file how old is old?

  • Nick
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12 years 6 months ago #2373 by Nick
how old is old? was created by Nick
Cafe Fantastico says they roast every day but the last 2 bags I bought were dated 4 days old at the time of purchase. When I asked about that they said it takes that long to \"set up\" or off-gas CO2 or whatever... Do any beans actually take that long to become ready to use? Would it be rude to ask for beans no older than 2 days old?

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12 years 6 months ago #2377 by dave
Replied by dave on topic how old is old?
Nick,

4 days \"rest\" is not unusual for an espresso blend, particularly one that is not very dark. Coffee does indeed continue to release CO2 after roasting. While we sometimes consider coffee to be 'stale' because it has lost much of this CO2 and many other important things along with it, a coffee can taste very sharp or even tingly when there is too much carbon dioxide present. It is particularly an issue for espresso, both because of the excess CO2 released during brewing (gushing, flimsy crema, altered flavour and body) and because espresso magnifies the flavours present in the coffee.

Coffee can often be seen to change in flavour profile as it ages, and quite often a coffee destined for espresso will be rested a few or even several days in order to achieve the desired attributes 'at the pump.' Some coffees may be more fruity and acidic initially and mellow into more chocolatey, sweet flavours after several days.

I think that Cafe Fantastico is trying to ensure that you have the best experience possible with their coffee, and may wish to avoid you trying it before they feel it is at its peak. That said, beauty is in the tongue of the taster, and some folks actually prefer coffee sooner off of the roast than others, if only to appreciate how the coffee changes over time.

Of course, when we buy coffee we want to get it as fresh as possible because we are all-too-aware of the other end of the window.

Does this help? Maybe ask them when they feel that their coffee is best and why.

Dave

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12 years 6 months ago #2380 by Nick
Replied by Nick on topic how old is old?
dave wrote:


Does this help? Maybe ask them when they feel that their coffee is best and why.


or maybe when they feel their coffee is one day *before* its best so I could consume it all during its peak? that's my problem, having to go to the roaster (any roaster) twice per week. to heck with it, I'm getting a Gene Cafe roaster - I think I'll feel a lot better having control over the whole process and making up my own mind about it.

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12 years 6 months ago #2382 by colin
Replied by colin on topic how old is old?
Nick wrote:

Cafe Fantastico says they roast every day but the last 2 bags I bought were dated 4 days old at the time of purchase. When I asked about that they said it takes that long to \"set up\" or off-gas CO2 or whatever... Do any beans actually take that long to become ready to use? Would it be rude to ask for beans no older than 2 days old?


Opinions vary wildly on this -- but generally, one does not brew coffee on DAY 1 and 2 because it is so alive with extra CO2 - it effects the flavor in fact.
I find coffee (espresso or drip brewed) is at its best between DAY 3 and DAY 6.
Much after that it is a one way trip to STALE-CITY.

For this reason, places that sell WHOLE BEAN coffee in Victoria (or anywhere for that matter) who claim that their fresh coffee was roasted 10 days to 2 weeks ago are selling rubbish.

Example: You can ask how fresh the coffee is at any Starbucks outlet (their whole bean in particular) and then you can wince when they tell you when it was roasted.

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12 years 6 months ago #2383 by Nick
Replied by Nick on topic how old is old?
colin wrote:

I find coffee (espresso or drip brewed) is at its best between DAY 3 and DAY 6.
Much after that it is a one way trip to STALE-CITY.

For this reason, places that sell WHOLE BEAN coffee in Victoria (or anywhere for that matter) who claim that their fresh coffee was roasted 10 days to 2 weeks ago are selling rubbish.


YES !!! I completely agree that optimal just doesn't extend beyond 7 days (or at least not in my limited experience). Doesn't everybody want OPTIMAL ?

As for the 10 day rule, I have really wondered when seeing beans from the week before still listed in Habit. .. ouch!!

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12 years 6 months ago #2384 by colin
Replied by colin on topic how old is old?
I have heard the term aged coffee bandied about by the cafe literati -- and if I do not mind saying so...

It is utter hogwash -- another method of moving stale coffee through the marketplace.

Coffee is like any other fresh food; lettuce, strawberries, celery, whatever.

You harvest and process and consume.
You can no more leave a head of lettuce on the grocers shelves for 10 days than you can a pound of coffee beans.

I have encountered friends in the grocers (and pardon me if I have told this story before...) that go out of their way to get fresh vegetables, fresh breads, etc and they stop at the lucite bins and load up with this stanky-ass stale coffee.

When asked they reply: \"But we like the taste...\"

And I reply - \"You are obviously not tasted real fresh coffee...\"

Yea. I am a snob.

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