Can coffee be too fresh?

by Reiss Gunson on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 02:23

for me the answer is a resounding yes. you will often hear it said that coffee needs 48hrs or thereabouts to de-gas and this is true enough.

but with the experience we have built up since 2004 when we started roasting i think the answer is more complicated, there seems to be more to it than simply waiting 48 hrs

the coffee seems to reach a higher ‘optimum’ if it is left in the sealed bag for about 10 days after the date on which it was roasted. don’t ask me why, i’m not an industrial chemist & i suspect a lot of them may not be able to account for the change in full, for if they were coffee would have been synthesised by the large multinational coffee roasters long ago

cut & go by all means when you first receive your Londinium coffee (i’ll do this too if i’m out of coffee), but the coffee will taste thin, flat, and wooden relative to what it is capable of delivering to your taste buds. not bad relative to most coffee on offer, but very much sub-optimal to what it is capable of

please dont take from this that coffee doesnt need to be fresh, it does, it is imperative.

the point is, like so often with coffee, that the optimum isnt at the extremes. it is a complex balancing act of so many variables. so next time you hear someone bragging about making an espresso from beans that are still warm out of the roaster, be a little sceptical.

anyway, try it for yourself, the difference isnt simply an academic one for the coffee cone heads, it really is quite noticeable once you are looking for it.

happy drinking!

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