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Thread: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

  1. #1
    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi CS people :)

    There seems to be alot of differing opinions as to "How long do freshly roasted beans last?" , and also when are they at there peak (is there such a thing?).

    All I can tell in my very limited experience is the ones I buy from small NZ roasting companies generally seem to drop off from about the 7 day mark, does that sound right?
    By drop off I mean less rust colouration flecked through the crema. Extractions start with a thinner look to the coffee as it starts dripping from the naked PF rather than that gloppy look.

    My home roasting attempts tend to look fresher in the cup as long as 12 days, and sometimes if I try after 48 hours it looks full of air (foamy) and then settles down as each day passes.

    These are just my observations from a newbie to this "dark art" that is most enjoyable.


    Any hints are gratefully accepted [smiley=cheesy.gif]

    Cheers,

    Chris.

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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    It really depends on the roaster and the beans!

    Some beans might have had it by 14 days....some only just begin to peak then! The coffees I use at work, I try not to use until day 10 onwards....I find most of our blends peak between day 14/15 to early 20s. One blend in particular will last longer and is still bubbling away like crazy after 17 days like it just came out of the roaster!

    General rule of thumb...the longer the roast time is for the blend/coffee, the more CO2 youre going to produce. This means you need a longer resting time before you should use them...otherwise they will take on an almost green flavour because its too fresh.


  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    The PNG Kimel I roast at home in my opinion is best between 7 - 14 days after roasting.
    The next week is still OK and they go downhill after the 3rd week.
    Ive tried them at 4 weeks and though drinkable they arent CS standard.

    So as David said it depends on several things.
    The bean itself, the roaster and the roast profile.

    Are you sure of the roasting date?

    I noticed a "Packed" date on a work colleagues beans this week.
    They were roasted a week earlier.

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    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    Good point Thundergod.
    The small roasting companies state they are sending the same day as roasting but the more commerial ones dont even have a roast or packed date.
    The sooner I get the home roasting a bit more sorted the sooner I wont be dealing with them.

    Thanks for you time,

    CB.

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    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    Ive noticed it too with home roasted beans still being "fresh" for a longer period than some commercial ones.

    I suppose it also depends a lot on how the beans are processed AFTER theyre roasted... ie are they left in an open container for a long time (as Ive seen some roasters do) or bagged straight away.

    Would make a big difference to the de-gassing process and lifespan of the beans, wouldnt it?


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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregJW link=1205049600/0#4 date=1205106005
    I suppose it also depends a lot on how the beans are processed AFTER theyre roasted... ie are they left in an open container for a long time (as Ive seen some roasters do) or bagged straight away.

    Would make a big difference to the de-gassing process and lifespan of the beans, wouldnt it?
    Would it?


    Theres also another aspect to consider. Both the Kimel mentioned by Thundergod and Harar (probably others, too) have an interesting property. If roasted fairly light to bring out the fruity, jammy quality, this can evolve significantly over quite a long period. I once kept some Kimel that I roasted for about six weeks, just to see how it went. Of course, it went stale in the conventional sense, but not baggy. The fruity, blueberry aroma intensified until it was overwhelming and not at all unpleasant. If pulled by itself, it behaved like stale coffee. However, as a small percentage in a fresh blend, it added a really superb dimension to the flavour, without noticeably affecting the pour. The proportion I tried was 15%. These two coffees have other lovely characters as well which might change in unexpected ways while aging. The Kimel is one of the most remarkable coffees I know. Hazel De Los Reyes first pointed this out to me when she was experimenting with different roasts of the Kimel - you can get fruit bombs, chocolate, spice, nuts, depending on what you do with it.

    Maybe its time we became less ageist about coffee and started to redefine what we mean by stale. Dont get me wrong here, Im not a relativist - just because theres twilight doesnt mean we cant tell the difference between day and night... Supermarket coffee isnt just another aspect of gourmet coffee.

    matt

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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    Quote Originally Posted by redzone121 link=1205049600/0#3 date=1205099595
    Good point Thundergod.
    The small roasting companies state they are sending the same day as roasting but the more commerial ones dont even have a roast or packed date.
    The sooner I get the home roasting a bit more sorted the sooner I wont be dealing with them.

    Thanks for you time,

    CB.
    Every roastery has at the very minimum a batch code which they can read and determine the roast on date. It will soon become law to add a best before or expiry to coffee bags.

    At the same token, every roastery has their own techniques and beliefs in packing coffee. Some pack as soon as it comes out of the roaster.....some allow the coffee to sit for a bit before packing. At the end of the day, a coffee roaster choses a specific method of packing because it makes his/her coffee taste better.

    If youre adamant about getting a roast on date...Im sure most places would be happy to provide you with one.

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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregJW link=1205049600/0#4 date=1205106005
    Ive noticed it too with home roasted beans still being "fresh" for a longer period than some commercial ones.
    Thats probably because youre picking up stuff thats already on its last legs? Or is this not the case...if it is...it is very interesting because Ive been taught, the longer a roast goes for, the more CO2 you will produce. This CO2 in the coffee is what makes the coffee bubble away...this is the "freshness" we talk of. Last week I picked up a bag of one of our blends that was at least 16 days old, but it was behaving as if it was less than 5 days old!

    Interesting experiment, if you live in Melbourne come by Veneziano...Ill give you some beans 5 days old.....you go home and roast some beans and let them sit for another 10....see which one behaves more fresh. I think the home roasted beans might come good by day 7 whereas ours will just be peaking at day 15.

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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    Interesting discussion! I have a question too, how can you tell the coffee is at its peak?

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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    Quote Originally Posted by freddiman link=1205049600/0#8 date=1205113900
    Interesting discussion! I have a question too, how can you tell the coffee is at its peak?
    Simplistic answer - the taste. That would mean you would have to try the coffee every day from the date of roasting, and take note of what is different each day. I also think everyones sweet spot is different, so something that tastes great to me on say, day 9, might taste better to you on day 10.

  11. #11
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Stale beans ? How long before bin time?

    I have tasted my Kimel from day 1 through to 6 weeks.

    The first coffee beans I ever bought was from Hazel and deduced quite quickly that I and my family like it from after day 7.
    Ive since gone back and tested that theory by trying that blend from day 1 on and proved my theory correct.

    Whenever I by that particular blend from Hazel I get some fresh to put aside and hopefully she has a little left thats older for me to drink sooner.

    Monsooned Malabar I never seem to leave long enough.
    I have some in the cupboard at home thats just on a week old now that Im going to leave for another week to compare to previous batches that I always finished (it seems ) too soon.



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