Freshly roasted coffee - how fresh is good enough?

Discussion in 'The Cafe'' started by StillShaving, Sep 1, 2019.

    For those who regularly make espresso....or for those who home roast or buy from a coffee specialty retailer, how fresh do you like your coffee? All brewing methods benefit from freshly roasted coffee, but espresso brewing especially so. Coffee beans don't spoil in the traditional sense but slowly dry out and loose their aromatics. Becoming bland.

    For years I have been brewing coffee less than 3-4 weeks old but today I made an espresso from 2 month old coffee (roasted 8.5 weeks ago). I could tell it had started to dry out a little but it held up quite well. It made me rethink the idea that in order to drink espresso at home and not live in a big city one needed to home roast. That one could buy freshly roasted coffee in bulk (to save shipping costs) about every 6-8 weeks and enjoy it nearly as much as the person drinking 10 day old coffee. What has been your experience?
  1. Two weeks is my tops. It's still drinkable of course, but not the same. Crema turns blonde and flavours wash out. A friend recently brought two pounds as a host gift when they came to visit. But it was already two weeks old. I switched to hario pourover to finish it off because I felt that it bore the staleness better than espresso. But, bottom line, I suspect that the real reason for my dissatisfaction with the Coffee had as much to do with the inferior beans that were roasted. Freshness is important but it is just one factor of good coffee.
  2. Interesting that you top out at 2 weeks. That was my target once I started home roasting, though over the past couple of years I began to approach 3 weeks and then 3 weeks+ since I started roasting different coffees at one sitting in order to save time and get more variety day-to-day and cup-to-cup. I found the coffee held up well enough for 3 weeks and I rarely had any around for as long as month.

    Though I agree freshness is just one factor. The quality of the beans (their origin and how they were processed) and the way they were roasted obviously matters a lot.
  3. TexLaw

    TexLaw Contributor

    Sure, some beans are still decent after a few weeks, but I still prefer beans that have been roasted within a couple weeks. After that, flavor tends to flatten out. Some beans hang in there longer, but not by much. Denser beans seem to lay longer. No matter, it's still often better coffee than a lot of store bought.

    It depends a bit on the roast, too. Darker roasts seem to hang in there longer.

    No matter what, it's always a joy to start a new, more freshly roasted batch after finishing an older one. It's night and day.

Share This Page