General rule to allowing coffees to rest?

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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#1: Post by philee »

hi everyone,

i just received my shipments of la golondrina microlot from counter culture, and espresso classico from paradise roasters.

on some other roasters' sites, they list that coffee, like some types of wine, should be given time to "degas".
what exactly does this mean? should i just leave the coffee in the original bag to 'degas' for a few days?

also, is there some general rule to allowing coffees to rest, or am i being obsessive?
ive read from various posts, dates ranging from 4-7 days after the coffee was roasted.

thanks everyone


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#2: Post by Grant »

I am far from being the most qualified around here to answer this, but I will give you my own opinion.

From my own experience, I have found that after roasting my beans, 4 days seems to be when things come together (for espresso). Before that, I find the extractions extra bubbly and the flavours sometimes a bit "off". At about 4 days, things just seem to come together...the flavours seems smoother and more blended, and the extractions are smoother and silky.

They say to "de-gas" the beans as they give off carbon dioxide as a by-product of roasting, and as this subsides many consider the beans to be at their best....too long afterwhich they begin to stale/age. If anything like a nice Ale, carbon dioxide has a "tang" or sharp taste, which I believe is why some Ale cans with a widget inside use other gases to not give an off taste.

I rarely ever let beans get past 8 days old, as I roast according to my usage patterns, but after that I find the extractions are starting to thin a little, I have to grind a bit finer etc.

For drip coffee/french press, I use them whenever and can find little taste difference before or after 4 days.

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#3: Post by another_jim »

You should try a shot every day from the time you get it.

Signs of more aging needed:

-- excessive, large bubble crema that quickly collapses
-- a lot of harsh flavors, both sour and sharp-bitter

Tuning espresso is mostly a matter of making changes relative to the last shot: tighter or looser grind, dose less or more, brew hotter or colder, use it now or wait. It's extremely rare for one to be able to say ahead of time "wait so many days," "brew it at such and such a temperature," "use this specific dose and grind," etc.
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#4: Post by michael »

what are peoples thoughts about recommended days off roast

i recently purchased some counterculture idido misty valley; it has a recommendation of 9 - 14 days off roast which seems long. for off roast, do you just leave the coffee on the counter in its sealed bag 8)

...merged with thread on same topic by moderator...

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#5: Post by iginfect »

Due to illness earlier this year, I had to stop roasting for about 2 months and bought roasted beans from counter culture . the roast day is monday and beans arrived thur, already degassed and ready to use. my favorite s.o. was misti valley which was for vac pot. Nonespresso beans need only one day to degas imho.


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#6: Post by sweaner »

I usually start using them at about day 3, and the bag will last until about day 14. If I find that the beans do better with more rest, I will do that the next time....if I actually remember. I need to start taking notes. :?
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#7: Post by Marshall »

I'm going to at least slightly disagree with everyone who has answered the O.P. In no particular order:

1. No, there is no single ideal resting time for all beans, blends and roasts. If a roaster has given you the benefit of their experience and made a recommendation, consider yourself blessed and follow it, EXCEPT THAT coffee bars (their main customers) will use an entire bag on the same day that they open it, while consumers are likely to take a week or more to consume the bag. If that applies to you, I would time my usage accordingly and maybe open the bag a day or two before the target date(s).

2. Recommended resting times assume the bag remains closed and that no additional oxygen is being introduced by opening it. So, I would not try the coffee every day from the day I bought it, unless I were doing so as an experiment to determine my own resting preferences for future purchases.

3. If you've bought a coffee and really need to use it before its optimal resting time, by all means open it up, which will accelerate the resting/staling process.

4. The roaster's recommendation will be based on brewing with well-tuned commercial grinders and espresso machines in the roaster's own cupping room/lab. Because your equipment, storage condiitons, water and other factors (not to mention your personal taste) may vary, feel free to experiment, no matter what your roaster recommends. Yes, I know this partly contradicts #1.
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#8: Post by drdna »

I will agree to disagree, inasmuch as each blend, each varietal, and more importantly the taste of each person will by necessity make variable the ideal time of resting before use after roasting of the beans.

It is best to, as suggested astutely, start at Day Zero, grind shots each day and keep going, until you have a feel for how this particular batch will change as it rests. Initially, too bubbly and carbonated, then bold but unruly, later even and blended, later still distant and flat, finally bitter and rancid. Most folks like a calmer balanced cup, where the flavors have mellowed a bit, receding into a more even temperament, and that occurs after 3-7 days for most roasts.

YMMV. For example, I really enjoy the vibrant, living flavors I get in the first 1-3 days despite the lack of balance. This is the major reason I began roasting at home; I could never get a roast fresh enough otherwise, and I would have to buy so much it would go "bad" before I could use it all. It was a simple practical matter. At least this is how I justified the expense to my Better Half.

A rule of thumb would be to let the coffee rest for three days before using. However, I feel it is important to experiment with each blend, to really get a feel for the correct Window of Opportunity. I may roast very small batches for coffee blends I enjoy only on Days 2-5 for example, or if I know another blend will take seven days to reach its peak, I will roast well ahead of time.

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#9: Post by Stanner »

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?

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#10: Post by nixter »

Ok so assuming the 4-8 day rule... when I buy a bag that has a roast date of let's say the 1st, is it bagged and sealed on the 1st and then the rest period is counted while bagged? Or do you start counting days once the bag is opened? I believe the 4-8 days applies while still bagged correct? A local popular chain keeps trying to tell me their beans are good for months in the bag. This happens when I ask them to find me a bag that is 4 days old or less. I keep disagreeing with them but I just need to check my sanity here.