FRESHNESS...HOW LONG?


Green Beans
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.

Roasted Beans
Roasted 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.

Ground Coffee
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 Happier Drinking!!!


Roasting 101
Choosing a Roaster
Roast Styles
How to Store Coffee
Roast with Items in your Kitchen
Coffee 101
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