Coffee Makers Guide: Hello, it’s an honor for us to have a brief interview with you, and here are some questions about buying and storing coffee beans. I’m sure our readers will greatly benefit and appreciate expert advice.
SM: Thanks for your note. I will type my answers below for as many questions as I can answer right now. Best- Maria
CMG: It is common to store coffee beans in vacuum packed bags. Does vacuum packing indeed keep the coffee beans fresh? Would you recommend to vac pack green or roasted coffee beans or ground coffee?
SM: Vacuum packing the green coffee is a way that folks have found to increase storage life. It is not recommended though for dry processed coffees.
Some home roasters have used food saver bags to provide some vacuum packing at home, and I think this can help somewhat, especially if you live some place very hot, very humid or very dry. All those extremes are bad for green coffee storage.
Vacuum packing roasted coffee makes no sense to us - maybe that is what we are referring to as not fresh, coffee that is roasted and ground and vacuum packed.
CMG: Aging is known to be good for some wines. But is it for coffee?
From the information on your site I had the impression that for some coffees aging is good as the coffee will display different and often desirable flavors and less acidity.
So would you recommend buying aged coffee?
SM: There is a difference between old coffee and aged coffee. Aged coffee is handled a particular way to expose it to air and moisture but not get too funky. Old coffee that has been sitting too long can just taste baggy (like the burlap bag) or totally flat and flavorless.
CMG: Some green coffee bean suppliers are stocking up and storing coffee beans in bags to keep them fresh. Would you recommend buying green coffee beans that are more than a year old?
SM: We consider that beans stay viable and fresh for one year after harvest date. Some can last a touch longer - some less. As a home roaster I would recommend buying the freshest beans possible since you might store them a few months.
CMG: And roasted coffee beans - when are they considered too old?
SM: It is generally a good thing to buy coffee that is no more than a week out of the roaster. I know that is impossible in many cases.
CMG: Thanks so much for your time and helpful tips on buying and storing coffee beans!