There are many variables that play into the quality of the final cup of coffee that we all enjoy. In some of our previous blog posts, we’ve discussed how brewing can greatly alter how a coffee tastes. But before the final brew, there are a lot of other things to consider. This post is part two of a two part series about the role that coffee harvest and roast freshness play into the final product. To catch up with part one, click HERE. In this part of the series, we’ll briefly discuss the way that roast freshness impacts the quality of the final cup.
There are a few things to consider when we talk about roast freshness. It isn’t simply the day that the coffee is labeled as being roasted on, which we refer to as the roast date, but it’s a great place to begin.
The roast date is the date that the coffee was roasted on. Rather than having a best-by date, coffee is labeled to let you know when it was roasted since it doesn’t go ‘bad’ after a specific amount of time. Rather, coffee begins to lose its expressiveness and complexity over time the further it gets from its roast date.The older a roasted coffee gets and as more months pass by off of roast, coffee begins to taste stale and sour, with a lemony bite but generally hollow, or lacking body.
Whether you’re storing your coffee on the shelf or in your cupboard, here are a few tips.
- Keep it away from direct sunlight.
- Keep it away from the stove and other heat sources (radiators, etc.).
- The coffee should be in an airtight container. Our Stone Creek Coffee bags also work great!
- For maximum freshness, enjoy your coffee within 3 weeks of the roast date. However, coffee does not ‘expire,’ so you can continue to enjoy it after 3 weeks off of the roast date.
When I first started working in coffee, I was told that you should never put coffee in the freezer. Years and a lot of learning later, I have accepted new information and changed my opinion on this sometimes controversial storage method. I especially love this storage method for coffees that I want to be able to enjoy for a longer period of time, while still maintaining freshness over that time period.
Though I will perhaps explore freezer storage further in a later blog post, I will cover the basics here:
- The coffee should be whole bean.
- The coffee should be in an airtight container.
- You should use the coffee immediately after removing it from the freezer.
- Like other things, coffee will stay fresher in a deep freezer than a standard fridge/freezer combo. Deep freezers can extend frozen storage up to and exceeding one year! In a standard freezer, coffee will stay ‘fresh’ for 3-6 months.
- Fun Fact: If you freeze ground coffee, it will leech flavors from the freezer, so it’s a big no-no! In fact, ground coffee is a great deodorizer for your fridge, working similarly to baking soda.
So now that you understand some of the ways harvest and roast freshness affect the flavors in your cup, it’s time to replenish your coffee stash with your new found knowledge. To shop the fruits of harvest’s and our labor, click the button below to peruse our Farm to Cup coffees with free carbon neutral shipping.SHOP FARM TO CUP COFFEE