Degassing whole bean coffees

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
Charles Carroll

#1: Post by Charles Carroll »

Do whole beans need time to degas before being ground for espresso?

That they do seems to be an accepted opinion among many espresso lovers. So the other day I decided to play with whole beans that had been roasted earlier in the morning. And the result? I tasted the best espresso that I have ever made with my La Pavoni Europiccola. So I discussed this with my coffee roaster. He said that when gases form inside whole coffee beans it means that the beans were not roasted properly. /Charles

chipman

#2: Post by chipman »

Didn't know that Graffeo was still in business.

ECM Manufacture: @ecmespresso #weliveespresso
Sponsored by ECM Manufacture
User avatar
Brewzologist
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by Brewzologist »

All beans normally degas after roasting. It is not a sign they were not roasted properly and you should ideally let a roast rest before brewing. If you brew too early the gas released when water contacts the grounds will reduce extraction of soluble compounds.

Different beans and different roast levels require different rest times. I let most of my light roast Africans rest at least 5 days before consuming, but dark roasted Centrals just a couple days.

If you want to try a roast before it's rested long enough, one trick is to grind the beans, shake well, and let them sit for an hour before brewing to help them degas. HTH.

sethde

#4: Post by sethde »

you specify "whole beans" in your original post. Does that mean you're usually drinking preground then? If so it makes sense to me that this was better! (And still miles away from as good as it could have been, unless you're using very dark roasts, which are better fresher than light roasts are, which do need to de-gas).

User avatar
yakster
Supporter ♡

#5: Post by yakster »

If all you have is freshly roasted coffee, grinding it and resting it for 15 - 30 minutes will degas the coffee enough so that you shouldn't have trouble with the extraction. The Handsome Coffee Roasters (RIP) in LA did this for their soft open since they didn't have much choice. It's not ideal but it works.

Some people like the taste of brewed coffee after three or so days of resting from roast and many like to wait at least a week before pulling espresso shots, depending on the bean and the person.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272
★ Helpful

Charles Carroll (original poster)

#6: Post by Charles Carroll (original poster) »

:roll:
chipman wrote:Didn't know that Graffeo was still in business.
I'm impressed! I have been friends with Luciano for over forty years. Do you go back that far? Can't say I wasn't warned that his contention wouldn't provoke some counter opinion. All I can say is that grinding several hours after the beans had been roasted produced one of the best espressos I have been able to pull. Of course this is a matter of taste. De gustibus non est disputandum! But you can dispute what can be measured, and it is possible to measure the carbon dioxide in a whole coffee bean. Luciano told me that in a whole bean that comes from his roaster the quantity of carbon dioxide is so negligible it is virtually irrelevant. There literally is nothing to degas. The roaster was built by an x-NASA chemical engineer named Mike Sivetz. /Charles

chipman

#7: Post by chipman »

Graffeo was the first time I purchased beans from a quality roaster back in 76-77. Just like henry Ford offered one color, you had a minimal choice of dark or light, or was it medium and light? I forget. it goes with my age. All I know is that it was arguably the best freshly roasted coffee beans around this area.

Urnex: 100% dedicated focus on coffee and tea cleaning
Sponsored by Urnex
User avatar
happycat

#8: Post by happycat »

Whether or not the coffee has CO2 is irrelevant to whether you enjoyed an espresso from it.

CO2 affects solubility of coffee. So you can enjoy coffee that has not degassed but you are not getting the maximum out of it. It's just inefficient brewing. It's like enjoying an espresso when you have channeling of water through the puck. You might enjoy it, but you are not brewing the whole puck evenly. It's like any version of preparing a food item... you might enjoy it in some way and yet be wasting the full potential of your ingredients. I suppose it's possible that you might enjoy a gassy bean if the gas reduces the solubility of flavours that you don't like.

Whether your friend's whole bean coffee has CO2 in it is very easily determined. Grind it up and add hot water. Does it foam up or not? It's an easily determined thing. If there is very little CO2 it's possible that it's quite a dark roast that has blown the integrity of the bean structure so it can't hold onto gas. If so, your paradigm of coffee flavour focuses on roast flavours rather than origins. So "properly roasted" becomes a meaningless and subjective term... there is no original flavour left to enjoy that would be affected by CO2 in a lighter roast.

None of this is new or contentious. There is a world of new experiences waiting for you if you open yourself to them.
LMWDP #603
★ Helpful

User avatar
TomC
Team HB

#9: Post by TomC »

Well stated David. Agreed.

BodieZoffa

#10: Post by BodieZoffa »

Charles Carroll wrote:Do whole beans need time to degas before being ground for espresso?

That they do seems to be an accepted opinion among many espresso lovers. So the other day I decided to play with whole beans that had been roasted earlier in the morning. And the result? I tasted the best espresso that I have ever made with my La Pavoni Europiccola. So I discussed this with my coffee roaster. He said that when gases form inside whole coffee beans it means that the beans were not roasted properly. /Charles
Your roaster is entitled to an opinion, but his definitely doesn't align with what I find to be the case. I've roasted all sorts of coffees to varying levels and any time I have a 'new to me green' I will give it a 'shot' at day 2 post roast, then maybe day 4-5, etc. to find the sweet spot. I find all coffees that I like (particular greens, roast level, etc.) to hit their peak in the day 7-9 range. Much earlier than that and the flavor is lacking and the crema/extraction is quite explosive for lack of a better term. I also look at and smell a batch day after day and can see/smell the changes that take place. Glad I gave up buying commercial roasted coffee years ago and will never resort to that again.