Results 1 to 36 of 36
Like Tree19Likes
  • 4 Post By chokkidog
  • 1 Post By blend52
  • 1 Post By chokkidog
  • 1 Post By gunda
  • 5 Post By Andy
  • 1 Post By chokkidog
  • 1 Post By gunda
  • 2 Post By TOK
  • 2 Post By TOK
  • 1 Post By chokkidog

Thread: Beans - roast dates on packets and keeping beans in the hopper overnight

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176

    Beans - roast dates on packets and keeping beans in the hopper overnight

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    As a noob, there are a couple of things that puzzle me.

    1. There are a number of roasters in my locality. The two that seem to be the largest, and who supply many of the cafés in the area, don't have roast dates on the packets that they sell. In the largest of them I asked about this and was told it was company policy not to. I was given a rough date for the packet in my hand. Tough question for someone working on the sales counter I guess. At the other retailer I was also given a rough date, but not in a way that inspired me with confidence. Both places said that beans were 5-7 days old. Now I understand the problems of stock management that putting dates on packets would cause, but how would they know what is older stock? I've also bought beans from a smaller local roaster and one packet had a date, and one didn't, but in that case I was speaking to a roaster who could provide precise info about the roast date.

    My question is: is not putting a roast date on a packet standard practice?

    2. With this pursuit of fresh beans - do people leave them in the hopper overnight, or put excess beans back into the ziploc bag with anti-gas valve thingy? I only put beans into the hopper in small quantities, so there's usually less than a cup's worth in the hopper overnight. Is this one of those things that matters or is not worth worrying about?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Maybe 'cos in any one bag there is more than one roast date?? (unsold older coffee being mixed with new??.... yes, it happens)

    Putting roast dates on bags actually makes stock management easier; if it's too old to sell ..... throw it out, or give to local

    community garden to compost.

    Leaving roast dates off bags should be seen as a deliberate attempt to deceive customers.

    Any self respecting roaster who properly manages roast schedules and who values their own and their customer's integrity will (roast) date their coffee bags.

    Strong words, I know.....but if you take pride in what you do........

  3. #3
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hervey Bay, QLD
    Posts
    930
    Wow! I've never seen a bag of coffee without a roast date or use by date on it. Our policy where I used to work was roast date and use by date (which was 365 days later: yes, ridiculous but required). If there isn't a roast date the use by date is 365 days after roasting/bagging as required by law.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hervey Bay, QLD
    Posts
    930
    Chokkidog is right: I've seen older batches mixed in with newer. I've seen blends that didn't move well placed on the front counter labelled 'Special of the Week'.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    Well, as I say I am still new at this, but it does seem to be the norm so far in my purchases and browsing in the national capital.

    In all the shock and outrage please don't forget Qu2.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    297
    I assume you are asking about the pre-sealed bags? The roasters around here store the beans in containers and weight them out when you order them and there's no date on them then. But they know when they roasted them. The beans do lose flavour if you leave them out overnight. I don't weight shots but can usually judge close enough to not need to leave any out. People with better palates then mine are more fussy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,275
    Quote Originally Posted by sprezzatura View Post
    Wow! I've never seen a bag of coffee without a roast date or use by date on it. Our policy where I used to work was roast date and use by date (which was 365 days later: yes, ridiculous but required). If there isn't a roast date the use by date is 365 days after roasting/bagging as required by law.
    Im pretty certain a use by or any date is not actually the law, since there are many big commercial brands that have no date at all on the packets.!
    Some have "code" numbers that may relate to production dates, but certainly not decipherable by the general public.
    also , some well known brands have "use by," or "best before" dates that are way more than 365 days beyond roasting. 18 - 24 months is not uncommon.
    only a very few "commercial" brands put the roast date on the packs.
    But, if the OP was thinking of the smaller "local" roasters , then I would suggest ...
    1) avoid any roaster that does not date their product.
    2) avoid any roaster that stores his product in those clear plastic hoppers.
    3) don't leave beans in the grinder hopper unless you plan to consume them within 12 hrs or so.
    At some stage in the dosing process you have to "measure" (weigh or volume) the coffee, so you may as well do that before you put it in the grinder,...and leave the rest of the beans sealed in the bag !
    Barry_Duncan likes this.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Food labelling laws are pretty specific but leave some loopholes.

    Labelling requirements for food products were mailed out by my local council last year, see this link for what the law says:

    Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

    And some guidelines from Geelong ( not my shire but I recycled my info letter).

    https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/...quirements.pdf

    You can see where roasters who display (multiple roast date) coffee in open bins get around the laws, under the

    ' exemptions from labelling laws ' section:

    "Exemptions from labelling requirements
    Some foods are generally exempt from some of the labelling requirements and these include:
    ****food that is not packaged;*****
    ****food made and packaged from the premises from which it is sold;*****
    ****food packaged in front of the purchaser;*****"

    There is nothing specific to coffee, unfortunately.
    It is considered a 'low risk' product.

    I provide a roast date on the front of the package and a 'coffee is best
    enjoyed within 4 weeks of roast date' on the back.
    sprezzatura likes this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Hervey Bay, QLD
    Posts
    930
    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Im pretty certain a use by or any date is not actually the law, since there are many big commercial brands that have no date at all on the packets.!
    Some have "code" numbers that may relate to production dates, but certainly not decipherable by the general public.
    also , some well known brands have "use by," or "best before" dates that are way more than 365 days beyond roasting. 18 - 24 months is not uncommon.
    only a very few "commercial" brands put the roast date on the packs.
    But, if the OP was thinking of the smaller "local" roasters , then I would suggest ...
    1) avoid any roaster that does not date their product.
    2) avoid any roaster that stores his product in those clear plastic hoppers.
    3) don't leave beans in the grinder hopper unless you plan to consume them within 12 hrs or so.
    At some stage in the dosing process you have to "measure" (weigh or volume) the coffee, so you may as well do that before you put it in the grinder,...and leave the rest of the beans sealed in the bag !
    I stand corrected: I should not have said by law. Perhaps there are guidelines (maybe ACCC has them?). A subject for research today!

    Yes - we used codes for batch and date. We could let the customers know by glancing at the code.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    Thanks. Yes, I was referring to the small, sealed packets (250gms, 500gms) you buy from local roasters. I have encountered only one place that sells beans stored in bulk in large hoppers - I assume they'd scoop beans into a smaller bag. I assume they put newly roasted beans in at the top and sell from the bottom. I haven't talked to them about roast dates, but unless they sell a lot of coffee I felt that there would always be a question about freshness, and they wouldn't really know themselves.

    One question I'd like to ask as a noob is where others in my vicinity buy their beans, and are there any that include roast dates? I gather that this question (where to buy) is not allowed here - but if any residents of the national capital wanted to send me a PM about this they'd be most welcome to do so. The one place that did is a very small local roaster, and while I like to support local, they have a *very* limited range of beans / roasts.

    One option is to buy from Andy, and I'd thinking seriously about that. The freight that adds 50% to the cost of a 500gm bag is unfortunate.

    On my Qu2 about the leaving beans in a hopper, another noob follow-up question. I take it that there's no problem with running a grinder empty for short periods, i.e. - if I put in around 18gms of beans and run the grinder until they're all well and truly done - that's not a problem?

    p.s. My general understanding about standards bodies is that their standards are recommendations unless and until a government - national, state / territory or local - legislates them, but then food standards are outside my professional experience.
    Last edited by gunda; 1st September 2014 at 09:57 AM. Reason: comment about standards

  11. #11
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    One question I'd like to ask as a noob is where others in my vicinity buy their beans, and are there any that include roast dates? I gather that this question (where to buy) is not allowed here -
    p.s. My general understanding about standards bodies is that their standards are recommendations unless and until a government - national, state / territory or local - legislates them, but then food standards are outside my professional experience.
    Where are you located?? Roasters can be recommended but website links can't be posted.

    Labelling standards:
    Country of origin claims and the Australian Consumer Law - Other labelling laws | ACCC

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    I'm in the ACT. I read this post by Andy as indicating that questions about where to buy were off-limits.

    Based on that ACCC page, I think my comments about standards were right. Standards bodies don't create law on their own, in this case the states & territories have chosen to legislate them, as they often do.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    116
    Regardless of what labelling requirements may or may not be by law, I simply refuse to buy packaged roasted beans that do not clearly state the roast date.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PRL
    Posts
    2,591
    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    As a noob, there are a couple of things that puzzle me.

    1. There are a number of roasters in my locality. The two that seem to be the largest, and who supply many of the cafés in the area, don't have roast dates on the packets that they sell. In the largest of them I asked about this and was told it was company policy not to. I was given a rough date for the packet in my hand. Tough question for someone working on the sales counter I guess. At the other retailer I was also given a rough date, but not in a way that inspired me with confidence. Both places said that beans were 5-7 days old. Now I understand the problems of stock management that putting dates on packets would cause, but how would they know what is older stock? I've also bought beans from a smaller local roaster and one packet had a date, and one didn't, but in that case I was speaking to a roaster who could provide precise info about the roast date.

    My question is: is not putting a roast date on a packet standard practice?
    The Cosmorex beans have a batch sticker which, if you can be bothered you can ring them up and ask for the roast date. I've had no problem getting them to tell me the roast date when picking up a bag from the Fyshwick shop. I don't get it....but that's it's their choice I guess. Something like their Rio Blend, may well be a blend from different roast dates (with the robusta being left to rest a bit longer)....but who knows?

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    North Shore, Sydney
    Posts
    47
    I ordered from Beanbay & several CS sponsors, they ALL have roast date on the bag. Recently tried a roaster in Potts Point, they only put "Best Before 22 Aug, 2016" on it, which to my surprise. They roast everyday and send out immediately but first time to see Best Before by a roaster apart from those aged one in supermarket.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    I've had no problem getting them to tell me the roast date when picking up a bag from the Fyshwick shop. I don't get it....but that's it's their choice I guess.
    Not my experience, but at only one attempt. May depend on who you speak to.

    I don't get it either. Well, I do. Many of their customers may not care as much, until there's a roast date on the packet, and then they want the newest, and so "older" (but not that old) stock is hard to sell.

  17. #17
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    I'm in the ACT. I read this post by Andy as indicating that questions about where to buy were off-limits.

    Based on that ACCC page, I think my comments about standards were right. Standards bodies don't create law on their own, in this case the states & territories have chosen to legislate them, as they often do.
    No, if you read through various threads (such as the good cafes in xxxxx) there are plenty of references to non sponsor roasters.

    It's always good to support sponsors of the site but it's not mandatory; sometimes it's also good to support local
    business, especially in remote or smaller communities. Googling ACT roasters will yield results. Good luck in finding some beans you like!

    You are right in the fact of states not choosing but being required to give legal force to the Food Standards Code.

    Here is a run down of how it works:

    Who is responsible for food safety in Australia? - Department of Agriculture

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post

    One question I'd like to ask as a noob is where others in my vicinity buy their beans, and are there any that include roast dates? I gather that this question (where to buy) is not allowed here - but if any residents of the national capital wanted to send me a PM about this they'd be most welcome to do so. The one place that did is a very small local roaster, and while I like to support local, they have a *very* limited range of beans / roasts.
    Hi gunda
    I would recommend Lonsdale street Roasters and Two before Ten as excellent canberra speciality roasters. Ona Coffee also does a great job. They all have roast dates on their packets.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    LSR don't. I got some of their beans last week from their place in Lonsdale St, and none of the packets had dates. I intend to visit the other two.
    argus likes this.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    LSR don't. I got some of their beans last week from their place in Lonsdale St, and none of the packets had dates. I intend to visit the other two.
    Yep you're right I just checked a bag of LSRs in the pantry which I could have sworn would have had a roast date stamped on it. I'm almost certain about the other two roasters as I recall checking their roast dates before purchasing from them in the past.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    Red Brick in Curtin do sometimes, and if there's no date you can talk to the person who did the roasting. But they don't have a big range. There's a seasonal blend and a couple of SOs that vary. A little pricey too, probably because they're small.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PRL
    Posts
    2,591
    Two Before Ten definitely have roast dates on their bags, and the one or two that I've purchased over the years have been very good. They may be a little disrupted for the next few weeks as there's about to be some major demolition work on the other half of the building they're in.

  23. #23
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    16,685
    Blog Entries
    1
    All roasted beans ordered through BeanBay have the DATE and the TIME they were roasted!

    The date/time-stamp is added to the stickers automatically as we print them, stick them on the bags and fill them with beans.

    Nothing to hide and the information helps people understand which end of the day they were roasted if that's important to them determining exactly how long they have rested.

  24. #24
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    10,9,8,7,6,5.......Counting down the minutes........ ;-D
    gunda likes this.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    I just placed an order, so I do hope that's an atomic clock that you're using Andy to record and print the time!! Freshness is measured in nanoseconds on this forum it seems.
    Andy likes this.

  26. #26
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    16,685
    Blog Entries
    1
    How did you know?
    Stratum 2 atomic sync.... Time.Deakin.edu.au
    .... Pretty close to perfectly accurate.

  27. #27
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    16,685
    Blog Entries
    1
    Should have added... The reason for the time is sometimes I'm still roasting at 10 or 11pm so the day isn't really a great indication when the coffee mostly arrives next day.

  28. #28
    TC
    TC is offline
    .
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    14,665
    I'm not surprised that like Andy, we smaller roasters have no issues with roast date on our batches. Our roast dates are also published on our website so that clients know exactly what they're purchasing.

    Problems can occur when you upscale though:
    • Big roaster roasts perhaps 12-16 origins/blend bases in batches of say 120-240kg. These go to silos for storage.
    • Post roast blends then created from mixes of their bases and/or origins. What roast date should go on them?
    • The small roaster dilemma. Our "Jumpstart" blend consists of a pre-roast blend to which a % of separately roasted robusta is added post-roast. It's the only blend with a robusta component we do. Ideally, I'd like to age the robusta for a week as I prefer the way that the blend develops when produced this way. What roast date should go on the bag? Both dates? Dunno. Most recently, We've just been roasting all components on the same day, but at the expense of a little of the zing in the blend...Makes the date part easy to do though

    Cheers

    Chris
    Last edited by TC; 2nd September 2014 at 09:22 PM. Reason: additional info

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    All valid points.

  30. #30
    TOK
    TOK is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    697
    Quote Originally Posted by gunda View Post
    ...
    My question is: is not putting a roast date on a packet standard practice?
    ...Thanks.
    as far as I know there is no standard practice and individuals businesses are at liberty to do whatever they feel is the right thing, based on sound business decisions, for themselves.

    On the other hand clients are at liberty to buy whatever they like from wherever, for whatever reason. We all do this whether its coffee or anything else.

    I have professionally cupped coffee from various roasters in Canberra and can say, from the perspective of this topic, that there are roasters that may well be placing roasted on dates on their packets, but the coffee that has been bought and cupped from time to time was well (WELL) below standard. A roasted on date is not a guarantee of a good product that cups well. On the other hand one of the roasters mentioned above that uses a code system on its packets instead of a roast date, won 9 medals at the Hobart Fine Food Show a few weeks ago for blends and SO's that it sells over the counter to its clients.

    So the topic really isnt as simple as it may seem, and I hope that helps.
    Last edited by TOK; 3rd September 2014 at 12:41 AM. Reason: still awake
    chokkidog and TC like this.

  31. #31
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    I can appreciate the different business environment that a larger roaster faces compared to a smaller one. I suspect that larger ones are also supplying a lot of their beans to cafés, who go through enough coffee that roast date doesn't really matter as long as it's within say 4 weeks. I was at a venue tonight that uses beans from one of the non-dated roasters mentioned above, and I asked about the coffee and got a rave response from the owner, so clearly the beans are well regarded in that high-volume environment.

    But in my case, it affects how much I buy. I also want a little confidence that I can don't have to gulp it all down asap. And what I have found a little uncomfortable is that on the few occasions when I have tried to ask about roast date, I've found it hard to get an answer. Perhaps I need to keep trying.

    I take it from your defensive and highly-edited reply that you're associated with one of these larger roasters. I have no idea what weight to place on those kinds of awards, and prefer to make my own taste judgements as I sample the market.

  32. #32
    TOK
    TOK is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    697
    Thank you for the response.

    I ended my last post with the thought that the topic of roasted on dates isnt as simple as it seems.....Please allow me to elaborate now, apologies in advance for the necessarily long post.

    Firstly. If at any time you happen to be sitting on a topic that I am coincidentally replying to, you will find that my forum style is to write something off the cuff that is usually longer than it needs to be, and then arrange it and change it and cut it down into its final form.

    I don’t have a copy of what my reply started out as and it’s quite irrelevant because the only reply anyone needs to be concerned with is the one that is on forum. My feeling is that my previous forum post is quite even handed and I am not sure why anyone might think it is “defensive”. It simply puts a short reply that doesn’t agree “carte blanch” with the idea that everyone everywhere everytime should put roasted dates on coffee packets... we can’t all agree and it’s not all black and white !

    For the rest of it, please allow me to deal with some of the points you raised:
    ”….. in my case, it affects how much I buy. I also want a little confidence that I can don't have to gulp it all down asap. And what I have found a little uncomfortable is that on the few occasions when I have tried to ask about roast date, I've found it hard to get an answer. Perhaps I need to keep trying….”

    When someone advises me that coffee I am buying is between 5 and 7 days old, I have to have a small element of trust and take the advice on face value. Many professional roasters I know that deal in “fresh coffee” (ie don’t use a vacuum packaging system and sell “as is”) allow roughly 1 week from roasting day for the beans to develop and settle before it is put out for sale. They then put it out for sale in the second week, and ideally by the end of the second week or 14 days from roasting, it is gone. It would therefore seem that the information you were given from whatever roaster, is kosha enough.

    Also, this brings up the very legitimate question “WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF FRESH COFFEE”…. Because coffee that is sold too fresh (ie before it has developed during the initial settling / resting period), doesn’t work for the majority of clients who don’t have an understanding of this, causing complaints that can be traced back to selling coffee that is “too fresh”.

    The ultimate test is to take a packet of coffee home and try it. If it is good, the roasted date is irrelevant. If it is not good, it may have nothing to do with the roasted date regardless…..

    After you buy the packet and take it home, “fresh coffee” will continue to develop through its cycle and eventually go stale. It will change on a daily basis (normal), especially if it is not stored correctly when the changes will be larger than they would be in well stored beans. This is dependent on the client’s management of the packet, and not the “roasted on” date.

    If a client wishes to buy a packet of beans with the shortest possible roasted on date, just ask, and a well trained shop assistant should be in a position to dispense beans from whatever stock was roasted yesterday….which will by necessity be in a separate stock location to that which is ready for sale now. One expects that the client knows what to expect from beans like that.

    “…I take it from your defensive and highly-edited reply that you're associated with one of these larger roasters. I have no idea what weight to place on those kinds of awards, and prefer to make my own taste judgements as I sample the market….”


    I no longer work in a roastery however I am a professional coffee roaster, equipment importer and business owner with many years experience, and I still consult. The awards are seriously good, judged by professional industry peers.

    However, your final comment “prefer to make my own taste judgements as I sample the market….” is precisely what I was getting at, regardless of the academics surrounding whether dates, codes or whatever are placed on a packet or not.

    Additionally, here is a hypothetical. Do you prefer a professional roaster that runs a good ship and purveys good product, who chooses not to place dates on its packets, or another roaster that may be deliberately placing dates on packets to suit its own ends. How does anyone know when a date is legit OR if it has been manipulated to suit the stock levels at any particular time? Food for thought. Someone above wrote that those that dont place dates are being delibertately deceiving. Are those that do place dates always entirely honest?

    Lastly, the short answer to your question is: If you are concerned by how long a packet of beans will remain at optimum after it was purchased, please buy only the smallest possible quantity and buy often. Say weekly. Don’t buy a kilo at a time if you only use 250 grams a week, because that defeats the purpose of buying “fresh”. And of course, clients that buy way more than they have capacity to use, are actually defeating the idea of buying fresh coffee, through their own management of the product. This should not be blamed on roasting businesses that choose not to place dates on their packets, because it is a client management issue of the product. And of course, buying packets with a date on wont stop the staling process where someone buys too much for their needs…

    Hope this helps.
    chokkidog and TC like this.

  33. #33
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PRL
    Posts
    2,591
    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post



    If a client wishes to buy a packet of beans with the shortest possible roasted on date, just ask, and a well trained shop assistant should be in a position to dispense beans from whatever stock was roasted yesterday….which will by necessity be in a separate stock location to that which is ready for sale now. One expects that the client knows what to expect from beans like that.
    .
    Yep, that's exactly what I've done in the past with no problem. Had a good week or two supply at home, but found myself in Fyshwick, so asked the shop assistant went out the back and got the v. fresh stuff.

  34. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    176
    Thank you TOK for your considered reply. As the OP I'd like to make a few responses.

    As those who have seen my other posts will know, I am new to this scene and trying to learn. One of the first things a new serious coffee maker reads is about the importance of fresh coffee, but not too fresh. (Those beans that Andy is roasting for me today and which I will get in the next day or two won't be used until mid next week at the earliest). Everything you mentioned in your introduction to understanding coffee freshness I've already read on CS and other sites. And when I read CS I see roast dates mentioned a lot. The impression I got is that it's standard practice to put dates on packets. So you will understand my confusion when I go out to buy my coffee and find that some places do put dates on and some don't. And in this town it seems that it's the larger ones that don't. I'm not running an agenda here - I simply want to understand.

    I mentioned your editing of your post because there were some significant differences between what landed in my email in-tray as part of the thread subscription, and what is there now. The original contained some comments that I felt were highly inflammatory. You were wise IMHO to remove them. I mentioned this because these edits, together with a few other remarks, suggested to me that you were in the industry, and probably closely associated with one of the above-mentioned non-dated roasters.

    Now I don't have a problem with this, in fact I really welcome hearing the other side of the story. I thought that Chris/Talk_Coffee's comments were balanced, restrained and informative. But I do think that people in the industry should identify themselves and stand by their views publicly. I know that we users have our "noms de plume", but if you're out there selling things you're a public figure and I feel that you should be here too.

    Now this is a more assertive response that I would normally make online. I did this because I thought that your hypothetical scenario: "Do you prefer a professional roaster that runs a good ship and purveys good product, who chooses not to place dates on its packets, or another roaster that may be deliberately placing dates on packets to suit its own ends" sounded like you were responding in kind to a comment above that questioned the motives of those who don't put dates on packets. I understand that you may have been offended by such a comment. I probably would be too if I was in your shoes. But you do yourself and your industry no good service by simply responding in kind.

    As to your advice "When someone advises me that coffee I am buying is between 5 and 7 days old, I have to have a small element of trust and take the advice on face value", if it was given as clearly as that then perhaps I might. But when my questions about roast dates are initially met with repeated comments about company policy, and only when I pushed did I get a tentative statement containing the words "I think" and "probably", then trust has not been established. Now I readily concede that this was only one person on one occasion, so I thought I'd ask here before pursuing the issue. At the other non-dated roaster, the response was also couched in highly uncertain and tentative terms that didn't create the level of trust that you are suggesting. You'd think that this was a sufficiently common question that staff training would have given a better response. The impression I had at the first place was that they had been trained to stone-wall. Now that I have a clearer understanding of some of the issues I will try again and see what happens.

    Should I buy coffee more frequently and in smaller packets? Perhaps. That's what I've been doing so far. But it's often cheaper and always more convenient to buy in moderately larger sizes. And if I know the roast date, then I can have a couple of different roasts at home simultaneously and use them over a slightly longer time frame with a little confidence. I may try your suggestion to ask for the latest roast from out the back and see how far I get.

    Thank you again for taking the trouble to respond in such detail. Despite my reaction to your posts, I have found all the responses in this thread helpful.

  35. #35
    TOK
    TOK is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    697
    In turn, thank you for your considered response.

    Not offended, just making sure the discussion is balanced.

    Not allowed according to site policy to mention who I have or dont have an affiliation with, because if a site sponsorship fee hasnt been paid, the site owner is at liberty to remove the reference if he decides that I made the reference in order for commercial gain (in a nutshell...dont quote me). Regardless if you want to search me, just look for the "Very First CS Site Sponsor", because there is no hidden agenda on my part and no problem for me to identify myself. In fact no longer being a site sponsor affords me a certain liberty within the site that is otherwise enjoyed by all the other anonymous experts in the place .

    Both my posts (above), as they stand, are relatively even handed and dont give commercial advantage to anyone I may still be connected with, and give about as much insight into "what is fresh coffee, and how does it influence the use of roast dates or not, by individual roasting businesses", as I am prepared to give in a public place.

    Further, as business becomes successful and grows, economies of scale come into effect and that includes the area of staff management. People often enough walk into business and expect whoever they are speaking with at the counter, to know as much about product as the oldest hands in the business OR the owner does. Unfortunately that is not real life, and sometimes shop assistants are placed under pressure particularly if they are not long in the business. They may be under instruction, possibly even on probabtion, and that is real life. However there will usually be a supervisor about that can be specific with questions asked.

    Lastly, I guess from part of your response above that there must be some kind of function in here that results in you receiving an email as ssoon as someone replies to one of your posts????? I've never had that activated and never think about it, i just check the site to see what is actually live. And so that will mean that from now on I will draft my replies off forum and bung them on when they are finals.

    Problems solved

    EDIT:
    Incidentally, in the business that I still own but dont manage or work in (disclaimer), there used to be a poster on display in the bean sales area, that I wrote (so it must be good ), that explained "WHAT IS FRESH COFFEE" and included some of the other stuff I mentioned above. Its the kind of thing a client can read and hopefully find informative and helpful, while they are waiting for their order to be prepared.

  36. #36
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    2,095
    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Someone above wrote that those that dont place dates are being delibertately deceiving. Are those that do place dates always entirely honest?
    Yeah... that was me TOK.

    Probably a little careless in my choice of words in my haste to be brief. ;-)

    Perhaps a less definitive wording might have gone along the lines of, "no roast date allows the opportunity to deceive"....

    And you are quite right in your second quoted observation.... just because there is a roast date it doesn't guarantee the truth.

    I would just hope that like me, and others here, most, if not all roasters would value integrity over $$$$. Wishful thinking, I know......

    Must away now to empty last week's unsold coffee ( only 4 kgs ) into the compost. :-(
    TOK likes this.



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •