Some insights I got after giving "stale" coffee a try

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

#1: Post by coffee_maybe »

Hello coffee people,

I randomly saw the thread about italian coffees and here and got interested in it, reading it beginning to end. I started my journey in coffee hand grinding stale Lavazza beans for a Moka Pot while slowly getting more and more into fresh specialty coffee, pour over, aeropress and in the last more than a year - real espresso. For years i've been only using specialty coffee - all types of roasts but strong preference towards medium to dark roasts when it comes to espresso.
After reading the thread about italian coffees here I started thinking about giving grocery store brands a try again. Was wondering if I should really waste money on it but decided that "what the hell, worst case scenarios I throw it away or just use it for milk drinks for my girlfriend".
Ended up buying a local own brand from a European Wholsale Store "Metro cash and Carry". They have some random own brand of medium-dark roast beans that were cheap and were roasted like 4 months ago - something I would have never considered just an year ago. No robusta - just arabica beans. I split the bag into 3 bags of around 330 grams and started using one while the rest were in the freezer. What I noticed was:
- It was pretty strange to open a new bag of beans and grind it without the strong smell of fresh coffee. With freshly roasted coffee one of the best things was having your room smell like coffee after you grind your dose and pull your shot.
- Surprisingly, the stale coffee produced a pretty good tasting shot - medium body, with decent but light crema. After a bunch of tries I realized that this type of coffee would probably work in a 1:1.8 ratio - more closer than ristretto. 1:2 would end up tasting a bit unbalanced for my taste. Thanks to this forum for bringing this up and making me give tighter ratios a try.
- It's strange how forgiving a stale coffee can be - pulled at 20 or 30 seconds doesn't make such a big difference in taste. With freshly roasted coffee 5 seconds can be a game changer. Here - 10 seconds make a difference in taste but it is not that big.
- Dialing-in a shot with stale coffee is different. Small change in grind size can either not change anything or change A LOT. I still have a hard time hitting 25 settings for example.
- Stale coffee tastes pretty meh in everything different than espresso and probably moka pot. While i'm happy I opened my mind to it, I can't imagine using it for a v60 or Aeropress.

Overall, I guess I just wanted to say "thank you" to this forum for the great threads and for the open-minded people here.


#2: Post by Mike0 »

Food for thought, maybe give another bag a try. You may get differing results.

coffee_maybe (original poster)

#3: Post by coffee_maybe (original poster) replying to Mike0 »

Will do for sure. This experience definitely opened me to the idea of not only using freshly roasted coffee.