Do you remember few weeks ago, when we shared with you the 6 Tips for Choosing the Right Coffee?
You may remember the first tip: ‘Roasting Date’. In reflection, we probably should have named it: ‘Fresh is the New Vacuum Sealed’. You see, we had many members responding to that blog, saying that the supermarket coffee they buy is vacuum sealed, therefore it must be fresh.
So for those and for you, here’s a closer look into: ‘Why coffee doesn’t have an expiration date?’ as coffee freshness is often overlooked, even by seasoned coffee lovers who have been using espresso equipment at home for years.
To understand why coffee freshness is so important, we need to understand degassing.
During the roasting process, carbon dioxide gas is formed inside the bean. As soon as the roasting is finished, the release of carbon dioxide begins a process called degassing, that lasts up to 10 days.
At this stage, the coffee is typically considered too fresh, which is why, like most roasters, we will tell you to wait anywhere from three days to a week after the roast date before enjoying the coffee.
It’s hard knowing exactly when a coffee is ready for brewing, as it varies with each bean and roast profile, ambient temperature, humidity, storage containers and other factors. Only you in your own environment will know after experimenting, when is the perfect time to drink the specific bean in your bag.
As carbon dioxide leaves the coffee beans during degassing, it’s replaced with oxygen.
This oxygen reacts inside the bean, with the oils and other solubles, what gives the coffee its unique taste. This process, known as oxidization, is also what makes the coffee go stale. The oxidized oils and solubles means notable flavors won’t be as pronounced and the coffee will gradually taste flat. Once it’s over 3-4 weeks from roasting, majority of the taste will be gone.
To help keep oxygen from reaching the beans, we pack our beans in bags with one-way CO2 valves, that allow carbon dioxide to escape the bag but makes it difficult for oxygen to enter. A vacuum sealed container with a CO2 valve, like the Friis Coffee Saver, will add few more days to the coffee freshness.
Storing your beans in the freezer or fridge will only add on moisture level which is a trigger for the beans going stale. You may also encounter unpleasant odour from strong smelling foods in the fridge which the beans will pick up on quickly. Keep the original bag or your vacuum sealed container in the pantry, away from light, heat and moisture.
And we haven’t even started talking about why coffee is best purchased as beans rather then ground, and why adjusting your grinder is really important…
That’s a topic for another coffee talk…
We roast on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Knowing that beans will be sent out same day if ordered before 1pm, and delivered within 1-2 days via Express post to most areas, you can better plan your beans cycle at home, so you’re getting 3-4 days old beans ready to consume as soon as you’re low on the older beans.
The best way keeping your beans fresh is ordering small quantity, frequently. Once you worked out your ideal frequency and bag size for your consumption, there is no better way keeping fresh beans landing at your door regularly than joining our Beans Subscription Program.
It’s really very simple and quite a clever way, in fact, making sure you’re panic free by never running out but also obtaining your palate’s approval by never going stale. You also save time shopping and save hassle putting those reminders in!
© 2019 Ofra Ronen