How to recognize stale coffee? - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Sideshow »

Stale coffee will also have minimal crema, if any if it's extremely far gone.

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#12: Post by iploya »

I've been buying coffee for years and agree with all the above about knowing the roast date.

Another clear sign, I think, is lack of aroma. Another sign, again just in my amateur experience, is the coffee grinds seem dry when you grind the beans. Good grinders are supposed to grind without too much clumping, but when I grind really old coffee on my average grinders it dispenses in a nice, uniform, dry pile, as though very dry and the oils or moisture or whatever is depleted.

[edited for brevity]


#13: Post by Sideshow »

iploya wrote:Another clear sign, I think, is lack of aroma.
Yes, the good aroma is gone and in its place is a rancid smell likely caused by the oils in the coffee turning. Although this happens only when the coffee is very far past the roast date. Otherwise, the aroma is just missing.


#14: Post by smite »

If you can compare the taste and aroma of freshly roasted nuts to old nuts that have been sitting out for a while (weeks) it can help illustrate the concept. I find this is a fairly easy way for folks to get the concept of how to recognize the similar changes that occurs when coffee is stale.

Beyond the crema reduction, there is also a sense of flatness, that can only be described as a loss of body, texture and taste. You can test this directly by getting some coffee in a grocery store shelf, open it let it sit for a week and then compare it to something that has been freshly roasted. Now some coffee from the store shelf may have some original aroma depending on the method of packaging but it will probably go stale very quickly once opened, this is especially for any coffee that is preground - yuck...