Posted Fri Aug 24, 2012, 12:14pm Subject: Re: Is there such a thing as a "Coffee Bean Bag"....ways to keep beans fresh??
Use them quickly. Roasted coffee stales rather quickly, almost certainly within one month of roasting (doesn't matter when you open the bag). Thus, you should use it up as quickly as you can.
To help prolong freshness, store in a sealed contained away from heat and light. A jar with a tight lid, in a closed cabinet, will work perfectly fine. Vac-sealing a jar may be useful, I haven't tried it personally though.
Some, myself included, have found that well-sealed containers of beans, such as jars or vaccuum sealed bags, will store well in the freezer. Some prefer chest freezers, as they afford a lower holding temp, but my experience with normal top-of-fridge freezers has been splendid. Roasted beans will keep in the freezer for many months, so long as you only freeze once. That is, once it's out of the freezer, it's out for good. Let it thaw completely at room temperature, then use as normal. FYI, ground coffee really won't see any benefit from prolonged storage, as the exposed surface area is much more prone to staling quickly.
Posted Fri Aug 24, 2012, 12:42pm Subject: Re: Is there such a thing as a "Coffee Bean Bag"....ways to keep beans fresh??
Sweet Maria's sells resealable bags (ziploc-type closures) with the one-way air valves embedded in the side. You can squeeze out the extra air after sealing, and these are marginally better than fixed-volume containers such as mason jars. However, even sealed roasted coffee degrades over time, so a best defense includes roasting frequently and buying only what you'll use in a short time. Buy coffee like you might treat bread: fresher is better, keep it away from extra air and heat, buy only what you'll use in the next week. (Although some would argue two weeks is okay with coffee.)
Posted Fri Aug 24, 2012, 5:24pm Subject: Re: Is there such a thing as a "Coffee Bean Bag"....ways to keep beans fresh??
I wrote a very long review on the Friis Coffee vault, and a big part of that was dealing with the staling process and how to keep coffee fresh longer. I think that if you read it you will have the answers you need: http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/friis.html I did a lot of research to educate myself before comfronting the company which sells that item. They never offered me any scientific proof supporting their claims.
All the "solutions" that seem easy are fairly well fruitless. The biggest part of staling seems to be oxidation. Once roasted, coffee hungers for it. Even in small amounts it will cause relatively-fresh coffee to stale quickly. How to keep oxygen from touching coffee? Really, you can't. The only way I have heard to stop the 'decay' of the coffee is freezing (usually, colder than the freezer section of the refrigerator).
One-way valves are for the sole purpose of keeping the bags from bursting from the release of CO2 during shipping and storage. They do NOTHING to keep the beans fresh(er). Nitrogen and other inert gasses do nothing to stop the chemical breakdown of the beans' components, and as soon as the package is opened the beans inhale fully. If you don't believe that, get a can of Illy whole bean. While not exciting, they are tasty when the can is first opened. By day two (and depending on how sensitive your taste buds are, even one day after opening) they taste weeks old because they probably are. It happens that quickly.
denishicks8 Senior Member Joined: 20 Jul 2012 Posts: 12 Location: Amsterdam ,North Holland, Netherlands Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012, 2:53am Subject: Re: Is there such a thing as a "Coffee Bean Bag"....ways to keep beans fresh??
For storing coffee or coffee beans Air,Moisture,Heat,Light must be avoided. 1.Cool, dark, dry places (such as pantries and cabinets) are best for coffee storage. 2.Fridges and freezers should be avoided because they are moist. 3.Glass, ceramic or non-reactive metal containers with airtight gaskets are ideal for storing coffee. 4.Coffee can be stored fresh in clear, glass canisters or clear plastic ware only if the canisters are kept in a cool, dark place. 5.For countertop storage, opaque, airtight containers are best. If coffee beans are stored as outlined above, they can stay fresh for over a year!
2.Fridges and freezers should be avoided because they are moist.
How can it be best to keep beans cool, but bad to keep them in a fridge? If they are kept in a sealed container (as you recommend in #4), it is better to keep them in the fridge than on a counter top (which you say is OK in #5).
If coffee beans are stored as outlined above, they can stay fresh for over a year!
Maybe you enjoy drinking stale coffee, but once roasted, unless you deep-freeze the coffee, there is NO WAY coffee will be drinkable in a year. If you would like to quote some sources for your facts I would be glad to read them. There is NO WAY that coffee will be fresh after one year of storage using the methods you recommend.
Please feel free to read this article which I wrote: http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/friis.html It documents the unfounded claims of a company that makes a coffee storage vessel, and it contains a number of sources to prove my assertions from experts in the field in regards to coffee storage.
Uh . . . OK, you drink it! As for me, I'll stick with the tried-and-true . . .
Babbie's Rule* of Fifteens: -- Green (unroasted) coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months, or they go stale. -- Roasted coffee beans should be ground within 15 days, or they go stale. -- Ground coffee should be used within 15 minutes, or it goes stale.
* OK, so there are very few hard-and-fast "rules" -- more like "rules-of-thumb."
The longest I've been able to keep freshly roasted coffee "fresh" or "stable" is about 8 months. That's purging a vac bag of beans with Ar/CO2/N2 mixture, then vacuum sealed packing, then off-gassing for 12 hours at room temperature (usually won't off-gas enough to burst the bag - USUALLY), then into the freezer, where it sits undisturbed at about 5°F. The package will reduce in size in the fridge (due to temperature) but the rest of the off-gassing will essentially stall.
6 months later, it isn't "3-day post roast fresh", but it is as good or better than some of the best pre-packaged coffees. It's reached "stable storage" phase. at 8 months, it'll be down to on-par with anything you can get in a store or coffee outlet. Past that it can turn pretty quickly.
The absolute best I've been able to do - Pressurized storage and frozen. Just after roasting, pour the coffee into a clean pressure bottle (like a used sparkling water bottle), purge with a burst of inert gas, and seal. After 12 hours, the container will be under pressure - less pressure than when it had carbonated water in it, but under pressure. Then, into the fridge. Even cold, there will still be >ambient pressure, enough that when removed months later and brought back to ambient temperature, it will open with a definite "PHFFFTTT!". Bloom is surprising, even 6-8 months later. Taste: pretty darn good. Very mellow and pleasant. Not a hint of anything "stale".
My next phase is to make an actual pressure bottle using a schrader valve, and use 100% argon. The schrader valve will allow me to measure pressure (something I don't know by just sealing off-gassing beans in a container). My first attempt didn't seal, but my improved container is holding 35PSI for about a week now, so that's good.
That's next up after I've completed my infusion/percolation home investigations. :D
Freezers are not "moist". They are darn dry - and if we think of water as a solvent then IF there is significant water involved in staling, then frozen it won't really act as a reactant - or at least it's significantly retarded. I find the dewpoint pretty low inside the undisturbed freezer - about -10°F.
Refrigerators - the only way they allow actual moisture is if you are leaving the coffee in the open in the fridge, and opening and closing the door allows a minor amount of condensation on the coffee. However, the dewpoint IS higher in the refrigerator vs. the freezer. Even so, the amount of water is miniscule - and if you've ever tried to make coffee from whole beans, actual "extraction" is pretty darn near impossible. Refrigerators have the added complication of above freezing moisture circulating around, a higher dewpoint (about 30°F, while the temperature is about 38°F), and lots more odors which IMHO are more of a problem with coffee storage in the fridge.
For the OP - with normal atmosphere pressure storage, in my experience the answer to the title of this thread is "nope". There is no magic bag or NORMAL PRESSURE or Vacuum storage method that maintains absolute "peak of flavor" freshness that is achieved after a proper rest period just after roasting.
This period may be extended from a few days to MAYBE a couple of weeks, but after that, roasted coffee will begin the staling process. The good news is you can achieve "very good" freshness (what I call "stable") for a surprisingly extended period of time - this is not "peak flavor fresh" coffee, but it is also vastly superior to K-cup, preground, and definitely not "stale". Keep in mind that some thinking for espresso used to be a need to "age" the coffee post roast by WEEKS - which goes to show that rules of thumb are merely guidelines. Just keep in mind that there is gray region here, not just "fresh" and "stale. There are huge differences between "immature", "peak flavor fresh", "stable", "drinkable", and "stale".
------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------- Le café doit être noir comme le diable, chaud comme l'enfer, pur comme un ange, et doux comme l'amour.
"There is no right answer with coffee. There is only the elixir in your cup at the moment you partake."
"...I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind;..." - Lord Kelvin RECIPES thread => http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/machines/585708
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