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Thread: Will coffee beans decompose?

  1. #1
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    Will coffee beans decompose?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I want to fill an acrylic container with coffee beans as a decorative piece. The container will be "sealed" but not airtight or anything like that.

    I'm wondering if the coffee beans will maintain their appearance for years? Forever?

    Will there come a point where the beans will start to look like something other than coffee beans because they have decayed, decomposed, discolored, etc? How long will they look like like coffee beans?

    The beans will not be exposed to moisture or UV rays. In fact, they will not even be exposed to much light, they'll be in the dark the vast majority of the time. But this is a built-in architectural feature and not something I'm going to want to replace down the road so I don't want to build it if it's going to be a headache.

    It's something along the lines of the attached coffee table. My thought is that coffee beans must last a long time if you're going to build something like this with them inside. Correct?
    4471428-Coffee-Table-0.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    The key is to protect them from moisture. Ensure that everything is dry when being put together and is as air tight as possible. In a situation like a table you’d want to ensure that no moisture could penetrate the case if a drink or something was spilled. If you can do all that then yes, they should last for years.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Leroy. Would you mind elaborating on how many "years" I could expect the beans to last?

    As I said, they will not be exposed to liquid, uv rays or even much light. Are we talking three years or are we talking 10+ years?

    This is only worthwhile for me if the beans are going to hold up for a long time because replacing them could require some demolition.

  4. #4
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    I saw an ornament once that was coffee beans that had been set in a solid resin block. Similar to the insect in amber look.

  5. #5
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    I recently found some old (green) beans in a cotton bag in a cupboard. at least 10 years old.
    admittedly it was totally dark but certainly not airtight, and they looked just like beans I buy from Andy.
    yet to try roasting any.

    (I was given these before I started roasting and completely forgot about them)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Let them dry in the sun for a while and put some dessicant in there too. I think 10yrs easily

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    If I were doing this I'd use casting resin. How large is the feature going to be?

  8. #8
    Senior Member topshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saeco_user View Post
    I recently found some old (green) beans in a cotton bag in a cupboard. at least 10 years old.
    admittedly it was totally dark but certainly not airtight, and they looked just like beans I buy from Andy.
    yet to try roasting any.
    I have roasted beans over 10 years old as single origins (I store my beans in a cupboard in the garage) they turned out very well, all the flavours were there, maybe a little less defined, but I sill have great espressos out of them.
    Dimal and saeco_user like this.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    The greens should last a good long time, the roasted beans on the other hand not so long unless you keep the roast on the lighter side. Life in the case would not be good if the beans expressed oils.


    Java "No dark!" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    If you wash the beans in acetone before casting in the resin you should be able to roast them as dark as you want.



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