Green beans will last for around two years or so without any appreciable
loss of flavor. Green coffee beans should be stored in some sort of container
that will allow it to breathe and not impart another flavor to the beans:
burlap bags, paper bags, etc. work best and it is recommended to try and
avoid plastic containers. Storing them at room temperature is fine, however
some experts suggest a cooler place out of direct light. An ideal environment
is approximately 70 degrees F. and around 50% relative humidity.
Beans are another story completely and this is where subjectivity really
comes into play. There is such a thing as "too fresh"! Immediately
after roasting, most coffees taste pretty much the same - delicious, but
the same. Freshly roasted beans need time to de-gas and cure to allow
the specific nuances to come out in each of the varietals. At the very
least you should wait for at least 4 hours, however it is even better
to wait at least 12 hours or more. Talk about delayed gratification! It
is a good idea to only roast enough beans to meet your needs for about
4 to 7 days. This will ensure you are drinking the freshest cup possible.
Some may extend that window to 10 to 14 days however a good coffee snob
might rather keep a spare canister around for the 10 day mark and make
a nice blend to give to neighbors who are always mooching. They will love
it and they will love you too…you will be their favorite neighbor….believe
it! Roasted coffee stores best in a sealed canister at room temperature.
There are numerous articles, some quite scientific, on preservation methods
like vacuum sealing, refrigerating, freezing, you name it and the result
is always the same - nothing stops the deterioration of flavor.
Now we're getting into a critical area! Only grind what you intend to
brew! You can let your nose tell you how much flavor you may have lost
even a couple of hours after it has been ground.
To summarize, good fresh coffee is not a gift to be saved for a special
occasion. Store the green beans safely, then roast, grind and brew them
as needed. For those of you who like routines, have a glass of wine while
you roast a batch or two in the evening and your coffee beans will be
ready for use the next morning.
Happy Roasting . . . and even
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