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Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
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skiezo
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Joined: 27 Feb 2014
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Location: Harrisburg PA
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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014, 8:18pm
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

I freeze mine in vacuum pack bags of about 8oz. each bag. All my beans are dated and I let them settle in if they are only a day or two out of the roaster and put them in van bags and suck all the air out and they can keep for up to 6 weeks in the freezer and still taste fresh.
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khuzdul
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Joined: 24 Mar 2009
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Location: U.S. North East
Posted Mon Mar 3, 2014, 10:01am
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

Are you talking about one of Transcend's cafe locations, or a third party location that sells Transcend coffee?  If it is a Transcend cafe location, then I think that the best action is to let the roaster know that they are your favorite local roaster, and that the inability to reliably buy retail bags of fresh beans from their cafe's is threatening that status.  If they can keep the cafe operations stocked with fresh beans, than they should be able to do so for the retail bags, otherwise it brings into question their cafe operations.  Then it would be up to Transcend to figure out how to best fulfill that need, if they can.  Perhaps it is freezing it, or more likely it is simply the roastery shipping fewer retail bags to their cafe's, but doing so more frequently.

As for freezing, a long time ago, on occasion I used to order 5lb bags, weight then freeze my beans.  I would then unfreeze small multi-day airtight batches every few days slowly in a wine fridge that was humidity controlled.  I never encountered rapid flattening post-thawing, probably because my portion sizes were small enough to use so fast.  I do not think that the question of if freezing roasted beans has a negative impact on a cup has been definitively settled.  For my workflow and production capability, the limiting factor was not if the beans and been frozen, but I can't say definitively that this would be the same for others with different workflows and/or better skills and/or more discerning tongues.  I no longer buy in bulk as shipping costs have changed the price calculus of getting smaller amounts of beans delivered more frequently eliminating the need to do so.

Installing a freezer at each location for retail coffee bag sales may be more expensive than one may think.  They would need some for of NSF / UL Food Service / CSA / ETL certified commercial freezer which is more expensive than regular home freezers.  Then the floor space costs, energy, care, maintenance and maintenance contract for the fridges, and contingency plans on what to do if the freezer fails (throw out all the bags in it and stop selling until it is fixed, sell "compromised" bags and go forward with selling new bags that some may now consider improper handled because they are not frozen, etc.)

I would agree that for the majority of the population, this is a non-issue, so for the retailers it is also a non-issue.  If enough people make it an issue, than it will be solved somehow, freezing being one of the potential solutions.
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pogo
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Posted Tue Mar 4, 2014, 4:48am
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

I am a home roaster for over 10 years now. I have been freezing both my green and roasted coffee for a number of years in a chest type deep freezer. The results? My green has kept very well for up to three years with little compromise in quality. My fresh roasted coffee I immediately put into one way valve bags and let them degass for 48 hours and then put them in the freezer. I have found that I can detect no loss in quality for up to one month in the freezer, and a little drop in quality over two months in the freezer. Even with two months in the freezer my coffee still blooms heavily when brewed. I started freezing my coffee after the newness of my hobby started to wear off and I wasn't having fun roasting every single week. Now, I roast once a month, or in winter, maybe once every two months if I can't find a day suitable for roasting outside.
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Dayglow
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Dayglow
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Posted Tue Mar 4, 2014, 5:20am
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

Regardless whether or not freezing is detrimental to coffee, for a professional roaster to freeze their product would require a massive freezer unit that would be running near constantly to maintain the appropriate level of low temperatures. The power usage required for this would be insane. Take into account the generally slim margins most roasters live on this would go under the "pie in the sky" expenditures category.
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Buckley
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Posted Tue Mar 4, 2014, 9:02am
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

Dear Pogo,
Sounds like you have found a good way to go.
Thank you for illustrating the advantages of a chest freezer.
B
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
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Posted Tue Mar 11, 2014, 5:48am
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

Michael Sivetz has a patent on just this subject. http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6514552.html

A chef/owner of an excellent small Italian restaurant whose pasta was freshly made to order would always make fun of me for ordering take out. Asks me every time if he should put a deep freezer in so I could just pick up his fresh made frozen pasta, lol.

I do roast and freeze beans for emergency backup and keep me from having to roast in freezing temps and 90f on up temps. Most the time all is fine but once in awhile a seal goes and all you have is freezer burned, stale beans, this is the sort of thing that can give bad press for a roaster. Also how many people care or know that beans are stale 2-3 weeks post roast? If you do care and price is not the problem then in the US there are plenty of top notch roasters who will ship 3day post roast beans to your door step.
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Iluvdabean
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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 4:49pm
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

Ill be the lone voice crying in the wilderness. Because freezing doesn't work. If you freeze anything its never as
good as fresh.
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jpender
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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 6:34pm
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

Iluvdabean Said:

Ill be the lone voice crying in the wilderness. Because freezing doesn't work. If you freeze anything its never as
good as fresh.

Posted March 20, 2014 link

You're answering the wrong question.

Better stated: Is coffee stored in the freezer for N days better than coffee that's stored at room temperature for N days?
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al_bongo
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Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 9:04pm
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

For me the issue here isn't freezing as such but the age of the beans your roaster is selling in the first place.

Typically you are paying a premium for a quality product  and for coffee an important part of the quality is freshness.

If I spend $20 on a bag of beans (a couple of days past roast date) and choose to freeze them that's all well and good. What I probably wouldn't do is spend that kind of money on 10 days post roast beans whether they've been frozen or not.

The OP is inferring the roaster could freeze his product so in this case the question is whether older frozen beans are as good as freshly roasted beans and whether you'd pay the same premium price for older frozen product.

In this case I'd agree with Iluvdabean that freezing coffee doesn't  work that well.
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Iluvdabean
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Iluvdabean
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Posted Fri Mar 21, 2014, 4:06am
Subject: Re: Why haven't roasters embraced freezing coffee?
 

I tried freezing in vacuum bag,plastic air tight container,small Mason jars and various other containers. Then I compared over and over to beans in
every storage way known to man up to and including vacuum sealed in room temperature cupboard. My honest conclusion is freezing is a myth.
I have concluded it has a following because in subjective taste tests in some groups it was heralded as awesome. To further compound the problem
we have way to many years of people going to the freezer to get almost everything and eating it. My feelings are that if you think its great then do it,
after all its your journey. Yet we know one thing from which there really can be no objective challenge to,that being that nothing beats fresh coffee.
Fresh does not mean freshly removed from the freezer nor does it mean freshly removed from a grocery store shelf without a roast date. Fresh means
fresh and those are terms we all understand. So in the end its a totally subjective analysis and if you do it fine if you dont fine but to claim it works
scientifically isnt accurate.




jpender Said:

You're answering the wrong question.

Better stated: Is coffee stored in the freezer for N days better than coffee that's stored at room temperature for N days?

Posted March 20, 2014 link

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