What is the latest on the storage of coffee greens? - Page 2

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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AndyS

#11: Post by AndyS »

Compass Coffee wrote:Yes I've heard the theory vacuuming roasted coffee beans sucks out the volatiles. Yet roasts mason jar FoodSaver vacuum sealed directly from cooling and four to six days vacuum rested served to an advanced cupping palate like Tom Owens suggests otherwise. I've done so on multiple occasions.
Mike, I think we're oversimplifying a complex subject. "Vacuum-packing" means different things to different people.

I have zero experience with a FoodSaver machine, but a lot of experience with industrial vacuum packing equipment that leaves residual oxygen at less than 0.5%. I'd bet the FoodSaver pulls a really crappy vacuum by industrial standards. Sivetz talks extensively about this on his website. His patent combined very low residual oxygen (well below 1%) with freezing. He claims that if you don't get the residual oxygen content really low, there's no point in pulling a vacuum at all.

Why they issued him a patent for rewarmed technology that was freakin' obvious anyway is another matter.... :-(

So I guess what I'm saying is that the FoodSaver may not (1) pull enough vacuum to strip off volatiles, and (2) make a difference in shelf life.

What do your cuppings say about FoodSaver sealed samples vs. regular samples? (I'd be happy to wrong about this if your blind tastings show the FoodSaver to really make an improvement).
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company

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cannonfodder (original poster)
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#12: Post by cannonfodder (original poster) »

Well, I will chime back in with a couple of observation/comments. In regard to the FoodSaver vacuum pack, it does make a difference for my vegetables. I grow a moderate sized garden (don't remember the last time I purchased vegetables) and I vacuum pack my beans, corn, broccoli, meat, fish (I do a lot of hunting and fishing as well). It makes a very big difference. I gave up canning because I get much better preservation vacuum packing and tossing it in one of my deep freezers (yes I have two, told you I put in a big garden, bunch of salmon and a few deer every year).

Now to reflect upon Malachi's comment. Being an amateur farmer of sorts, I am very familiar with the seasonality of agricultural products. When I have company I cook some of my 04 corn because it was a much better year than the 05 crop. The seasonality of coffee is part of what makes home roasting and blending enjoyable to me. That is also why I purchase no more than a years worth of greens. I just want to make sure the last roast of my 05 Yemen is as good as the first roast. Given the short time frame it may be a moot point.

I am watching the Chicago football game, boy, does it look cold up there!
Dave Stephens

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another_jim
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#13: Post by another_jim »

cannonfodder wrote: I am watching the Chicago football game, boy, does it look cold up there!
Most common thing I heard all week was wisecracks about global warming; this is cracking up to be the coldest winter on record here. Good for the Bears though, by the second half, Vick had trouble just holding the ball, never mind throwing it.

mikep

#14: Post by mikep »

another_jim wrote:The theoretical objection to freezing greens (as opposed to roasted coffee) is that they contain about 10% to 15% water. This water will crystallize when frozen and damage the cell walls. I have no way to judge this.
I seem to remember an episode of Good Eats where it was claimed that freezing strawberries in a typical freezer was problematic because the ice crystals are formed fairly slowly, so they grow large and damage the cell walls. Alton Brown claimed that if you performed a quick freeze on strawberries by close contact with crushed dry ice, the ice crystals that form inside the berry are smaller, so they are less damaged by the time you thaw them.

skyryders90

#15: Post by skyryders90 replying to mikep »

Alton Brown is genius.

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malachi

#16: Post by malachi »

cannonfodder wrote:I just want to make sure the last roast of my 05 Yemen is as good as the first roast.
That's easy to do.
Roast it all within the optimal window for the green.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

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malachi

#17: Post by malachi »

mikep wrote:... so they are less damaged by the time you thaw them.
I would never argue that green coffee which was vac packed and frozen will taste better when roasted 12 months later than that same green allowed to sit at room temp exposed to air.
But there is no way it will taste as good as if it were simply roasted at its peak.

Personally, I would rather drink a wonderful coffee at its peak during a month out of the year and then remember it for the next 11 months with longing than drink a degraded version of it for 12 months out of the year.
"Taste is the only morality." -- John Ruskin

DavidMLewis

#18: Post by DavidMLewis »

This raises a question I've had for a long time. Aside from the extra cost of shipping, why isn't specialty coffee shipped and stored in pergamino, then hulled just before roasting? While I thoroughly agree with Chris on this, I can't help but feel that most of us have actually never had a coffee at its peak, i.e. as it would be if it wasn't sitting on a truck and/or ship for months before we got it.

Best,
David

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another_jim
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#19: Post by another_jim »

DavidMLewis wrote:This raises a question I've had for a long time. Aside from the extra cost of shipping, why isn't specialty coffee shipped and stored in pergamino, then hulled just before roasting? While I thoroughly agree with Chris on this, I can't help but feel that most of us have actually never had a coffee at its peak, i.e. as it would be if it wasn't sitting on a truck and/or ship for months before we got it.
Good question. Of course it implies that the pergamino actually protects the bean from damage or taste degradation

Suppose it does. My guess is shipping weight. The whole coffee supply chain is based on "Coffee as commodity" model, where costs are minimized regardless of quality. We're seeing specialty coffee develop its own supply chains now; auctions, relationship coffees, and importers who handle these coffees exclusively or as a separate division. But I've never yet seen a specialty roaster set up to hull the beans; maybe that'll be coming.

I'm a sceptic when it comes to how badly green coffee degrades when gently stored -- I've not noticed much in mine over six months to a year. However, a key fact for me is that decafs, no matter how good out of the plant (and some can be very good indeed) are undrinkable about 4 to 6 months after processing. Decaf coffees are soaked, then dried, during the decaffeination process. For many coffees, transport involves getting heated and steamed in an often several month long trip from origin to the temperate zone dock in the destination country. My guess is that the worse this is, the less well the coffee stores. I've found Yemens, for instance, which get prepped and transported in very dry climates, hold up for surprisingly long periods -- A bag end of Barry's famous Haimi was still a strawberry/chocolate bomb when I found it after two and a half years storage in my apartment.

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cannonfodder (original poster)
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#20: Post by cannonfodder (original poster) »

malachi wrote:That's easy to do.
Roast it all within the optimal window for the green.
Which brings up the next question, what is the prime age for green? Understanding that there will be differences in shelf life from origin to origin, what is a good rule of thumb?

I have seen multiple posts that suggest greens have several years of shelf life if properly stored. I don't know that I agree with that but I have never kept a green longer than one year. My normal shelf life is between 6 and 12 months. So given my rate of consumption, should I even be concerned about storage? My cotton draw string bags have not disappointed me yet so is there a reason I should change?
Dave Stephens