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Topic: Two Week old Roast is Yumm (13 msgs / 409 lines)
1) From: Andy Conn
I was wondering if anyone else had this experience.
I threw some old left over beans from 2 different batches together a while
back and brewed them up for my wife and me.  Later, we both remarked that it
was one of the best - no, the best brew to date.  The mix was 1/2 Brazillian
Cerado and 1/2 Tanzanian Flatbean.
Believing I had really stumbled on to something I ordered 5lbs each from
S.M.  and right away roasted up about 1lb of each.  After about 48 hours I
pulled our first brew.  Ok, but not great.  Actually dissappointing
considering the last experience.  We drank this blend for about a week with
about the same results.
I set the rest aside and started brewing up some other roasts, believing at
this point that I must've messed up the roast on the brazil/tanz blend.
Well today, the blend is 2 weeks old and I brewed some up.  Voila!  The same
great taste as before.
Having to wait this long for optimum flavor seems contradictory to
everything I've read to this point.  What do you think?
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2) From: Henry C. Davis
all of the beans seem to have different optimum resting times. Also,
everyone has a different view of what is optimum... |:0) I try all kinds of
things, when I find something I like, I make a note of it, try to reproduce
it, and if I can, I add it to my slowly growing bag of tricks.

3) From: Gary Zimmerman
I think you've given us something new to consider, that would have never 
even been an experiment for most of us!  It's all great information to use, 
and I'm glad it worked for you.  For other coffees, I'd expect that after 
that long the taste would be very stale and off (cat pee or whatever).
Then again, maybe you have a taste for stale coffee.
-- garyZ
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4) From: Steve D

5) From: Gary Zimmerman
Have you ever *tried* hanging on to some beans for two weeks, just to see?
I suspect you're right, since usually after a week or so sitting in a jar 
at room temp my coffee tends to take on a bad taste I don't like.  But, 
well, you never know.  Andy might have a taste for stale coffee, or he 
might have discovered a magical second peak time for some roasted 
coffees.  Maybe they go through an "awful" stage, then a brief nice stage 
before going really stale.  I ain't no chemist - maybe that just wouldn't 
make sense.  dunno.
Okay, I really doubt it, but it's worth taking a bit of roasted beans and 
just dumping them in a jar for a couple of weeks and trying a brew.  The 
brew style and degree of roast probably has something to do with it 
too.  But heck, these experiments are fun, and sometimes I find I can still 
be pleasantly surprised.
-- garyZ
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6) From: Mike DeZelar
On Fri, 15 Jun 2001 16:11:55 -0500, Steve D wrote:
I usually go for 1-3 days after roasting (since that is about how much
I'll roast at a time), and was under the same impression that after 72
hours, the coffee starts to lose it.  Frankly, though, I haven't
thoroughly tested that theory out.  What confuses me, though, are all
these people commenting on how 'espresso blend x' is so much better
after sitting for four days.  Needless to say, I was starting to
become confused (and still am, really).
Michael DeZelar        Elk River, Minnesota, USA
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7) From: Robert Cantor
Different people like different things about coffee, different places have
different roasting and storage conditions, and different people have
different ideas of what stale is.  These all interact in complex ways to
determine if 2 wk old coffee is for you.  I've had coffee last as long as
six weeks before becoming what I'd call stale, although the flavors evolved
over time and the edgier tastes dissapeared first.   Some of us don't like
those acidy, edgier, agressive tastes very much (although I believe Steve
Dover does, right, Steve?)  Tom likes his coffee much more agressive than I
do.  What some call acid, some call nasty.  What some call "tobacco notes",
some call "the taste of stale cigarrettes".   When I popper roast, those
coffees need rest the most to develop any flavor at all and need to rest the
longest.  They also last the longest before losing flavor and even longer
before going stale.  When I roast slower (alp), those coffees are ready
sooner and stale quicker, or at least that's the way it's been here.  Also,
sealing the jar quicker tends to preserve the acidy flavors longer, while
leaving it open longer before sealing tends to let those flavors decay
faster.  Humidity speeds up the staling process a lot.  ymmv, chacun a son
gout, etc.
Bob C.

8) From: Andy Conn
Thanks for the validation Bob.  I think I can tell the difference between
good and bad coffee.  I also know how really rank old/stale coffee beans can
get.  The other day I ran across a gallon tin we had filled up with
Starbucks beans at my place of work about 3 years ago!  I wrote "STARBUCKS
BEANS" on the outside of the can.  Well this apparently intimidated alot of
people and the can has been shuffled around from freezer to cupboard and
back.  I found the can and openned it.  PHOOO! 'Bout knocked me out!  It was
promptly tossed.
I understand that is the extreme side of stale, but I assure you that i'm
very aware beans get stale much quicker than that.
One interesting thought.  I keep my beans in Tom's foil zip-locked bags with
the 1-way valve.  It's been my observation that CO2 is being emmitted for
quite some time.  This causes me to wonder if "true stale" actually occurs
once the C02 emmission stops and O2 begins to invade the bean.
- andy

9) From: Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX
From: "Andy Conn" 
Subject: RE: +Two Week old Roast is Yumm
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 23:27:10 -0400
There may be a coincidence in the time span. However, if you are
talking about what's really happening...
Although CO2 is heavier than O2, gasses mix quite easily. Even while
CO2 is released from the bean in a closed or valved container, I think
there should be plenty of O2 present (note: I never tested). Also,
there seems to be little prior reason to assume that oxygen is
neccesary for coffee to go stale. (Coffee may contain everything it
needs to go off.)  Also, although things don't burn in CO2, CO2 reacts
with many things.  There seems to be little prior reason to assume CO2
is safe for coffee storage.
I personally think it is better to let CO2 leave the coffee container,
and drink the coffee within a few days. CO2 readily dissolves in water,
and I don't want to taste too much of it in the cup.
Again, I never ran any test or rigorously thought about it.
Ryuji Suzuki
"I can't believe I'm here.
People always say that I'm a long way from normal."
(Bob Dylan, Normal, Illinois, 13 February 1999)
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10) From: Fookoo Network
At 01:29 AM 6/17/01 -0400, you wrote:
In my experience, so far, the one way valve ziplock bag is preferable to a 
glass canning jar.  I have used both.  There is always going to be some 
oxygen in either container, but the glass jar without a relief valve allows 
more oxygen to sit within it versus a one way valved ziplock bag.  One 
thing that might be safe for longer term storage is the use of a rare 
element gas such as Argon which is what I believe Illy uses in his canned 
espresso's both whole bean and ground.  Not that it can't be done, but 
argon or its equivalent, is too expensive for home use, unless one has it 
sitting around for wine preservation.  In addition, the ziplock bag with 
the one way valve is less expensive because each one of the lids for an 8 
oz canning jar runs about $0.10 each and they need to be replaced with 
every new roasting batch.  I would be more than willing to pay an extra 
$0.10 per roasting batch if the glass canning jar gave me a better tasting 
coffee.  I have yet to replace a ziplock bag and have a rotating stock of 
14 bags with 22 bags sitting on the sideline in reserve.  The ziplock bags 
have gone through 170+ roasts and are still reusable.  I roast 3X per 
week.  Rarely am I going to let something sit for 4 days after 
roasting.  SM sells the ziplock bag for $0.60, last time that I 
checked.  IMO, the coffee tastes better stored in a ziplock bag versus the 
glass canning jar, regardless if one leaves off the lid for variable 
lengths of time or just seals the roast up once it cools.  With the HWP's 5 
minute cooling cycle and an additional 2 minutes or so dumping between two 
collanders, the roast can then be stored immediately in a ziplock bag 
because the beans will then be at room temperature.
BTW, staling is a function of oxygen.  See Illy's book, "Espresso Coffee: 
The Chemistry of Quality."  Still there is a limited shelf life to the 
roasted bean with the expectation of freshness that reflects into the 
cup.  I use to roast 2X per week, then 1X per week, but have finally 
decided upon 3X because of what I judged to be better tasting when compared 
against something that has been sitting too long.  Note that this is with 
the 3 oz capacity of the HWP.  The CO2 is an indication of freshness.  The 
less there, the more staling and that reflects into the taste in terms of 
dullness if one waits too long.   So that for a French press user, if the 
grind doesn't foam up significantly, the taste will suffer.  Or at least, 
that is my experience.   With the large assortment of high quality beans 
from Sweet Maria's, the local coffee shop cannot come close to the 
diversity of tastes.  All the more reason for home roasting if one is 
willing to invest the time and learn how to do it.
With regard to original posting, there have been some reports by others, 
including Tom, about roasts sitting around for long periods of time - like 
10 days.  The question becomes whether or not the coffee was better earlier 
compared to something later whether that period be 10 days or two 
weeks.  This is somewhat a symmetrical question to how long one should wait 
before using up the roast.  There appears to be a window of time in which 
the roasted coffee is at its optimal for consumption, but that time will 
depend upon the bean, the degree of roast, and what one perceived optimal 
taste to be.  Most of the time, for me, that window seems to be about one 
to three days subsequent to the roast.
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11) From: Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX
I don't know how authors of coffee literatures experimented and argued
that the oxygen causes staling, but wines and many cheeses are already
aged for a year or longer and relatively stable by itself, whereas
freshly roasted coffee is very young and nowhere close to be stable.
Therefore, I do not immediately believe analogies to wine preserving
techniques and their effects.  Also, the underlying mechanism of
coffee staling may involve way more complicated chemical process than
limited vocabulary such as oxygen, CO2, staling can explain.
Indeed, storing coffee in very low oxygen pressure is easy. Use vacuum
pump for wine bottles. I have stored photographic developers using
that vacuum pump, and it prolonged shelf life considerably.
(Developers are reducing reagents in basic solution and aerial
oxidation is the limiting factor of its shelf life.) This implies that
wine vacuum stopper is reasonably good at making near vacuum
condition. However, whether it prolongs the shelf life of roasted
coffee is a question. I'm curious how it slows staling over two week
period, but I think it's not worth experimenting for my own coffee
drinking experience as I roast once or twice a week. My batch sizes
are much bigger than what HWP can handle, and I also have other things
to do.
Ryuji Suzuki
"I can't believe I'm here.
People always say that I'm a long way from normal."
(Bob Dylan, Normal, Illinois, 13 February 1999)
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12) From: Robert Cantor
After 4 years I still haven't needed to replace a single lid for a canning
jar, and they go through the dishwasher after each roast.  I put the lids on
after cooling but don't tighten them until 7-12 hours later, like many on
the list.  The reason the manufacturer recommends a new lid each time is
that with their intended use, the lids seal without being held down by the
band and a lid failure is catastrophic.  for us it's merely inconvenient.
I'll replace a lid if ever I don't get that opening swoosh.
Bob C.

13) From: John Blumel
On 6/17/01 1:50 PM, Robert Cantor wrote:
I was wondering about this. The only reason that I could see for not 
reusing them would be that the lid might absorb undesirable odors -- but 
that seemed unlikely. I'd be interested to hear what sort of milage 
others get from their lids. 
I'm hoping that the mason jars, combined with the FoodSaver vacuum 
attachment, will provide a (nearly) completely reusable, (practically) 
oxygen free storage system.
John Blumel
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