As a master Spokane Coffee Roaster, I contend that keeping coffee fresh is impossible. You see, ALL coffee starts going stale and bitter in about 30 days and no amount of space-age packaging can change that fact. Yet a vast majority of coffee in the US has been sitting in warehouses and on store shelves for months if not years. So, what is the best way to keeping coffee fresh?
The 90 Day Test
After roasting, I often hold back a quarter pound of whole bean coffee. Then periodically, I brew coffee that’s 7 days old, 30 days old, and 90 days old. Guess what? The difference is amazing. The 7-day-old coffee is incredibly good. By 30 days, it’s still better than anything that you can buy in the store, but not nearly as good as the 7-day-old coffee. By 90 days, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between mine and Starbucks or Folgers.
What’s really surprising is this. It doesn’t make a lick of difference how you store your whole bean coffee. You can put the fresh roasted whole bean coffee in a vacuum sealed plastic container, or a nitrogen flushed plastic bag, or refrigerated, or God forbid frozen? The coffee still starts to go stale in 30 days. Obviously the best way to keep coffee fresh is don’t try.
Yet, large industrial coffee companies try to convince us that their fancy-dancy bags will keep your whole bean coffee fresh. In fact ALL coffee, whether whole bean coffee or pre-ground coffee, or especially K-Cup coffee, WILL start going stale in 30 days. Heck, even Coeur d’Alene coffee roasters, Doma, announced early in 2016, as if this was a good thing, that they were changing to nitrogen-flushed-Biotre-Film bags in order to increase the coffee’s shelf life. I guess, when shelf life and bottom line are more important than freshness, then space-age packaging makes sense.
BEST Way To Keeping Coffee Fresh
As a premier Spokane Coffee Roaster, here’s what we do differently. We roast, bag, label (with roasting date), box, and FedEx ship the same day, thus guaranteeing delivery from our roaster to your table in 24-48 hours. Secondly, we encourage our customers to never buy more coffee than they’ll use in 30 days. Since freshness is our bottom-line, then we don’t need no fancy space-age chemically treated bags.
At Lake City Coffee, we use the same tin tie paper bags in which your great-grandmother bought her coffee in the 1800’s. If tin tie paper bags and fresh coffee was good enough for our great-grandmothers, then they’re good enough for us. So, like your great-grandmother, the best way to keeping coffee fresh is to buy it fresh, i.e. never buy coffee that was roasted more than a week ago.