Some questions about the 7-21 days after roasting coffee rule of thumb...

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NewCoffeeGuy1
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#1: Post by NewCoffeeGuy1 »

TLDR: what's the difference between a day in the sealed bag as delivered, vs a day after that bag is opened for the first time?

Talking here about the rule of thumb that beans are best used somewhere in the 7-21 days after roasting. Don't want to get into any differences between light and dark roasts, 3 vs 5 vs 7 vs 10 days to start the window or whatever, just asking generally:

-If you leave beans in the sealed bag they're delivered in, does that slow down the count of days? Or is a day a day in this context?

-Or, does the day-clock really count when you open that sealed bag for the first time?

-What if you stick the sealed bag in the freezer before opening it?

-Either way, once that sealed bag is opened for the first time, does that accelerate the aging? Does re-sealing (e.g. in an air-tight container) stop the clock or just slow it?

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Jeff
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#2: Post by Jeff »

Let's stick with medium and darker roasts, based on your timing.

In my experience:

Opening the bag, assuming it was in a sealed bag with a functioning one-way valve, definitely increases the rate of staling of the beans. How much will depend on the coffee, storage conditions, and if you single dose or have partially broken beans in a hopper-fed grinder. Some believe that some big-name Italian espresso blends are stale a day after opening. My experience with single dosing and keeping beans at this roast level in a cool, sealed container, out of bright light is that a week or 10 days will show changes needing grind adjustment but won't have degraded to the point where I'm craving fresh beans.

Tape over the one-way valve before freezing as they aren't the most robust things. Close-fitting Mason-style jars are another option without getting into vacuum sealing. Freezing definitely slows aging. Lots of threads and opinions on this. Most of my freezing experience with "un-light" roasts was splitting a 5# bag, so things weren't in the freezer more than about 6 weeks.

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mrgnomer
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#3: Post by mrgnomer »

From research and experience nothing helps preserve the freshness of a roast indefinitely. I degass for atleast 4 days after roast then start pulling shots. Most of the roasts extract better after about 10 days. Light roasts take a bit longer.

Keeping the roasts tightly sealed helps but roast coffee beans oxidize readily. From what I've read about experiments with freezing, displacing O2 in the container with nitrogen...nothing arrests the oxidation. Degassing time is over several days and during that time more CO2 goes out than O2 in but once CO2 is out oxidation begins.

I find fresh roast is like fresh bread. That fresh taste is only right after roasting and degassing. Nothing from what I've tried and read keeps it fresh indefinitely. Airtight container and out of the sun helps keep it from prematurely oxidizing.
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NewCoffeeGuy1 (original poster)
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#4: Post by NewCoffeeGuy1 (original poster) »

Jeff wrote:Opening the bag, assuming it was in a sealed bag with a functioning one-way valve, definitely increases the rate of staling of the beans. How much will depend on the coffee, storage conditions, and if you single dose or have partially broken beans in a hopper-fed grinder. Some believe that some big-name Italian espresso blends are stale a day after opening. My experience with single dosing and keeping beans at this roast level in a cool, sealed container, out of bright light is that a week or 10 days will show changes needing grind adjustment but won't have degraded to the point where I'm craving fresh beans.
Thanks much. So, a week or 10 days after opening (and storing as you note) you see changes requiring grind adjustment but not enough to need/want fresh beans. Fair enough and makes sense.

Separate but related: bag arrives, sealed with a functioning one-way valve, but *not* put in the freezer. Let's say roasted on Day 1, arrives to your home Day 2. What day do you open it to get that 7-10 days window of drinkability? Med-Med+ roasts.

NewCoffeeGuy1 (original poster)
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#5: Post by NewCoffeeGuy1 (original poster) »

mrgnomer wrote: I degass for at least 4 days after roast then start pulling shots. Most of the roasts extract better after about 10 days.
Thanks on all. Follow up on this. What is "degass" in your usage? Sealed bag as it arrived, sitting in a cool/dark place? Or..?

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Jeff
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#6: Post by Jeff »

bag arrives, sealed with a functioning one-way valve, but *not* put in the freezer. Let's say roasted on Day 1, arrives to your home Day 2. What day do you open it to get that 7-10 days window of drinkability? Med-Med+ roasts.
It really depends on the roaster and roast. Top-quality, classic Italian espresso? A month? Two months? Six months? That's part of a master roaster's magic. A high-quality espresso blend? Probably 1-3 weeks, depending on experience with that blend and personal taste. For one exploration with one coffee and set of preferences, see https://squaremileblog.com/2020/02/21/r ... freshness/ Commodity or "supermarket brands" I can't really comment on any more. I used to obsess at two days in the mail. I don't worry about a week from roast any more for medium and darker roasts. Lighter roasts tend to be even more forgiving of time.

jpender
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#7: Post by jpender »

Jeff wrote:For one exploration with one coffee and set of preferences, see https://squaremileblog.com/2020/02/21/r ... freshness/
From that blog:
"coffee loses density and moisture as it ages"

Really?

GDM528
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#8: Post by GDM528 »

"Sealed bag"...

My recent experience with four different vendors of nine "sealed" bags: only 20% of the bags were actually sealed. Either because of leaky valves or leaky seams. Taping over the valve recovered only two of the bags - but one of those bags returned to room pressure the next day.

Despite those poor stats, all of the bags had enough of a 'seal' to preferentially hold in whatever the beans are outgassing over room air - as long as the beans are outgassing. If freezing, or after a week post-roast I bag the bag with a vacuum sealer.

jpender
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#9: Post by jpender »

GDM528 wrote:"Sealed bag"...

My recent experience with four different vendors of nine "sealed" bags: only 20% of the bags were actually sealed. Either because of leaky valves or leaky seams. Taping over the valve recovered only two of the bags - but one of those bags returned to room pressure the next day.
Could you explain that in a little more detail, what did you do exactly?

GDM528 wrote:Despite those poor stats, all of the bags had enough of a 'seal' to preferentially hold in whatever the beans are outgassing over room air - as long as the beans are outgassing. If freezing, or after a week post-roast I bag the bag with a vacuum sealer.
I don't think that's how it works. If there's a small leak in the bag oxygen will get inside no matter how much CO2 is present.

jpender
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#10: Post by jpender »

I bought a bag of beans from a roaster recently. It was their standard espresso roast, one that I've had in the past, a medium roasted blend of beans from Columbia, Guatemala, and Ethiopia. I asked the barista how long they recommended resting the coffee and he told me that at the cafe they wait 7-10 days before using them. He said that they did that for the sake of consistency when pulling the shots. In my case, he added, 2-3 days was plenty of time for degassing and that the beans would be fresher that way.

So I put the coffee in the freezer immediately (2 days post roast) and have been enjoying it immensely. What would it taste like if I had waited 10 days?