Freezing Espresso Coffee, Part Two - Page 3

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
Ken Fox

#21: Post by Ken Fox »

ManSeekingCoffee wrote: I'm curious about whether you had a chance to follow the frozen coffee out several days post freeze. I typically only freeze a couple of days supply, but I find it hard to believe that there is simply no chemical change to freezing (and aging it). Is the coffee merely in suspended animation. I'd suspect that it ages faster once thawed. I seem to remember this suggestion from the first article as well? Certainly if it did age more quickly upon thawing, that's an argument for bagging up small doses as opposed to an entire bag.
The coffee frozen for almost 4 months was degassed for 2 days after defrosting prior to its initial use in this study, and up until at least now (6 days after defrosting) it remains fine. In my own use, where I have seldom (previously) frozen coffee for more than 2 months, I've found the coffee to be usable until I finish the container, which is typically no larger than about 300g, which takes less than a week to finish.

I have no personal experience in finding that previously frozen coffee does not last as long after defrosted as fresh, however I freeze immediately after roasting and do not degass beforehand.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

ManSeekingCoffee

#22: Post by ManSeekingCoffee »

Good to know. Thanks for doing the hard work to help out all the rest of us!

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#23: Post by cannonfodder »

Back in the original To Freeze or Not to Freeze article, I did my own little extended freezing experiment. I would have to go back to the thread to look it up, but I believe I ran around 6 months with some frozen beans. My observation at that time was that it was still perfectly usable and showed very little, if any, degradation. But, after around 5 or 6 days it started to shift in flavor. It appeared that once the staling has begun, it progressed at a very rapid pace. But, my beans were a few months older than Ken and Jim's test samples. The easy fix was only get out 4 days worth of coffee.

I have been freezing my greens for some time with no ill effect. I vac bag my greens and toss them into a -15F deep freezer. Then when my roasting reserve gets low I remove them from the freezer, get another 3 pounds out, vac and toss them back in the freezer. I have a few greens going on 2 years with little degradation in the cup, although most dont last a year before they are used up.

I think one of takeaway points to all of these tests are the fact that the samples are stored in air tight containers. Freezers are funky inside. If you dont have an airtight container, the coffee will pickup all the freezer funk very quickly.
Dave Stephens

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JohnB.
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#24: Post by JohnB. »

cannonfodder wrote: My observation at that time was that it was still perfectly usable and showed very little, if any, degradation. But, after around 5 or 6 days it started to shift in flavor. It appeared that once the staling has begun, it progressed at a very rapid pace. But, my beans were a few months older than Ken and Jim's test samples. The easy fix was only get out 4 days worth of coffee.
I've had the same experience with some beans which is why I started freezing in small lots that could be used up in a couple of days.
LMWDP 267

zin1953

#25: Post by zin1953 »

Thanks to both you from a job VERY well done . . .
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

Dogshot

#26: Post by Dogshot »

I, too, have been freezing my roasted coffee since Ken's first article. It is very handy to order several pounds at once from my local roaster, who delivers within 24hrs of roasting.

I think some of the impression that previously frozen coffee stales faster might be confounded by the length of time after roasting that the coffee is put in the freezer. My best luck is always when the coffee has been frozen no more than 24hrs after roasting.

This thread reminds me that the uber-high-end roasters could get a market advantage (and potentially a green one at that) by changing the structure of their distribution. For example, Intelly air-freights its coffee to a few stores in the Toronto area, so that we can have our Black Cat within 4-5 days of roasting. Unfortunately, if it takes me a few days to get to the store after arrival of a new batch, my fresh coffee is now about a week old.

If roasters treated coffee more like beef than like oysters, they could freeze the coffee within hours of roasting, and then transport it frozen to retailers (or even customers). That way, I could buy my coffee in larger quantities, and have it fresh any time I want.

Mark
LMWDP #106

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another_jim
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#27: Post by another_jim »

Barry Jarrett, owner of Riley's cafe in the St Louis suburbs, who used to post here, tried selling frozen coffee in the 90s, since he knew it held better than coffee stored at room temperature. He gave up, since he couldn't persuade ordinary coffee buyers that it was any good.

I think most roasters are very leery of trying something that consumers believe is completely wrong. One hopes that the news of experiments like these will eventually get to regular consumers.
Jim Schulman

acquavivaespresso

#28: Post by acquavivaespresso »

Ken Fox wrote:several potential criticisms....
while I am surprised for the amount of time and interest you put into the matter, and while I would agree that freezing is by far the lesser of two evils, I have a fifth criticism ref. surprise by the poor appearance of the coffee in the six cups for the tasting, because they do not do justice to your skills and love for the subject : great espresso with "lots of crema" as some guys call it

Dogshot

#29: Post by Dogshot »

another_jim wrote:Barry Jarrett, owner of Riley's cafe in the St Louis suburbs, who used to post here, tried selling frozen coffee in the 90s, since he knew it held better than coffee stored at room temperature. He gave up, since he couldn't persuade ordinary coffee buyers that it was any good.

I think most roasters are very leery of trying something that consumers believe is completely wrong. One hopes that the news of experiments like these will eventually get to regular consumers.
I have ordered coffee form Barry, and enjoyed it very much. He clearly puts a lot of care into his business. I would have ordered more from him, but it can be difficult to make the most of 3lbs of coffee that is 11 days old (by the time I receive it).

Perhaps in 10 years we will be buying our coffee frozen.

Mark
LMWDP #106

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AndyS

#30: Post by AndyS »

acquavivaespresso wrote:I have a fifth criticism ref. surprise by the poor appearance of the coffee in the six cups for the tasting, because they do not do justice to your skills and love for the subject : great espresso with "lots of crema" as some guys call it
No no no! That wasn't espresso, it was a different part of the experiment: coffee cupping.

I have never had espresso prepared by Ken Fox, but from speaking with him and reading his posts, I do believe he can prepare espressos that look better than the coffee in that photo! ;-)
-AndyS
VST refractometer/filter basket beta tester, no financial interest in the company