Freshly roasted coffee should be treated like fresh bakery goods or produce. Coffee needs a minumum of 12-24 hours rest after roasting before it is brewed. You can drink it before then but the body and flavor really start to develope after a a day or so. Don't wait too long to drink it though depending on the coffee the "cup quality" will show a loss in overall flavor after a week. Therefore, we call coffee "fresh" for 7 days if it is stored properly:
- Stir the hot beans in the collander until warm to the touch. When we're roasting another batch, we transfer them to a small bowl until they cool completely.
- After the beans have cooled put them into an open glass storage jar. Since we roast many varieties and blends of coffee in small quantities, we use the Mason canning screw-top jars. If you use the type with the glass lid attached to the jar with wire, make sure the rubber seal is intact and in good condition. Otherwise, the jar is useless.
- After 8-12 hours, we seal the jar tightly. Freshly roasted coffee emits C02 for the first 24 hours, keeping away the oxygen which will eventually make it stale. Some recommend sealing the container after a full 24 hours, but we have never had a problem sealing it sooner.
- Ideally, roast coffee twice a week. You will be assured of enjoying the brew at its freshest and most flavorful.
We have written a few highly opinionated paragraphs about claims of freshness and vacuum packaging in the specialty coffee business. Read on, but don't say we didn't warn you!