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Thread: Vacuum packed = stale

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Vacuum packed = stale

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzi link=1185922763/0#13 date=1186651564
    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer Roaster link=1185922763/0#12 date=1186648927
    [but remember, vacuum pack = stale!!!!
    this may be the beginning of a new thread, but i am really curious about this....

    way back when, in Holland, we bought coffee bean, freshly ground in the shop in one of those big grinders.

    then, we bought beans and chopped them to smithereens in the little chopper grinders...

    then, we became very sophisticated and bought them vacuum packed in bricks, no more than 2 weeks from packing date. (which is, from what i know, very close to roasting date...)... and when we opened them, the coffee from it smelled fantastic and had a real foaming reaction with the hot water when it was poured on it.

    admittedly these qualities reduced dramatically after a few days....but the coffee we made with them for the first few days was really very good and the bricks i have been able to buy here have never ever displayed these qualities!!!

    now... this is the question....
    if the big roasters in Europe grind shortly after roasting and vacuum pack immediately...and the coffee is really fresh, it should be forming CO2.. but it doesnt blow the bag... how come???
    there are thousands of bricks on the European shop-shelves, within 2 weeks from packing date.. and still as hard as a ... :P brick!!

    OK, science brains.. help me out here!! :-/

    That is exactly right. If the coffee is fresh it breaks the vacuum. In a previous company I worked for we made the single serve vacuum bricks for hotels, airlines, etc. The process is to gring the coffee the day after roasting, wait 1 week and then pack. I think when they tell you they pack right after grinding they may be bending the truth just a little.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: Vacuum packed = stale


    Here Im just guessing....

    But if the coffee is ground soon after roasting (as Pioneer Coffee Roastery has stated above) it will outgas very quickly....

    The volatile coffee oils will also start to evaporate..... and flavour diminish.

    Now if you wait a while (basically less than the time you would for the whole beans to age before grinding)..... and then vacuum pack.....

    the CO2 will be gone.... and some of the flavour and aroma from the volatile oils will remain..... it is stale..... but not as stale as say week old beans which are then ground, allowed to outgas and then vacuum packed.

    They almost certainly use a higher percentage of Robusta ...... maybe even 100%.... for greater strength of flavour.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Bridport, Tas

    Re: Vacuum packed = stale

    well, that starts to make a lot more sense now...

    the Robust([s]o[/s])a would have masked the lack of "fresh" aroma too, as it smells quite strong...

    thanks guys.... brilliant as usual!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Re: Vacuum packed = stale

    From the time of packing to a brick to the time being displayed for sale they are compressed into a cardboard box for packing, leaving no room for the bags to expand, instead the gas just exits through the one way valve traveling through the space between the rest of the coffee beans or grinds.

    I notice when they unpack coffee in a supermarket, they are vacuum sealed bricks, but if they have been sitting on the shelf for a few weeks they would have inflated the bag. So I assume the majority of the de gassing takes place before the beans are packed, then a bit more when they are packed in the boxes (the cardboard boxes smell very nice, not stale at all when have just come in from the supplier/warehouse just after they have been opened) then the final amount (when they turn stale?) when they are sitting on the shelves for the week(s) before purchase.

    Just a thought not sure if its correct, but may have something to do with it.

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