Fresh is Best: Why Freshly Roasted Coffee Taste Better

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

When I was in the Army, we had the philosophy that many things expire, but not coffee. Coffee that has been roasted months ago, or is past its expiration date won’t make you sick, but it also won’t make a good cup of coffee. But we were drinking coffee for the caffeine and not the taste.

OIF 07-09 The Green Bean Crew

Have you ever wondered why freshly roasted coffee taste better than its gourmet grocery counterpart that’s been sitting on the shelf for a few months? Perhaps you heard it goes stale or you may even think it doesn’t matter at all. What is “freshness” and that roasted date actually telling us?

When raw coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures the beans are scorched releasing the natural flavors and aromas. As soon as the raw bean is roasted the chemical structure is changed and immediately starts to degrade. The more the coffee degrades, the more it loses the desirable flavors and aromas and begins to accumulate undesirable flavors.

during roasting the coffee bean begins to build up and then release carbon dioxide causing a “bloom” of flavor. Some of the most important compounds created during this process evaporate quickly once exposed to oxygen. Even if the coffee has been vacuumed sealed or put into low oxygen conditions, the freshly ground coffee will start to lose its flavor and aroma. The countdown on coffee is further hastened by grinding or adding water. Heat, oxygen, and moisture ultimately lead to undesirable flavors which is known as “stale” coffee. Coffee that has been freshly roasted, ground, and brewed is your best bet to ensure your cup is as delicious as it can be!

But wait! Can Coffee be too fresh? Letting the coffee bean rest after its been roasted is important as well, otherwise you may just be tasting a more burnt flavor coming from the bean. Each roast is different, but a good rule of thumb is to let the freshly roasted coffee rest for anywhere from 24 to 72 hours.

Huiskamer Coffee House ensures that every drop brewed is from a freshly roasted bean while also ensuring the roast has had the appropriate amount of time to rest. Our Maine coffee roasters deliver their product within a few days of roasting, this way the coffee you purchase has had enough time to rest, but brewed before the deterioration process has made too much head way. We can guarantee that whether it’s a cup of coffee or a bag of coffee beans that you purchase, you will be enjoying a fresh cup full of the richest flavors and aromas.

Coffee on the Porch roasted out of Camden, Maine and Coffee By Design roasted out of Portland, Maine. Both roasts are served fresh at Huiskamer Coffee House in Downtown Augusta, Maine.

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