Coffee going from tasty to lifeless in hours or max few days - Page 5

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
CoffeeIsWeird (original poster)

#41: Post by CoffeeIsWeird (original poster) »

Thank you, @mediumfine. Well appreciated. Your post describes my situation so well ;-)
I'm going crazy when most everyone says that the coffee should stay great for 1-2 weeks after opening.
Not just me then ;-)
I split the vials - half into the freezer and half in a cool closet. I will record my results compared to the control bag and report back.
Brilliant! Can't wait to hear back from you.

CoffeeIsWeird (original poster)

#42: Post by CoffeeIsWeird (original poster) »

For all the people who experience coffee turning lifeless in a matter of hours or a few days, do you experience the same issue when storing a bag of coffee somewhere else, e.g. your workplace, another flat/house you attend, perhaps you moved to a new property and coffee started behaving differently?

For instance I know a small local coffee shop that does pourover and they sometimes carry on using the same bag over a period of days. Coffee has always recognizable flavor in there, unlike here at home where 99% of the time cupping or eating a raw bean just gives me emptiness, some ashiness, a bit like eating sunflower shell raw.

SutterMill

#43: Post by SutterMill »

cpreston wrote:So after realizing I had experienced the same rapid loss of flavor as the OP, I decided to try switching to grinding frozen beans in hope of better consistency. (Before, I was freezing in mason jars and defrosting a jar as needed.) The coffee I tested with was a very good medium SO Kenyan from S&W Craft Roasting that I'm familiar with.

I looked for a way to make every coffee keep tasting as good for 5-10 days as the first cup out of a new bag, brewing in my Aeropress. Brewing the same way each time, I tried three frozen storage methods every day for a week, looking for losses in cup quality over time. I brewed one cup from each group every day, in varying order:

- Vac sealed individual doses, in the metallized bags suggested by baldheadracing above. These should be a very good moisture and oxygen barrier. This was to be reference point as the best possible method; it should be way overkill.

- Same, but in regular Foodsaver pint bags cut down to half size.

- 5 doses in a (reusable) Ziplock freezer bag, opened and resealed once each day to take out a dose.

Over the course of the week, I became convinced that the quality in the cup was unfortunately turning out to be in the same order as the cost of the storage methods. But after a few days, I did a blind comparison with all three coffees, brought to the same tasting temperature. They were actually hard to tell apart, and all were good. In fact, the one I liked best (by a little) was from the reused ziplock bag.

So, not that surprisingly, vac sealing wasn't worthwhile for the short term, although it may well be helpful for long term storage. But grinding directly from the freezer was very helpful in maintaining consistency, even if the ziplock is reopened several times. After all these years of defrosting mason jars of beans, I'm switching.

Re the OP's original loss of flavor issue, I'm not sure the frozen beans were as good as the first brew out of a new unfrozen bag, but they were at least fairly close, and they stayed that way.
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@cpreston Interesting experiment. Thanks for taking the time to report your findings.
One of the things I found is if I vacuum seal to the point my foodsaver self seals, I tend to get less aromatics when opening the bag and anecdotally less flavor. If I stop/seal the foodsaver as soon as the bag starts to compress then the bags usually puff up from off gassing and opening the bag results in wonderful aromas. Curious if you or anyone else have observed this.

While a bag usually last me 2 weeks at most, I do notice loss of flavor towards the end of 2 weeks. I'm hoping foil lined bags will work better for larger batches and to send off to friends.

bobR

#44: Post by bobR »

post deleted, repetitive,

Jessipoo

#45: Post by Jessipoo »

Auctor wrote: 2) Palate fatigue - There may be such thing as trying too hard to taste every last drop of a cup, and eventually your palate is exhausted and loses its ability to taste the nuances from the first cup
3) Palate oversensitivity - This could go a couple of different ways - there are some that are incredibly good at judging flavor (i am not one of them yet), but i suspect that just because I can't taste blackberry in coffee, it doesn't mean that i can't taste a change in aroma and quality of the bean as it ages over time - it could be that some folks can discern these changes better than others

Again, not sure what the best explanation is, but over the past year of sampling well over 100 different coffees, these are my best theories.
Interestingly enough, I single dosed some coffee, nothing fancy, just glass vials with cork, got a new bag and then was more interested in that cuz it was a new shiny bag. I made a flat white with some of that coffee which at this point is probably 1 month out of the bag (I single dose as many as I can, then seal the original bag back up and then reopen and single dose a bunch more again to reduce air exposure as much as possible) and the coffee was so good!

I didn't remember the other coffee being that good, I think switching it up is actually a great idea

CoffeeIsWeird (original poster)

#46: Post by CoffeeIsWeird (original poster) »

mediumfine wrote: I've started experimenting with different (non-vacuum) storage options recently, with mixed results. Typically I've been repackaging within a few days after roast, and started to assume that is too late. I'm guessing/hoping that beans maybe need to be repackaged immediately after roast, while actively degassing, in order to have adequate protection from oxygen, so I finally got a couple bags roasted while I wait and repackaged into plastic vials within a couple hours of roasting. I split the vials - half into the freezer and half in a cool closet. I will record my results compared to the control bag and report back..
Hi mediumfine. What are the results so far?

micro

#47: Post by micro »

Hey OP, any remedy to the problem at hand after more than a year from the original post?

CoffeeIsWeird (original poster)

#48: Post by CoffeeIsWeird (original poster) »

Unfortunately not. It just goes towards generic/ashy flavours so quickly...

One sort of related thing I learned recently is that in my local coffee shops A, B, C pourovers are excellent basically 100% time - flavor is there, defects none or close to none.

A couple of months ago I was in public tasting recently sampling six fresh coffees (2-4 days post roast) and I ended up liking only one. Two of them were significantly worse than my home brews (could not finish), three of them were ok but flavour was barely there. Only one had a clear flavour profile. My friend had exactly the same impressions by the way. It's so easy to buy "bad" coffee.

I've been trying more cupping as well and that's the key. I don't think I have brewing technique issues. When the coffee has flavor, I can extract it easily and brewing techniques only help to fine-tune the output to my liking (level of acidity, body, sweetness). Does not matter which brewer or grinder. Flavor is there and it makes me happy in cupping, V60 or whatever it is. I think this is the world many lucky people in this forum live - coffee has flavor , sometimes it even improves with time (what a life!).

But then once it goes lifeless, normally in hours or max few days, it's gone.

Learning online can be tricky... For one person coffee lasts weeks and just loses some volatile aromas over time and for another one it quickly drops any flavor. Somewhere somebody swears by boiling water but they live 2000m above sea level so their boiling point is several degrees off mine. I wish tasting together was a thing in specialty coffee. I believe we would learn so much instead of reinventing the wheel or never getting to the wheel in the first place.

But then the beauty of this struggle is that every brew means hope... :-) Every morning there's a little bit of me going "maybe today". It's like a lottery ticket every morning. I know it's unlikely for me to win but there's always that excitement. It's become like a ritual. I enjoy it :-)

Hope you enjoy it too? ;-)

tompoland

#49: Post by tompoland »

I roast medium/dark for espresso only. When the beans hit peak freshness/viscosity I vacuum pack them using this machine.
The bags are not recyclable via the normal curb side pick up people but our local supermarket accepts all plastic for recycling so I just take them there.
Some people drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.