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Thread: Ground coffee! how long does it remain fresh?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Ground coffee! how long does it remain fresh?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Had an interesting experience today.

    Ground a double dose, 36 grams of beans this AM, used 18 and deliberately left the other 18 in the hopper until this evening.

    They say beans once ground will only last minutes, my observation from this single experience is that the ground coffee I let sit for 10 hours made a brew that was still quite acceptable, however the notable difference was the pour, it was quite thin, nowhere near as viscous as freshly ground.

    So, perhaps the message to them that grind sufficient beans for a few days is, if you enjoy good coffee, don't do it.
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    We teach barista skills. Our reference for coffee staling is found here storage - When does coffee go off? - Coffee Stack Exchange From twenty years experience I am happy with the seven minutes posited in the article.

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    I've thought that it was closer to the rule of 2s: greens (2 years); roasted (2 weeks); ground (2 minutes). I might do an overnight experiment similar to Yelta's - replication being a key component of research and all...

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    Senior Member skidquinn's Avatar
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    Personally I've found it depends on what brewing method used. If I'm making espresso grinds don't seem to last long at all. The 2 minute rule seems excessive but is probably true. I can't say I've tested it exactly, but can confirm that half an hour later the pour is not the same. As Yelta said, less viscous and thin.

    However I often make French press at work and found not (too) much difference when using grinds that are a day or two old. In fact I've used grinds up to four days old and they have been ok.

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottyF View Post
    I've thought that it was closer to the rule of 2s: greens (2 years); roasted (2 weeks); ground (2 minutes). I might do an overnight experiment similar to Yelta's - replication being a key component of research and all...
    The rule is 3's not 2's. And it's not a rule its a guide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trentski View Post
    The rule is 3's not 2's. And it's not a rule its a guide.
    The rule is 7's not 2's, nor 3's ! Its a guide not a rule.

    7 days for roasted beans to be at their best, 7 minutes after grinding before grounds are stale and 7 seconds after extracting to drink!

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    I think by now I've heard people say that rule with every number and I put zero faith in any of them. We tried an experiment with a few baristas and the conclusion was that after 20 minutes the effect was noticeable enough to say it was bad. Before that it was acceptable. This was espresso grind, we didn't bother with courser grinds
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Popcorn.Popcorn.jpg
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    If you think in terms of particles. One bean ground for espresso approx. 3500 particles the potential for loss of aromatics and therefore flavour is spectacular. We have the ground coffee brewing within ten seconds of hitting the grind button. Safety in numbers. Why leave it around any longer.

  10. #10
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArnhemR View Post
    The rule is 7's not 2's, nor 3's ! Its a guide not a rule.

    7 days for roasted beans to be at their best, 7 minutes after grinding before grounds are stale and 7 seconds after extracting to drink!
    That's a completely different set of patameters and the first one isn't even correct. Some beans take much longer post roast to reach their peak.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I'm unsure why people need to have these (rules) cast in stone, the fact is that as soon as beans are ground they begin to deteriorate, the shelf life of coffee grounds is a personal thing, 1, 2, 3, 4 ------ minutes or 24 hours after grinding, with some very simple trials you will discover what's acceptable and what has deteriorated to the point its undrinkable.

    There are no rules, do what suits you, if your happy grinding a KG on Sunday and letting it sit around for a week as you use it fine, wouldn't suit me, but some don't care.
    Last edited by Yelta; 24th July 2016 at 12:29 PM.
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    I wonder it grinding does always deteriorate. As degassing is sped up with grinding, it could well bring beans which are just before peak into peak. Too early of course would be staled by oxidation.

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    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    I thought it was rules of 15! 15 minutes till the ground beans are stale, 15 days till roast beans are past there best and 15 months for green beans

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Only in respect to supermarket beans K

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    Good to know

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    30 seconds

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    Does anyone know of any scientific based research on shelf life of green beans, roasted beans and ground beans?

    Given it's a global $20 billion dollar industry, I'd hazard a guess many (many) companies have done the research though not necessarily made it freely available.

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    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    There are a number of chapters in Espresso Coffee the Science of Quality by Illy & Viani, related to staling from a scientific perspective, which if you try and read you will realise it's not as simple as is generally quoted on this forum ad nauseum. Many factors are involved in staling and storage etc. Much of the reading goes a bit over my head not being a scientist, but think I get the jist of it, although it does not try and define it in terms of 4years, 4weeks, 4mins or whatever the latest quote of the week is.

    Common sense & taste with a dash of practicality works for me. I grind coffee for my partner to take to work for a plunger that lasts a week. For her it's good enough, much nicer and more convenient than the alternative, and cheaper than 3 or so t/a espresso's a day.

    GrahamK
    Last edited by GrahamK; 7th August 2016 at 04:32 PM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamK View Post

    Common sense & taste with a dash of practicality works for me.
    GrahamK
    Works well for most people Graham, perhaps not so much for them with a touch of the OCD's.

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I've noticed ground coffee changes, for the worse, in extraction after 4 minutes.

    Beans stored in hopper extract differently, need finer grind, than beans stored air tight container and added fresh, although I haven't worked out the timing on that one - only experience is periods of 12 hours or more.

    Green beans can be ruined on arrival or great for years.
    All depends on the journey from tree to your door and then how it is stored at home.
    Generally I try to buy beans within the 12 months of the harvest date (although hard to get that information) and then use within 6-12 months of receipt. Although, buying on CoffeeSnobs not such a concern on harvest date as turn over high, Andy roasting himself commercially and kicking goals with the awards.
    All sorts of fascinating information out there on moisture levels, moisture exchange, storage temps, affects of packaging on the bean - all great theory. Useful if you can implement it yourself from the farm gate.



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