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Thread: Determing storage and use time for coffee

  1. #1
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    Determing storage and use time for coffee

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    CSers, id appreciate some of yr wealth of knowledge *:)

    How does a newbie roaster like moi know how long to leave freshly roasted beans to settle for? After a bit of reading over this site and Sweet Marias etc, it seemed that a couple of days rest and then use the beans in around 10 days was the go. However, I was chatting to a friend of mine who has been in the cafe biz for a fair while, he uses a stack of beans through his cafes every week, and said he gets his roaster to rest his blend for 40 days before it is used. I was a bit shocked at this, as I thought time was the enemy of *freshness, but as my ignorance was the enemy of sounding intelligent, I didnt share my newly acquired views!!!!

    I was just reading some posts by Luca on trying out a blend, and how it was better after 13 days...now I is [more] confused than ever *:o! Id love some of your opinions on how to work out what beans to store for how long.

    Sanks-a-bunch! *:D

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Determing storage and use time for coffee

    Baristacat,

    Welcome to the wonderful and obtuse world of coffee.
    Unfortunately there is no real reliable single answer to your question.
    Some coffees drink well after just a few hours resting (Rich reckons Sumatran Mandeling is very interesting after just 2 hours) and some need a number of days to reach their potential.

    I hardly ever have any of my coffees last beyond 14 days. In general I find most of them are pretty good between 4 and 10 days, but there will always be exceptions.

    As for the 40 day thing, seems a little high for snobs like us, but perhaps Fresh_Coffee (an actual commercial roaster) might have a comment there.

    It reminds me of the story I heard regarding peanut M&Ms.
    A friend was working at the factory in the states where they made these. There were large tubs available for the workers to help themselves in the break room. He tasted some peanut ones this day and was blown away by how nice they were. He commented to a colleague and was told "Yeah, theyre fresh. Just made yesterday".
    Mate said "Why have I never tasted any like this from the stores?"
    Reply - "They are aged on site before being shipped. Its better to present a consistent flavour to the masses. After 3 weeks, they all taste pretty much the same."

    Perhaps that is the theory with aging the coffee.

    Brett.

  3. #3
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    Re: Determing storage and use time for coffee

    Ill put my vote in for 4 - 10 days too. Sometimes will drink sooner if running short, but as a rule I prefer my blends after min 3 days rest.

    Nothing ever seems to last more than 14 days though due to high usage :-)

    HOW they are stored will also have an influence over the quality of roasted coffee versus time. Cool, dark, airtight are my aims.

  4. #4
    Avi
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    Re: Determing storage and use time for coffee

    Hi Baristacrat,

    I find roasted coffee to be at its best from Day 2 - 8. I do not take any special care in storing the beans, besides leaving them unground. I store coffee in simple airtight containers with a rubber seal. Given my storage conditions, these have been my findings:

    Day 1: After 24 hrs of resting the coffee still tastes "muffled". Id prefer to wait.
    Day 2 - 3: Coffee is still degassing, but after about 48 hrs of resting it is quite good. The body and flavours are starting to develop to this full potential.
    Day 4 - 5: The coffee is now superb. Smooth, complex and full-bodied. This is peak drinking, as far as I am concerned.
    Day 6 - 7: The coffee continues to be superb, but the potency and fullness of flavours appears to be very slightly diminished. The body, however, appears to be fuller at this stage. A thoroughly enjoyable point in the lifecycle of a roasted coffee.
    Day 8 - 10: While it still tastes delicious, the coffee now appears to be clearly diminished. By Day 10 this coffee has now markedly degraded. Still drinkable, but why bother?

    These are my personal findings, based on my palate and my storage methods. Others might have substantially different preferences.

    Avi

  5. #5
    JR
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    Re: Determing storage and use time for coffee

    Hi Baristacrat

    I pretty much agree with the comments above but there is only one way to get a definitive answer for your palate. Roast enough coffee for around 20 shots (400gms). Try a shot a day for from day 0 - 14 and take notes on what you taste. Then try shots a week apart and if you make it to week 6 (about 40 days) you will be able to discuss this with your mate based on some evidence.

    Its actually quite interesting how much the bean changes over a period of 24 hours in a relatively stable environment (air tight container) and how different beans age.

    Dan.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Determing storage and use time for coffee

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan link=1153370489/0#4 date=1153386076
    Hi Baristacrat

    I pretty much agree with the comments above but there is only one way to get a definitive answer for your palate. Roast enough coffee for around 20 shots (400gms). Try a shot a day for from day 0 - 14 and take notes on what you taste. Then try shots a week apart and if you make it to week 6 (about 40 days) you will be able to discuss this with your mate based on some evidence.
    Yould better roast up 1600g of beans if you want to do that schedule as it will take you 3-4 pulls every day to dial in everything so that youre comparing identical as possible cups through-out the test.

    Java "Too much is better than too little" phile

  7. #7
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    Re: Determing storage and use time for coffee

    Thanks everyone, that is really helpful info.
    Polly



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