Passalacqua coffee with expiration date mid 2023 - worth buying?

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

#1: Post by noisewater »

Hey everyone,

I'm looking at purchasing some Passalacqua Harem whole bean coffee from

The website is selling a batch which is best before June 2023. Does anyone have experience drinking Passalacqua coffees that close to the expiration date? All of their whole bean bags are vac sealed.

The Harem blend is my favorite coffee I've tried so far, however the batch I'm working on now is direct from a recent trip to Italy, so it was definitely much fresher.

I'd love to buy the ones I've found, however I am worried about being disappointed and receiving stale coffee.

Any thoughts on this? Worth buying or should I pass?

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#2: Post by dparrish »

Have you considered trying to purchase either directly from Passalacqua or from one of their European distrubutors (espresso-international, for example)? While Italian blends seem to have a longer shelf life than most, and I believe (from memory) Passalacqua does nitrogen pack their kilo-sized beans (again, best I remember), I still would opt for something at least a year out (and hopefully fresher). I think they put an "expiration" of 2 years past the actual roast date.

Having had the pleasure recently of a trip to Italy and coming away with some freshly-roasted beans from several cafes, freshness definitely counts! I have ordered Harem and a couple of other Passalacqua blends in the past from their European distributors (didn't get to visit Naples due to catching COVID on the trip :(), but their coffee is among my favorites. Saint Eustachio in Rome makes some great coffee (which I ordered more of when I returned), and I've been enjoying Saka coffee for some time (another Neapolitan coffee which is very popular here on the forum and can be ordered from Cantina Coffee).

noisewater (original poster)

#3: Post by noisewater (original poster) »

I had considered ordering from Europe directly, but due to the shipping price I wrote it off in hopes of finding something more local. I've seen Cantina Coffee pop up a few times now, I think I'll give them a shot! I just ordered a couple pounds from Spella Caffe in Portland also.

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#4: Post by dparrish »

Saka has become a favorite of mine :). It is roasted lighter than Passalacqua though. But the Gran Bar has a delicious hazelnut/chocolate taste. Their other blends are excellent as well. When I order from overseas, I generally order 4-5 kilos, which saves on shipping. I put most of it in the freezer. It lasts for months.

noisewater (original poster)

#5: Post by noisewater (original poster) »

I'm really curious as to how I'll like the Saka, as I tend to prefer the darker blends. But very happy to hear more positive feedback on it from you! I may just have to follow your lead and order a few kgs from Italy directly one of these days.


#6: Post by Milligan »

Saka has that unique quality of giving the full flavor profile expected of that style of coffee at a roast level that isn't bitter. Quite a feat IMO. I've enjoyed everything from Saka. Tafuri was a bit underwhelming for me though.

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#7: Post by dparrish »

noisewater wrote:I'm really curious as to how I'll like the Saka, as I tend to prefer the darker blends. But very happy to hear more positive feedback on it from you! I may just have to follow your lead and order a few kgs from Italy directly one of these days.
Being a general fan of Italian coffee and the art they put into selecting beans and roasting, I find that Saka generally "knocks it out of the park" in terms of complexity and amazing flavor. I have tried 3 of their blends (Gran Bar, Classic Bar, Top Selection), and they are all wonderful. The use of robusta CAN be offputting, but when quality robusta is used, as they do, it creates the most amazing hazelnut and winey notes I've tasted in a coffee. When adding the robusta to their arabica beans, you get chocolate paired with the hazelnut/winey notes. Thick, syrupy shots, and when delivered fresh, as Matt from Cantina Coffee has been doing SO WELL (thank you Matt and Saka!), the experience is something that very few of us State-side have tasted. I would be surprised if you didn't LOVE it!

As an aside, based on the prodding of other forum members, I've now ordered Crema Bar to try!
BTW, Cantina Coffee's shipping is AWESOME.


#8: Post by jpender »

My freezer has a lot of Saka coffee in it. I've been drinking it 90% of the time throughout 2022.

But another dark/medium-dark (100% Arabica) roasted coffee worth trying is "Opus" from Chromatic Coffee in San Jose, CA. They roast and ship the same day -- I live 50 miles away and get the coffee just 1 day post roast. It is rich, creamy, not bitter at all, and has tons of crema. It doesn't pull like an Italian roast. The Saka blends I pull short and pretty fast. Crema Bar I go with 16g:20g in 30 seconds and no real preinfusion time. Opus I've been pulling 20g:50g in about 85 seconds, including a 20-25 second preinfusion.

For what it's worth.