Coffee beans are an organic agricultural product, so naturally, they have a lifespan.
Green beans, when stored in the correct conditions can last a significant amount of time, the typical roasted coffee has a lifespan of only a few weeks!
When roasted coffee beans leave the roaster they are full of Carbon Dioxide (CO2).
This CO2 is what keeps the coffee fresh. However, the C02 quickly leaks out, exposing the volatile flavour compounds in the coffee which leads to staling.
Coffee beans are often left to rest for a period after roasting to allow some of the C02 to escape and the flavours within the bean to balance.
Many people recommend different lengths of rest periods but over my extensive time and experience in coffee roasting, I would recommend a minimum of 3 days.
With a maximum of around a week. If coffee is used too fresh, it will often have a gassy or slightly fizzy taste to it, which is not what your customers expect.
If you brew the fresh coffee as an espresso you will notice gas bubbles and a very large crema making it difficult to reach your target beverage weight.
Coffee, when roasted, has a shelf life of approximately 2 weeks before any deterioration in flavour and quality
become really noticeable. Coffee will then continue to lose it’s flavours and quality until you reach a point where most of the unique flavours have disappeared altogether.
Coffee can still be used at this point and for many more weeks after, but it will not taste as good or as fresh as it should, and I would only recommend doing so for personal use.
Not recommended for serving to the public who expect fresh ingredients and perfect flavours.
Once the coffee bean has been ground, the lifespan drops to a matter of minutes!
This is due to a greater surface area of the bean being exposed to the three main external elements that cause deterioration:
• Sunlight/UV Light
One of the most important rules of coffee is always grind fresh, and only grind what you need.
At home, make sure to seal away your coffee in a good container to avoid any deterioration of flavours.
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