The hunt for best Italian roasted coffee beans - Page 39

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

#381: Post by marteccino »

In Europe something strange is happening with Italian packaged coffee beans mainly bought from internet shops.
This happened to me with few world wide known brands and few years apart, but I didn't pay attention back then and changed the brand, shops,etc ...
But last thing that confirmed this when I bought the same brand and variety that I really liked lately from 4 different shops in 3 different European countries....
So here it is. My suspicion is that they repackage old coffee and simply put the roasting date on it when it was repackaged.
I bought 10 packs of this coffee in total with various roasting dates from 4 shops. (I might send 6 packs back to western European country that I thought will be safe buy and asking seller about date and "if coffee had aroma" haha, because I overpaid on shipping)

Anyhow all of them, from different shops, roasting dates, came deflated and you couldn't smell the aroma because packet had no CO2 released. Upon opening the package the coffee smelled stale. Like an old earthy soil. My estimate 2+ years old or even more.
Now I started to drink this variety about 1 year ago and when I bought few packs of it at that time it was great and smelled good too, and I thought I found perfect coffee, but then 2 shops I was buying it from suddenly didn't stock it anymore and run out, so I was shopping elsewhere and the coffee came stale,deflated and smelling bad from all the shops.

Now comparison with various supermarket sold coffee brands, even 5-6+ months old roasting or more, you can see packs that are inflated and upon pressing the bag, it still smells good, and you could smell the aroma.
And by coincidence past week I came across the same brand that I bought from internet shops which it wasn't sold in supermarket before and that coffee still had great aroma too, but it costed double the price...which may add to my theory.

Now, this is just my speculation and I might be wrong. But I saw consistent patterns that confirm my suspicion that there might be repackaged old coffee sold mainly online. I don't want to provide specific brands or details, but I wonder if someone came across similar stuff.
I reckon that they don't do this with US exported coffee, but who knows, but in Europe, I am certain something dodgy going on with mainly online supplied coffees, because this happened to me as mentioned few years back but I simply didn't buy it anymore from same shops, changed brands,etc. But only now with this variety I connected the dots that there might not all be right with wholesale packaged coffee business.

It isn't normal that coffee with roasting date last November smelled like a 3 years soil. And in the supermarket even 1 year back roasted coffees smell like freshly roasted....

As a coincidence there was a documentary released few days ago about shady dealings with Italian extra olive oil... mixing it,etc....didn't watch it whole but I guess some shady stuff might be going on in the world of big coffee brands.

Again, I might be wrong and it is only my mere assessment and opinion

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#382: Post by Jaroslav replying to marteccino »

I wouldn't be surprised. I suspect the same with one "specialty" coffee roaster where I live. It happened a few times that the first order came really fresh, full is flavour and aroma, bags puff up after few days in the drawer, but then the second and third time the coffee comes more and more stale and the bags stay flat even after two weeks. I dare say he just slaps yesterday's date on the bag roasted a month ago and sends it, but I keep giving it another chance because the coffee is really nice sometimes and I kind of feel bad about being suspicious of someone who is maybe very honest and simple, just trying to make his way in the universe.


#383: Post by marteccino »

in a meanwhile before I saw your reply I added to my post that someone may suggest I should try local roaster, but I simply prefer typical Italian, but I deleted it since it wasn't in quoted reply and replied here...
Small roasters it's like any other small business, they have to survive, and I believe that lightly roasted coffee has less aroma released than Italian medium dark roasts I assume, so it might be more challenging with light roasts to contain aroma too


#384: Post by Jonk »

By deflated bags, do you mean that they look vacuum sealed like the two right bags in this post: The hunt for best Italian roasted coffee beans ?

If so, that's a common result of air freight and not much to be concerned with in itself AFAIK. But if it's just soft and tastes more stale than normal it could also just be valve failures. Dark roasts exposed to oxygen for more than 3 months could very well taste similar to 3 years in proper packaging.


#385: Post by marteccino »

Well that's what I thought that it's maybe from freezing weather but that would preserve it instead. Or humidity but that's unlikely too. and I don't think it would be due to valve. Too many different brands and packaging's had similar result.l in the past, that too left me wondering, but I didn't give it second thought abd moved on to another. In comparison all coffees I tried in supermarkets recently just for comparison smelled good and had aroma irrelevant of their roasting date...
Lastly where I am it's few hours from Italy by road, so it's no air freight.
Also the loss of aroma by being exposed to the air is one thing, but stale old coffee aroma is another one.
My most logical conclusion based on pattern (online shops, good price,etc) and characteristics (aroma,etc) is that it's an old repackaged coffee that's not sold to big supermarkets chains, but rather online shops or some secondary, b stock markets, I don't know.
Again of course I might be wrong at the end but this is my assessment.

Also that flat packaging you had unless the package is broken might be similar case. Did you smelled it?


#386: Post by Jonk »

marteccino wrote:Also that flat packaging you had unless the package is broken might be similar case. Did you smelled it?
Not sure what you refer to here. I can only recall experiencing actual soil aroma in a 5+ year old vacuum package of turkish coffee, that does sound particularly bad :shock:

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#387: Post by LVD »

another_jim wrote:Very odd result today. I enjoyed the Manaresi Arabica (listed at 6% Robusta, actually), so I did a blind comparison to my usual go to, the Cartapani Cinquestelle. The shots were indistinguishable, which is remarkable. I usually don't even get identical shots even when pulling the same blend twice. I had flashes of a very under the radar operation, like MGP for bourbons, supplying high end roasts to lots of different brands.

Be that as it may, if you like one, try the other. Let me know if you can tell them apart.
May I ask where you ordered this from? Thank you.

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#388: Post by another_jim »

The Cartapani is sold by Amazon, among others. The Manaresi I got from Italian Bean Delight, via a banner ad here on HB.

Even more oddly, I think the two coffees taste different when done in cappas; but I'm out of the Manareis, so testing this will take some time. I hope I'm just dreaming, since if there are differences in cappas one can't taste straight; a whole bunch of tasting procedures and conventional knowledge goes down the drain.
Jim Schulman


#389: Post by voodoo »

Tazza doro in Rome, Italy is the most satisfying bean I have ever tasted。I don't know if anyone has drunk it :D

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#390: Post by dparrish replying to voodoo »

I tried it this past summer and brought a bag back with me. Yes, I enjoyed it, but I like Saint Eustachio a bit better-milk chocolate notes and very smooth, slightly sweet. But both are good. Saka, though, from Naples, is by FAR my favorite. I think it is better than anything else I've ever had. Espresso Vivace is the only coffee state side that even comes close. Saka (Gran Bar and/or Crema Bar)=hazelnut, chocolate, thick and syrupy, and delicious as an espresso or cappuccino.