How Long Do Coffee Beans Stay Fresh?
In the world of coffee, freshness is based upon by the roast date. The closer it is to its roast date the fresher are the beans. The moment the beans are roasted it begins to stale due to oxidation process. The more time the oxygen gets into the beans the more it’ll make it stale. According to Hoffman as he wrote in The World of Atlas Coffee, says that there’s no strong agreement on how quickly coffee goes stale. So, they just follow individual roaster’s guidelines, which are between two and four weeks and pull the coffee out of the shelf.
So How long do coffee beans stay fresh?
Coffee beans are at their best quality for about 15 days after roasted and still flavorful for 30 days. After this, it starts losing its flavor and considered as stale. Its first 15 days upon roasting, you will find it incredible where you can have a smooth and delicious cup of coffee.
Roasting coffee is typically burning or cooking the coffee beans which traps carbon dioxide in the bean that alters your brewed coffee’s taste. Coffee beans for brewed coffee has its best taste between 2-10 days after the beans are being roasted. Your coffee will stay fresh and flavorful for about 30 days after roasting. If your beans are made for espresso, it require a longer degassing so its best taste comes around 5-14 days.
Coffee’s freshness lasts after roasting depends on roaster’s packaging. In packaging, there are different types of bags that can prevent fresh air from getting in while allowing carbon dioxide out like the triple-ply foil. This is the most common packaging done in any local stores. On the other hand, there are some that requires nitrogen flushing, where it helps preserve coffee beans by flushing away the oxygen and temporarily eliminates it to become stale. It’s temporary because as soon as the bag is open and oxygen enters, it starts to stale your coffee.
These are the indications that you can say your coffee has gone bad.
- Taste. This is the most prominent feature that your coffee gone off. Your coffee tastes stale and lacks flavor. All left are intense bitterness leaving your beans stale and bad taste when consumed.
- Appearance. If your beans look dull and matte, then it is not anymore fresh. As a freshly roasted bean, it must have a glossy texture due to the presence of aromatic oils which are delicate and vulnerable.
- Smell. When your bean smells bad, it lacks the beautiful aroma.
- Residue. Feel the coffee beans and see if its oil are still present aside from directly checking it by looking.
- Container. This refers to the coffee beans packaging, does it have an air valve as after roasting, coffee needs to continue releasing gases to keep fresh. For no air valve it won’t stay fresh.
How to keep your coffee beans fresh?
- If you want to preserve the freshness state of your coffee for a long time possible you must have to keep it away from moisture air, light and heat. You should store it in a dark airtight container at room temperature.
- Keep in mind as well that coffee beans start losing its freshness as soon as it gets roasted. Thus, it is always best to buy the right amount of freshly roasted coffee. It is also important to only grind the exact amount of coffee you need to retain its flavor and last longer than ground coffee.
- Invest on a good container storage. One of the best coffee container storage is made from dark glass or ceramic or stainless steel with an internal locking lid to maximize beans freshness. Make it sure as well to keep it away from direct light to help stabilize the temperature. You can store it inside your kitchen cabinet. If the oils from the coffee gets inside of the coffee storage container, over time it can make your coffee smell like rancid. Most roasters these days provide a vacuum locked bag to keep its freshness.
Again, coffee beans do not stay fresh forever due to oxidation. Oxygen molecules present in the air interact with the compounds found in coffee beans causing it to slowly lose flavor. You may notice a stale feel at around 30 day mark or even 10-15 days depending on the coffee bean and roasting method it went through.
Delaying your coffee could ruin the shelf life of your coffee beans. So you have to grind it fresh. Crush your beans and the air will make them stale so you should not leave your ground coffee even 10-20 minutes until you brew it again.
If you really want to know and learn more about coffee make sure you have the knowledge about the difference between roast and how lighter roast could alter the taste, and how different individuals differ in terms of taste preference.