Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Fresh coffee???

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    7

    Fresh coffee???

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all, I have just started working in a cafe that uses coffee that has been roasted up to 1 month ago! I have tried to explain to the supplier (who dont even supply the roast date - I wont mention any names) that this is way too long and after roasting that beans should be used within 2 weeks. I was told that the way they package the beans extends the shelf-life for months. I dont believe this and have found serious degredation in the taste of the older coffee, but I am arguing against a self proclaimed expert who has been in the business over 15 years

    Can someone give me some hard facts on this that I can take back, as well as obvious signs in the bean that they are past their best

    Many Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,288

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Hard facts are always subject to dispute--your preferences are not.
    I know what Id be doing with a supplier that wouldnt provide as I requested, but that may not be possible unless you are the payer.
    Greg

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,339

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Hi and welcome FR!

    Hard facts...
    1. Beans are quite oily despite not being very darkly roasted
    2. Blind taste test - get his freshest beans and make some coffee with this, and some of his beans that youve been holding for a while. *You could have some real fun with this if you use your imagination.
    3. Ask him for hard facts. *What special technique does he use to preserve the beans and what evidence does he have that they remain fresh.

    Finally, give him the flick. If he tells porkies now, hell do it again in the future.

  4. #4
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    As your the new "boy on the block" your placing your self between the Cafe owner and a supplier (who by the sound of it) has been providing said beans for some time...

    1: Does the Owner Know / Care ?
    2: Do the clients - consumers Know / Care ?
    3: Is the owner getting them at a special rate ?
    4: Is there a deal / contract in place that has the owner tied up ?

    All very hard when you may have some valid points and arguments...

    Get the owner on side first... From there it should not be so hard...

    I know many who have been in a game for many years but that does not mean they know what their doing... It usual means their clients do not know any better or care.

    Hang in and remember Ethics and Morals will have to be assessed, depending on how bad you need the work OR what you roll / responsibilitys are..

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    7

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Thanks all for your replies - they are much appreciated. Im not an expert in coffee though I have had some good experience, so what Id like to know is what are the main differences between a fresh and not so fresh bean in regards to appearance, smell, taste etc

    I want to build a case for the cafe owner to change supplier, and would like to go in full bottle. I am aware that there is some deal in place, but Id still like to present something to the owner at least for my own sake

    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Friendly I think AMs first question is the main point "Does the Owner Know / Care ?".

    Ive worked in a cafe where the coffee was older than that youre worried about.

    The boss always knows everything.

    A very well known coffee expert told me that even they had to make compromises when working for someone else.

    Don Quixote comes to mind.

    I cant figure out whats in it for you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,959

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Quote Originally Posted by Friendly Rollins link=1226470655/0#0 date=1226470655
    Can someone give me some hard facts on this that I can take back, as well as obvious signs in the bean that they are past their best
    Some cold hard facts: WBC 2003 was won with coffee that was 28 days old. WBC 2006 was won with coffee that was 21 days old. Not sure how old Dave Makins 2nd place coffee was this year, but Id bet that it was 3 weeks plus.

    Obvious signs that the beans are past it: The coffee blondes out really early, the pour starts black and without crema, the coffee requires an extremely fine grind. If the coffee is stale, it will probably leave an ashy aftertaste and it might be lower in body than it should be, with relatively pale crema. I often get a hint of black pepper in stale coffee.

    Your coffee might be past it, but it might well be OK at a month old. If the coffee is nitrogen flushed and roasted to sit around for a while, it might well taste awful at your preferred two weeks old. From a logistics point of view, it might well be easier for the roastery to deliver fresh coffee, rather than having to keep it sitting around to mature. Alternatively, the coffee might be totally stale. If you want to PM me the name of the brand, I might be able to give you some more insight. Regardless, you cant make a generalisation that all coffee should be used within two weeks of roasting.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    4,512

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1226470655/0#6 date=1226479826

    Some cold hard facts: WBC 2003 was won with coffee that was 28 days old. *WBC 2006 was won with coffee that was 21 days old. *Not sure how old Dave Makins 2nd place coffee was this year, but Id bet that it was 3 weeks plus.
    And correct me if Im wrong, were all roasted with a very specific "this coffee is going to be used on" date in mind.


  9. #9
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Internet
    Posts
    17,106

    Re: Fresh coffee???



    ...which I would also assume was driven by the logistics of entering the competition more than "this is where this coffee works best".

    A WBC blend that worked on day 2 would be pretty hard to do unless you lived in the host country. Lets see what the locals do in 2011.
    ;)

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,959

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1226470655/0#6 date=1226479826

    Some cold hard facts: WBC 2003 was won with coffee that was 28 days old. *WBC 2006 was won with coffee that was 21 days old. *Not sure how old Dave Makins 2nd place coffee was this year, but Id bet that it was 3 weeks plus.
    And correct me if Im wrong, were all roasted with a very specific "this coffee is going to be used on" date in mind.
    Of course. But that roasting style isnt limited to WBC blends.

    ...which I would also assume was driven by the logistics of entering the competition more than "this is where this coffee works best".
    You assume wrong. One of the reasons for doing it that way is to have great crema retention of the espresso.

    Logistics-wise, theres nothing stopping you from having week old coffee at the WBC even if you have to travel. Hoff and Morrisseys coffee was between about a week and ten days, from memory.

    Ill reiterate; the roaster that is the subject of this thread might be providing crap coffee, but the mere fact that the coffee is a month old when delivered doesnt of itself mean that it is crap. Im sure that most coffee that is a month old is totally undrinkable, but surely the question of whether it is undrinkable is answered by actually trying to drink it, rather than by asking how old it is?

    Thanks all for your replies - they are much appreciated. Im not an expert in coffee though I have had some good experience, so what Id like to know is what are the main differences between a fresh and not so fresh bean in regards to appearance, smell, taste etc

    I want to build a case for the cafe owner to change supplier, and would like to go in full bottle. I am aware that there is some deal in place, but Id still like to present something to the owner at least for my own sake.
    I just read this again. It seems like you are basing your conclusion on the age that you are told the coffee is and that you arent confident in saying that it tastes bad. This seems to be a pretty weak position from which to recommend a change of supplier, dont you think?

    Cheers,

    Luca

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    539

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1226470655/0#9 date=1226488273
    But that roasting style isnt limited to WBC blends.
    Hi Luca,

    What roasting style is that? ie. How does this roasting style differ from normal roasting?


    thanks,
    Bill

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,959

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill link=1226470655/0#10 date=1226491364
    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1226470655/0#9 date=1226488273
    But that roasting style isnt limited to WBC blends.
    Hi Luca,

    What roasting style is that? ie. How does this roasting style differ from normal roasting?


    thanks,
    Bill
    Theres more than enough to keep me busy on the extracting side; I havent really put my foot into roasting in an in-depth kind of way. Im not the person to talk to about this.

    Packaging will have something to do with it; nitrogen flushing will extend shelf life, for example.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  13. #13
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Thank you Luca for putting some common sense perspective into the discussion. Your observations are on the money.

    In addition Thundergod touched on some extremely important issues:

    a) the owner is or should be "the boss" and can do whatever he likes. *Its the same as with his employees...a boss cant make them do something that he wants them to do...the employees *have to want to do it themselves. Same thing, *the other way around.

    b) Whats in it for you?

    As a professional roaster I have run into enough recalcitrant espresso machine operators that did their damnest to upset the relationship between their boss and his supplier, to try and make the boss change to their "pet" coffee brand. I even know of instances where someone was putting money in the espresso machine operators pocket............................................ !

    I am of course not suggesting any such thing is going on here........reaiterating, Luca has given us some very good feedback in this thread. A lot of harm can be unnecessarily inflicted on good existing business relationships between a cafe owner and his suppliers (when both are happy enough with what they are doing together) when staff deliberately try to destablise the owner and that means, when the tail is trying to wag the dog.

    If the owners way of doing business is so wrong, his business will suffer. Then he may well look to doing things differently but until then.....

    The best course of action in these circumstances, is
    A) for the destabilising employee to get educated...some may think this arms the employee with the information to change the owners mind, but in many instances it can also result shock horror, in the employee beginning to see some merit or get some understanding in why the boss does things his way and
    B) *for the destabilising employee to stop sticking his nose in someone elses business or leave and go and do his own thing where he can be the boss and do what he wants and have others try and destabilise him!

    Only calling a spade a spade.

    Attilio.

  14. #14
    A_M
    A_M is offline
    Guest
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,381

    Re: Fresh coffee???

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1226470655/0#12 date=1226540992
    Thank you Luca for putting some common sense perspective into the discussion. Your observations are on the money.

    In addition Thundergod touched on some extremely important issues:

    a) the owner is or should be "the boss" and can do whatever he likes. *Its the same as with his employees...a boss cant make them do something that he wants them to do...the employees *have to want to do it themselves. Same thing, *the other way around.


    Attilio.
    Well summed up...

    In addition if the product is not up to scratch, then the clients will let you know... While many may vote with their feet, some will provide comment and it is then up to the person with the responsibility to act, as they see fit..

    A dysfunctional team will cause issues for all stakeholders.



Similar Threads

  1. FRESH COFFEE IN UK
    By robertmc in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 15th May 2008, 10:45 PM
  2. How Fresh is your coffee??
    By Sink_cut in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 5th April 2007, 06:46 AM
  3. Where to buy fresh roast coffee!
    By jchiha in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 23rd January 2006, 02:07 PM
  4. Is Coffee we get from Cafés, Fresh or Old
    By FrenchBean in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 28th February 2005, 09:15 PM

Posting Permissions

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