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Thread: Air-Freighting Freshly Roasted Beans - Precautions

  1. #1
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Air-Freighting Freshly Roasted Beans - Precautions

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    If you are air-freighting roasted beans, is there any way you can use a pressure-resistant container, so the oils dont boil away in the greatly reduced pressure of the cargo hold?
    Greg

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    Re: David Makins WBC Preparations

    The cargo hold is still pressurised, but like the cabin the pressure is reduced to about 8,000ft. So if you pack the beans at sea level the container will have to withstand about 4psi pressure differential if it is full of air. If theres not much air in the container or bag then it wont be as much of an issue.

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: David Makins WBC Preparations

    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1211268045/0#14 date=1213408259
    If you are air-freighting roasted beans, is there any way you can use a pressure-resistant container, so the oils dont boil away in the greatly reduced pressure of the cargo hold?
    Greg
    Hazel puts a piece of tape over the valve when she sends coffee that goes by air.

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: David Makins WBC Preparations

    Hi all
    I doubt very much that the aromatics within a roasted bean would "boil away" or even be depleted at all. The aromatic oils would be fairly well bound in to the structure of the bean either chemically or by adsorption. They would require elevated temperatures and destruction of the cellulose structure to release them. Remember the hold is also cold.
    Basically you need an environment like the inside of a portafilter with the coffee machine turned on to release them (very hot, flowing fluids). There is a good thread on this issue here: http://www.coffeed.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=434
    Mike



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    Re: David Makins WBC Preparations

    At say 11 psi (8000 ft altitude) the boiling point of water is only reduced by about 8 degrees C....

    The aromatic volatiles in coffee do "boil off" slowly at standard pressure (14.7 psi) and at room temperature - 20C approximately - (taking several weeks to migrate to the surface and evaporate). They dont need the temperature and pressure inside the PF to cause them to be released slowly.... but if you do want most of them in your espresso.... then thats the way to do it!!

    So they would be a little more prone to boil off (evaporate) faster at the slightly lower pressure in the hold.... but this would be counteracted by the reduced temperature in a typical aircraft hold...... so the two effects would pretty well cancel out.....

    I would think a bigger risk would be from the condensation of moisture on the surface of the beans. External temperatures at 30,000 ft can get down to -40C..... if the cargo is placed near the outer skin in the hold.... as said in that thread.... temperatures can get down to -18C in that area.

    Ive seen metal containers taken off international flight (whilst plane side at terminals) which were so cold water started to condense on the surface and drip off (also why animals can freeze to death if placed in the wrong hold...... as some holds are less well insulated from external temperatures.

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: David Makins WBC Preparations

    That thread is interesting but inconclusive.

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: David Makins WBC Preparations

    Hi
    Yes it was inconclusive unfortunately. They were going to do an experiment:
    > Tonx, email me your mailing address. Im going to send you two bags
    > of coffee. One is for you to keep :wink:. The other is for you to
    > 2nd-day-air back to me. Ill keep a third bag from the same shipment
    > here, and when the homing-pigeon-coffee-bag comes back, well cup
    > them both.

    But unfortunately no results were posted. When I was doing my PhD I used vacuum vessels a lot so could have done a controlled experiment with coffee instead of depositing amorphous silicon :-)

    Mike

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    Re: David Makins WBC Preparations

    When packing the 100 odd kg of coffee for Dave, we taped each and every single valve.

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: David Makins WBC Preparations

    Good idea.
    Better safe than sorry :-)
    Mike

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    Re: Air-Freighting Freshly Roasted Beans - Precaut

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    I am up in Sydney at the moment for the Danes Gourmet Grand Barista Championship. I have shipped up 20+ kg of coffee for the competition. Each bag was taped up with packing tape on each valve. They seem to have survived the flight fine. Some in the cargo hold and some in the cabin. I also have had some coffee shipped via Star Track Express by road.

    Will post more later about how the coffee fares.



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