Working with "older" coffee beans...

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#1: Post by ZebcoKid »

Hello All,

I'm not sure if this is the right spot for this question, but here we go...

I have a Rocket Appartamento espresso machine. I have a Niche Zero grinder (new to me). My Rocket Appartamento was away for repair for about 5 weeks. I had fresh beans that went unused for that same period of time.

This morning I began the process of dialing in my "older" beans to produce a fantastic cuppa.

I found my setting all the way down to 5 (very fine) on the Niche Zero, and it was still flowing faster than my preferred target of 17g in and 34g out. I was getting this result with my retired Baratza Encore grinder.

This is the first time that I have worked with 5 week old beans and this grinder. Normally, I am in a range from two days to two weeks from the roast date. I might add that it's been 112 in the SF Bay Area this week (I'm sure this made the beans very unhappy).

I guess my question is whether 5 weeks makes for beans that will react/behave this way...or should I expect a 5 +/- setting on my Niche Zero...and I'm in the proper grind neighborhood?

Thank you.


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#2: Post by baldheadracing »

Your experience sounds right. Old beans do that. They flow fast and past a certain point going finer doesn't have an effect. Your Niche is fine, and will return to normal with fresher beans.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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#3: Post by yakster »

Next time something like this happens throw those beans in the freezer.

LMWDP # 272

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#4: Post by Jake_G »

Craig is correct and I would add that you should consider increasing your dose as the beans age as an alternative to grinding ever finer. This will allow you to build more resistance without significantly changing the extraction of the puck. It is a good strategy to maintain the character of a bean as it ages and ensure that the flavors continue to "pop".
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ZebcoKid (original poster)

#5: Post by ZebcoKid (original poster) »

Thanks for your thoughts.

I'll definitely pickup a new batch-o-beans today. I receive a weekly email from my roasting source when they have a new batch...and coincidentally, today's the day!

I would have added more beans to the grind, but I couldn't fit any more coffee in my portafilter basket (18g VST).

Once again, thank you for your thoughts. I so enjoy this space. Learning a ton!


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#6: Post by Milligan »

Too new = flow too fast
Too old = flow too fast

At least with too new the flow is fun to watch. Crema explosion :D

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#7: Post by Phobic »

I would add to all the good advice that you shouldn't worry about the flow rate, what you want is good extraction and a tasty cup.

keep your weights in and out the same and change your grind to hit the best taste - the flow rate will be whatever the flow rate is


#8: Post by mrmoon »

yakster wrote:Next time something like this happens throw those beans in the freezer.
How long do beans last in the freezer? is it possible to just keep the coffee in the freezer the whole time and grind as needed? feel like i'm wasting a lot of coffee currently

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#9: Post by yakster »

Here's a calculator @cafeIKE came up with, many do keep the beans in the freezer and just grind them frozen, that's what I was doing when I was freezing coffee, but now that I roast 100% of my coffee I just roast every two weeks and skip the freezer.

Frozen Coffee Storage Calculator

There's a ton of threads on the benefits and pitfalls of freezing coffee. From my reading, most reports are positive, but there's been a few cases were certain coffees don't take to the freezer like others for unknown reasons.

Coffees that don't freeze well

My best advice is to just try it yourself, since everyone has different preferences and tasting abilities.

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#10: Post by cannonfodder »

With older beans I find the only real serviceable option is to leave the grind as is, or even make it a little coarser and up the dosage to slow the flow. If you normally use a 14g dose go to an 18 or 20 provided you have a deep basket that will take it. That will get what little life is left in the beans out of them. Or use them for drip or immersion coffee.
Dave Stephens