Fresh Coffee

Freshness is a hallmark of specialty coffee and is one of the main factors that attract many people to explore what the industry has to offer. But what exactly do people mean when they say that freshness is important? And what does it mean to say that a coffee is “fresh”?

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How do you measure freshness in green or roasted coffee?

The way coffee is picked, processed, dried, stored, and shipped has a huge impact on the longevity of green coffee, measured by the degradation of the aroma of a coffee over time. For example, our coffee department finds that one of the most important aspects of green coffee’s stability over time is that it is dry to a moisture content of 9.5-10.5%. This and other factors help roasted coffee to remain stable and free from the negative effects that too much moisture can cause, such as mold or physical degradation. Ideally, it is best to roast the coffee as soon as possible after it arrives from the origin. In most cases, this means that the coffee will be used within four months of arrival.

How do you measure freshness after the coffee is roasted?

Moving from green coffee to roasted coffee, there are two main factors to consider when thinking about freshness: When the coffee was roasted and how it is stored once the bag is opened. Just as you would like to use fresh produce shortly after it has been picked or fresh bread immediately after it has been baked, coffee is best shortly after it has been roasted.

After you buy coffee, how should you keep it fresh at home?

Although there are a number of opinions on how to store coffee, our best recommendation is to keep whole coffee beans either in the original packaging, tightly sealed with excess forced air from the bag through the one-way valve, or in an airtight system container that allows carbon dioxide to escape without allowing oxygen to enter. In both cases, the coffee should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Once opened, it is best to use coffee for a period of two weeks for the best results.