Some venting on freezing - Page 2

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

#11: Post by jamoke »

Just wondering:
If I froze a bag of BJ's Colombian beans alongside a bag of blueberries, would it taste like Ethiopian Harrar?
Or would my pies just keep me awake all night?
Ed Bugel
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AndyS

#12: Post by AndyS »

jamoke wrote:Or would my pies just keep me awake all night?
That's better than your piles keeping you awake all night. :cry:
-AndyS
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cannonfodder
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#13: Post by cannonfodder »

The simple answer, your roaster wants you to use the coffee faster or get one pound (or sub one pound now) bags more often because they cost more. They will make more money. They are probably represented by the legal firm of Dewey Takem and How. I have to admit that until that test I subscribed, and preached the same thing. A perfect example of mob rule, everyone says it is true so it must be. Now I regularly freeze my coffee to hold it at its peak. The key being air tight, if it is not then it will get funky.
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PeterG

#14: Post by PeterG »

The conventional wisdom among coffee experts has long been anti-freezing. However, coffee scientists (like Michael Sivetz) long ago proved that, under the right conditions, freezing can effectively extend the shelf-life of coffee somewhat. Still, most roasters will recommend against it. How come?

Most people don't do it properly. The vast majority of the populace aren't as conscientious as the crowd here. To most people, "freezing coffee" means to throw the opened bag into the door of the freezer compartment every day. This makes the coffee taste of freezer, or worse. The process of dividing, bagging or jarring, etc. only makes sense to those who have a great respect for coffee flavor. Unfortunately, this describes only a small (but growing!) percentage of home consumers.

Years ago, there was no Home-Barista or Coffeegeek. There were no coffee blogs. You couldn't just google coffee information easily. In those days (I'm talking about the 80s and 90s) the idea spread that the freezer was the proper place to keep coffee. People started putting their MJB cans in the freezer. When they would buy specialty coffee from Peets or the Coffee Connection or their local roaster, they would dutifully toss their paper bag of freshly roasted coffee in the freezer, spoiling it promptly. Craft roasters rightfully objected, and pretty soon there was an anti-rumor among coffee folks that the freezer ruined the coffee (by congealing the oils, or condensation, or whatever) Both of these ideas (the idea that freezing was good and the idea that freezing was bad) were largely untested. When roasters would test this advice, they would usually repeat the normal consumer habit of throwing the paper bag in the freezer. Conventional wisdom confirmed, they continue to give this advice to this day.

"Should I freeze my coffee?" is still one of the most frequent consumer questions I get. When I hear the question, I quickly assess whether the person is a casual consumer (most are) or a coffee-geek type (who would be willing to actually do the work of good freezer-prep). If it is a casual consumer, I say: "Nope. Just buy fresh beans and keep them in a sealed container on the counter". If it is a coffeegeek, I say "Well, you don't need to if you're coffee is fresh. If I lacked easy access to fresh coffee for some reason, I would freeze in small ziploc bags or mason jars, at the coldest freezing temperature I could muster" or something like that.

Coffee roasters aren't trying to "make extra money" by recommending freezing. They are simply repeating the advice they have been given for years, and trying to instill some respect for the product they work hard on.

Peter G
counter culture coffee

roblumba (original poster)

#15: Post by roblumba (original poster) »

PeterG wrote:If it is a coffeegeek, I say "Well, you don't need to if you're coffee is fresh. If I lacked easy access to fresh coffee for some reason, I would freeze in small ziploc bags or mason jars, at the coldest freezing temperature I could muster" or something like that.

Coffee roasters aren't trying to "make extra money" by recommending freezing. They are simply repeating the advice they have been given for years, and trying to instill some respect for the product they work hard on.

Peter G
I feel much better hearing it from someone at counter culture. I could get it fresh from Barefoot every week, but it's a matter of logistics. It's hard to schedule a weekly trip to Barefoot. Sure, they are only 14 miles from my work place, but it always turns into a 1 hour trip with the time spent at the shop. They roast on Thursday or Friday, but usually don't get the bags to the store until 3-5pm on Friday, at which time I'm not happy to be fighting rush hour traffic to get to Barefoot. And if I really want to get it on Friday I have monitor the store, calling every 30 minutes to see if the coffee has arrived and then leave work early to get to the coffee. The other thing I've been doing is making a special trip from home on Saturday, with my entire family, in the SUV and make a day shopping trip out of it to squeeze in other shopping so we aren't just wasting our gas on a single trip to Barefoot. So because of the difficulty, I've been buying enough for 2 or 3 weeks, freezing a portion of it immediately and leaving a portion to be used within the 3-7 day window.

If I was to try to get it fresh every week, the best option would be to go on Monday's at lunch hour or something like that, then it's guaranteed to be there and only be several days past roast. But I would have to schedule it into my Monday workday each week. But I love stopping by the cafe and visiting, talking, getting a couple double shots. It sure would be a nice way to start the week. Since I've been starting to get to know some of the staff, and they know me, it's becoming a more of a home atmosphere for me. Even though there's the rumor that it's a place for gorilla's reading Nietzsche. I'm a bible believing Christian! :)

Man, being a coffee geek is a lot of work! Now I just gotta schmooze one of those cool looking COE coffee sacks off of these guys. They must have plenty of them by now!

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Randy G.

#16: Post by Randy G. »

Speaking of freezing, he said...
PeterG wrote:Most people don't do it properly. The vast majority of the populace aren't as conscientious as the crowd here. To most people, "freezing coffee" means to throw the opened bag into the door of the freezer compartment every day. This makes the coffee taste of freezer, or worse.
Some of you may remember this true story:
Like so many home roasters, I enjoy giving coffee away to friends and acquaintances (as well as using it as enticements). I had given my wife's former boss a bag of home-roast, house-blend that contained some of that old-school Yemen use to get- chocolaty does not begin to describe this stuff. A year later we were at a party at her house and I sampled some of the coffee she brewed. It tasted burnt- no better way to describe it. As it turned out, it was the same coffee I gave her a year earlier that had been opened a few times and placed back in the freezer. Even though it was in a jar, the stuff had turned big time!
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Phaelon56

#17: Post by Phaelon56 »

What Peter said.

All great points and so true. I hear of well-intentioned people putting ground coffee in the freezer or fridge and repeatedly opening the container then putting it back in. Ouch.

But - properly done - freezing has merits and can be a useful technique if done correctly. When I travel it's a practice of mine to stop into cafes I have not previously visited or perhaps haven't been to in awhile and bring home some coffee. It usually gets split into small freezer ziplocs upon my return and those placed inside a gallon size ziploc. As a matter of fact I just stashed a 12 oz bag of Hairbender in the freezer last night that I picked up this weekend at Four Barrel when I was visiting SF. Had to squeeze it into next to a bag of Black cat and a bag of Daterra reserve.

As the sole espresso consumer in my household (my roommates are fish who turn their nose up at all coffee products) I want to enjoy these beans as fresh as possible but just can't consume them quickly enough. Works for me.

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dsc

#18: Post by dsc »

Hi,

you can always use these:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3044/293 ... ec5c8c.jpg

[photo taken by my forum friend zamek from our polish coffee forum Caffeprego]

to store coffee. Works really well and you don't need no stupid pump to remove the air from the bag, simply use your lungs. Cheap and effective.

Regards,
dsc.

SantoSerafino

#19: Post by SantoSerafino »

I have repeatedly had a mild but noticeable reaction to sucking in the air from a bag full of coffee like that. Yesterday it happened again so I think I'll be finding a different way to do it.
See "Temperature Profiled Immersion Brewing By Smell" in 'Brewing'

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JohnB.
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#20: Post by JohnB. »

LMWDP 267