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How long do Green Coffee Beans really last?

I have some Coffee Beans that I purchased at some point in the past when I was experimenting with roasting using a hot air popper. I'm not sure how long ago, but I'm thinking its been about 3 years. They are labeled "Colombian" but other than that I have no other info. I am wondering if they are usable or if I should just toss them. They have been stored in a cabinet in the plastic lined paper sack they came in, so very little light and climate controlled. After an exhaustive 5min internet search I have found that Green Coffee Beans last

a) Just as long as it takes to get them home because who knows when they were harvested
b) Somewhere between 1 and 6 months
c) 1-3 years
d) Forever

Are they safe to attempt a roast with? Will they make my house smell terrible? Will the off gasses turn everyone in my house into a Zombie? Honestly, I can live with the Zombie thing easier then my wife's rage if they make the house smell bad.

What are the oldest beans you've roasted. How did it go? Regardless, if something goes wrong and my wife gets mad I'm just gonna blame you guys anyway.

Here's a pic of the beans.
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I think they can last a long time if stored in a stable indoor environment. I like to rotate through different beans and always have some that are over a year old, and in years past have frequently roasted beans that were two years old or more. When I first started roasting I bought beans through a co-op and they were always quick to sell out, so I developed the habit of stocking up for the coming months. Combine that with wanting to try new beans from other origins before finishing the current supply, lead to a growing green bean stash that would get drawn down at different rates over time.

I probably kept some beans too long, but most were nearly as good (as best I could remember) as when fresher. One notable exception was a bean from Papua New Guinea, which noticeably lost some aroma when approaching a year old. They still tasted okay, but the fantastic smell they had coming out of the roaster and coming out of the grinder was much subdued.

I have some decaf beans that are over 10 years old. I did not like them very much when first roasting them, so the remaining beans have sat. I did roast some again about 4 months ago and they were not as bad as I remembered, so maybe time helps some beans. :laugh:
 
I have some decaf beans that are over 10 years old. I did not like them very much when first roasting them, so the remaining beans have sat. I did roast some again about 4 months ago and they were not as bad as I remembered, so maybe time helps some beans. :laugh:

For me, most beans tend to taste better with a little age. It's like fine wine or cigars, the way the flavors seem to settle together and any former harshness fades and merely shows some additional character.
 
So long as they're dry, I think they'd last for years. Maybe decades.

A lot of the chemicals in roasted beans are quite volatile so they lose their flavor in weeks. Green beans seem pretty inert.
 
The flavors in coffee are constantly changing once the bean leaves the bush until it arrives in your cup.

There are so many external preasure on it as a commodity, then add to that what people do to it to get a cup and it's amazing that anything remotely tasting like coffee even exists.

My recommendation is "don worry bout it"

Roast and enjoy whatever you get.

I have some coffee that was sent to me from Ecuador a long time ago that is sun dried, still in the cherry.... still trying to figure out how to crack it open to get the beans out.
 
Thanks for the replies folks. One more question if I may. I’ve noticed that some of the beans I’ve ordered have an “arrival date” on them. It seems that some sellers include this information while others are a little more vague. One order I received has an arrival date of Mar 2021. I’m assuming this means that the beans are at least 1yr old due to shipping times from processor to the seller. The seller’s don’t have some magic power that makes the beans last longer do they? Is the arrival date something I should start paying attention to when ordering? Sorry that’s 2 questions.
 
Thanks for the replies folks. One more question if I may. I’ve noticed that some of the beans I’ve ordered have an “arrival date” on them. It seems that some sellers include this information while others are a little more vague. One order I received has an arrival date of Mar 2021. I’m assuming this means that the beans are at least 1yr old due to shipping times from processor to the seller. The seller’s don’t have some magic power that makes the beans last longer do they? Is the arrival date something I should start paying attention to when ordering? Sorry that’s 2 questions.
No idea. I have never noticed. I have not actually roasted in a while, though.
 
Thanks @Mick. That helps a lot. Looks like most of the beans I like, or are at least are familiar with, should be available sometime between July and Sept.
 
Your coffee didn't come with a blockchain reference?

My coffee has never been traceable using modern technology either. When ordering from a coop I believe most of the times they would state when it was ordered from the distributor, but I think there were instances where certain coffees would have sat around in a warehouse for some indeterminate amount of time. Depending on the growing season and demand for that particular coffee origin. I do like when sellers give the "arrival date".
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
THIS right here (very large circular arm motion) is why you guys haven't sucked me down your coffee green bean rabbit hole!

I'm trying to convince myself that my Sam's Club pre-ground, pre-roasted Breakfast Blend is just as good as anything all y'all's make! (Don't bother talking. My fingers are in my ears!)
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
Laff all ya want @APBinNCA ! Make fun of me behind my back if'n that float's yer boat!

Just remember: I'm more afraid of my lovely War Department than I EVER will be of any amount of peer pressure!
 
Laff all ya want @APBinNCA ! Make fun of me behind my back if'n that float's yer boat!

Just remember: I'm more afraid of my lovely War Department than I EVER will be of any amount of peer pressure!
I am not laughing at you, I am laughing with you! You are not taking yourself too seriously all of sudden now are you? You would be surprissed how much fun it can be to take a random coffee and throw all your technique at it to extract the best possible brew. I draw a line at pre-ground though, you can pick up a manual grinder from Germany at a thrift store and refurb it if you must! Or buy a plastic one like I use for camping for 20 bucks. :001_tt2:
 
Oh, come on, @FarmerTan. All you need is a cast iron skillet and a heat source (BBQ grill, camping stove, etc.) to get started. You can tell your sweet wife that it will not only taste better than beans that have sat around a warehouse club, but will be cheaper as well ... at least until you start looking to upgrade your roaster.
 
Maybe I should have named this thread “About Green Coffee Beans”

New question. Does anyone inspect their beans prior to roasting? Kind of like you do with bulk pinto beans, lay them out on a white surface and make sure there’s nothing but beans. I ask because while weighing out some beans for a roast this morning I found a piece of burlap and what looks like a dehydrated rat turd. Both are things I would expect to see in something that is shipped and possible stored in burlap and then warehoused for a period but not things I’ve actively looked for in the past. Should I be inspecting the beans prior to each roast?
 
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