardez,
    FC.

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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    I wont edit my post, but I wasnt specific enough. IIRC, day 3 was from delivery, which from memory was around day 2 after roasting or something (and this is all months ago now so may no longer apply). Main point being, they know when theyre going to get the most from their roasted bean deliveries (which should result in the customer getting the best brew), and work towards optimising that. If others only took part of that philosobhy to heart, a positive change would most likely result.

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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    Indeed, and long live "solids"!

    FC.

  11. #11
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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1109483049/0#7 date=1109556417
    You are right....the enigma is and will remain...why do places that brew such awful brown muck, continue to do so well regardless?

    By the way, a "3 day peak" is madness from the point of view of running a business. The coffee changes so much in the first few days after roasting, that the cafe cannot get a continuity of product to work with when it is this fresh. This basically, is TOO fresh for delivery at this stage in the education process for cafe staff in general and clients alike, where most think that "consistency" is all.

    Fresh coffee is not "consistent" (but I am!!!).

    Regardez,
    FC.
    Id tend to agree the 3day peak could not really be done.
    but wiht the 3day peak and the Blue Mountain initial thoughts were it was a bit ho hum but it has developed to something very nice and is definately improving past the 3 days. I have found this with other coffees too.

    who came up withthe 3 day thing origonally?

    Rich

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    Re: Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Interesting thoughts from you all...... Just goes to show how Snobby we really are about coffee doesnt it..... the General community are so blind. In as much as we too were blind......

    My thoughts to the main question at hand doesnt really answer it but my own thoughts are that as CoffeeSnobs we are so accustomed to the fact that we have a plethora of beans at our disposal that we have become accustomed to having the fresh brew whether it be in milk or a straight shot, we know what we like and we have the knowledge behind us to know what is fresh and what is not, but knowing who has and who does not have the Fresh stuff is something we all work on.... Hope you catch my drift.

    Cheers

    FB :)



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