How long are coffee beans REALLY fresh? - Page 9

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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#81: Post by Peppersass »

jpender wrote: I don't think it's realistic to have a specific window of time as it depends on the coffee, the roast, and the method of preparation... and the person drinking it too.
sl0m0 wrote:I once sourced beans from a German supplier here in Capetown who told me that they leave their beans to outgas for 3 to 6 MONTHS after roasting before packaging them and selling. The coffee tasted really good and not stale at all. They do good business and even have a franchise of their own coffee shops here in Capetown.
Sounds like an outlier. This is not my experience with most specialty coffees.

Most espresso is less forgiving of beans being past peak than other brew methods -- though per the above, it depends on the bean, roast, preparation, person, etc. Usually, the flavors of most good coffees brewed as espresso can be quite intense before and at the peak. It's obvious when they start to decline, and past a certain point I start to miss the intensity and chuck the beans. I don't drink a lot of brewed coffee, but I think the decline may be less dramatic and less noticeable over time. But eventually the coffee will go flat.

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#82: Post by another_jim »

Light and medium roasted coffees often become pleasantly stale (more or less like the Pink Floyd song)

Sugars, caramels, other long chain carb and proteins and most acids are stable for long periods. Ukers, one of the founders of the NCA, noted in his work that year old medium roasted coffee tasted like slightly sweetened cocoa and nuts. If the coffee has funky aromas lke robustas or dodgy dry process, if it has sharply astringent or green flavors, it will taste better stale. This does not apply to darker roasts, since they get skunky when oxidized.

So if you're roasting your espresso medium with dodgy brazil naturals and robustas, it'll taste better after six months. If you're roasting using the latest wrinkle in nordic pole profiling, so that even cows think the roast is too grassy, it will taste better in a month or so. Legitmate light roasts are edgy early on; but the trick is to get them so they mellow out in the one to two week window, while the aromatics are still powerrful
Jim Schulman


#83: Post by Mbb »

My roasts are most flavorful a few days after roast. By a week, notably less so. By 3.....not worth drinking.

I once took 4 lb of sealed, freshly roasted coffee overseas with me to work in middle east for extended period. By week was really poor. Still better than the swill they served there but it was nothing like it was when it was fresh. I found a roastery in Amman and was able to order some fresh coffee.....

If you roast your coffee dark you probably can't tell the difference.


#84: Post by Frenchman »

I did a tour of modern roasters in Paris this week. They roast on the lighter side (compared at least to what I see in Seattle) and say about a month for those beans to reach peak
LMWDP #712


#85: Post by DaveC »

Last month, I opened a 1 Kg valve bag of a coffee I roasted 6 years ago. A friend and I tried it as a pour over, a tad astringent, but tasted like an average supermarket coffee. had definitely lost a lot of the flavour notes apart from basic coffee and was very low acidity.

I was fine the rest of that day and the one wonders if roasted coffee beans are almost immortal :lol:

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#86: Post by Auctor »

Frenchman wrote:I did a tour of modern roasters in Paris this week. They roast on the lighter side (compared at least to what I see in Seattle) and say about a month for those beans to reach peak
How do they store the beans during that month?


#87: Post by Frenchman replying to Auctor »

They were talking about time to wait before opening a bag with a CO2 valve. As far as storing beans once open, I didn't ask, but Substance vacuum seals and freezes individual doses and says they last months or more. (He also stores portafilters in the fridge) for his grand crus.
LMWDP #712

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#88: Post by Auctor »

Interesting, thanks. I've been very wary of keeping freshly roasted coffee in a sealed bag with a one-way valve because I'm not convinced that the valves are keeping oxygen out of the bag (it's such a cheap plastic, and I've often seen this valve fail). That said, I have yet to find the perfect airtight jar (single dose or otherwise).

Maybe I bite the bullet and try "canning" single doses into vacuum sealed jars - so much work! :?


#89: Post by Frenchman »

Auctor wrote:Maybe I bite the bullet and try "canning" single doses into vacuum sealed jars - so much work! :?
Yes, what jars would you use? Jars are reusable so that's better than vacuum sealing (at least for me and my trash preferences). I do wonder if Lyn's Tritan bean tubes freeze well. That may be an interesting option. I also wonder if the CO2 valve can be used to suck air out too and provide a vacuum. Surprised nobody's advertised such a product.
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#90: Post by Jeff »

I just opened a bag of George Howell's Ethiopian Duromina, August 2020 roast, vacuum-packed at 98% and frozen for nearly a year. The aroma on opening the bag was great. It is very enjoyable and I have no doubt will get even better as I dial it in.