General rule to allowing coffees to rest? - Page 2

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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#11: Post by JmanEspresso »

Coffee resting starts the day it was roasted. So if your bag of coffee says "Roasted On: 8/1/09" and today is 8/06/09, the coffee has rested for about 5 days.

For home roasts, I wait at least 3-4 days, but thats just a starting point. So if I roasted a coffee Ive never, ever had before, I cup it the day I roast, give it 3 days, and pull a shot, see what its like, and decide what I need to do from there. Some coffees, Like Yemeni coffees, I let rest as much as 10 days, and as little as 7. Yemens really get better with age, and kind of go outside some of the "rules" of fresh coffee.

When I order from a roaster, Ill ask them what they suggest. If Ive had the coffee before, I check my notes and see what I liked last time. Ive got some Black Cat coming tmrw, and most people suggest 6-7 days. It will be 4 days off the roast, and Ill be trying it once I get it. Klatchs blends really hit their prime, I think, at around 8-10 days, and keep it until about 14 days. But I open up my Klatch bags at 4 days.

Coffee needs to rest, but its more about your personal taste. Maybe you'll like Blend A at 4 days, and someone else wont touch it until 7 days. It depends on you. So, I suggest, giving every coffee you use for espresso at least 36hrs, and start trying it from there.

When it comes to brewed coffee, I dont worry about resting as much. If I just roasted something last night, and I want to try it in the morning, I will. Will it get better with age? Possibly. Will it be good today? Possibly. Will I try it regardless? Definatley.

Do what works for you. And taking notes is NEVER a bad idea.

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#12: Post by Marshall »

JmanEspresso wrote:Coffee resting starts the day it was roasted. So if your bag of coffee says "Roasted On: 8/1/09" and today is 8/06/09, the coffee has rested for about 5 days.
I think that misses the point of the question. 5 resting days sitting in a sealed bag are different from 5 resting days in a bag that is repeatedly opened. I would multiply opened bag days by some factor (2?) to approximate an equivalence to sealed bag resting.
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#13: Post by JmanEspresso »


Good point.

When I buy from roasters, as long as the coffee comes in a one-way bag, I let it degas in there. On the rare occasion that Ive run out of coffee, Ill open the bag and leave it open for a couple hours. To go one step further, I might grind the coffee and let it sit for maybe 5 minutes. This is a rare occasion, i almost never have to do this, and when i do, Im rarely satisfied 100% with the results.

I think that the one-way bags let the coffee degas fine. If I put my coffee in my air-tight container, I notice that the same blend, if left in a one-way bag, is ready a day or two before the beans in the container. Leaving coffee in a one-way bag, I generally open them at 4 days PR.. Maybe 3.


#14: Post by Espin »

Stanner wrote:I was discussing this with a local roaster in town who used air roasters. He was noting that air roasters lead to a much faster drink immediately (almost, and my words). Any idea what he's on about?
My (home) air-roaster still makes the coffee want a few days of rest.

How dark is the roasting? Some roasters with air roasters roast really light - somewhere between "could go darker", "should have gone darker", and "this is barely a Scandinavian roast, and it's not to my taste".

Roasting starts a whole bunch of physical and chemical changes. All those changes take time. For a quite good cup, some of those should be mostly completed (CO2 dispersing), and some of those changes should still be continuing (volatile organic compounds not all evaporated off yet).

I find that 2-3 days rest is a really good start, and I try not to roast more at once than I can use up in a few days. Add an extra day or two in there for the difference between non-espresso methods like I use and the finicky nature of espresso machines, and that should just about come into line with what everyone else has said.

Ken Fox

#15: Post by Ken Fox »

Any set of guidelines is just a set of rules asking to be broken. If you are out of fresh coffee and all you have before you is coffee that was roasted the day before or something roasted 3 weeks ago, by all means use the fresh stuff. Even if "too fresh," it is not going to be "terrible," rather it just won't be as good as it could be. Who cares; it will still be better than your other choice, 3 week old coffee or Maxwell House.

Similarly, if you have some coffee that is older than you would prefer (like 2 weeks post roast), try using it in a cappuccino or other milk drink; you will probably find that it is serviceable as long as it isn't really really old (like 3 or 4 weeks or more post roast).

I always have a stash of frozen beans which I use when coming back home from being away, or sometimes to extend the time between my roasting sessions or to give me more variety than I might have using only what I have roasted very recently. It is not uncommon for me to use this coffee the next morning after being defrosted, even though it went into the deep freeze minutes after being roasted and not having the "benefit" of any time for degassing. In most cases I don't even notice, and I'm just glad to have a "fresh" batch of coffee to use, rather than the sort of horrid coffee I could buy locally.

When dealing with fresh coffee I have just roasted, I almost never use any until it is at least 2 days post roast, although in optimal circumstances I'd generally wait 3 days before opening the bag.

What, me worry?

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#16: Post by nixter »

Thanks for the replies gents. So just to clarify, even when the beans are bagged on day 1 they will still degrade significantly after their 4-8 day peak...even when still sealed/never opened?


Ken Fox

#17: Post by Ken Fox » replying to nixter »


Freezing when done properly can preserve fresh coffee for a period of months.

What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

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#18: Post by vanboom »

The possibilities are endless...
8 days ago I roasted some: Ethiopia Organic Guji Sidamo SWP Decaf

I have been making great cappuccinos all week and today something amazing happened...

The lemon cookie brightness just popped right out. I did not notice it all week, but today the planets aligned and this coffee was everything the cupping reviews said it should be. With each sip I could not believe the lemon cookie flavor is present today where it was not present yesterday.

How often do you test the limits of your home-roasts? That is, taste them every day until they are horribly stale. Until now, I have been letting my roasts rest a day or two to find them tasting the best on day 4-7. But today I find a coffee that shines on day 8 where it was "good" on day 1-7.

I think I am going to have to start taking better notes!

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Randy G.

#19: Post by Randy G. »

I agree that there is no rule. For an given coffee/blend/roast/grinder/machine/etc. You have to find what works best for you. When asked, the only rule I share is that the lighter the roast, the longer the rest before initial use..
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#20: Post by jthor »

Question regarding resting or degassing, not sure if they are one in the same....and, I use mason jars for storing coffee. How do you degas when storing coffee in mason jars? Do you just put the lid on without fully securing the top. Any help would be appreciated.