There are a lot of myths surrounding coffee. One of those that I hear so often is that it’s best right out of the roaster. There are some coffee companies that are still this keeping myth alive as if it were fresh fish they were selling rather than coffee.
During the roasting process gasses (mainly carbon dioxide) develop within the beans. After roasting, these gasses need time to escape (hence the need for a one way valve on the bag).
Whilst the whole “fresh” thing may be true for darker roasted coffee (dark roast coffee degases and stales much quicker). Where lighter roasted coffee is concerned, rested is best! Speciality light-medium roasted coffee needs time to degas. The “straight out of the roaster” tasting great is for us a myth that needs to be quashed. If it does really tastes “great” straight out of the roaster, it sure as hell will taste amazing a couple of weeks later!
I’d be really hesitant to serve coffee less than ten days old in the cafe and we wouldn’t even attempt to flavour profile a coffee less than 7 from roast. Light-Medium roasted coffees need this period of rest to really sing, whilst the same coffee brewed with less than a two week rest can taste Grassy or Green. Not nice.
As coffee ages, there will be a tipping point where it will go stale. (Oxygen degradation and drying out of the beans). However older coffee does not necessarily mean bad coffee . We’ve had some amazing brews both filter and espresso with coffee that’s three months from roast. Contrary to another popular myth, keeping it “fresher” in the fridge or freezer is also a no no, room temp is fine, just don’t forget to reseal the bag.
Although we are talking beans here, pre ground coffee will both degas and go stale way faster than whole bean. The carbon dioxide will escape and the coffee will dry out much faster once it’s ground so therefore we grind on the day of dispatch assuring your coffee is as fresh as possible.
Our roasting schedule is always “as and when” and always small batches but we try as much as we can to allow the coffee a little time to degas before shipping.
So, are you using coffee that is way too fresh?! Try letting it rest for a while and you may just be very surprised (and pleased) that you did!