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Author Topic: Coffee Cellaring: Thoughts?  (Read 3816 times)

WotB

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Coffee Cellaring: Thoughts?
« on: 03/03/2011, 11:56 AM »
Those of you who follow my blog (I think there's 2 all up), may have noticed my rattling off about cellared coffee.  To date, I've experimented with a 5-year old Kenyan, and a 5-year old Dominican Republic.

My initial findings indicate coffee can be very pleasant post-3rd-rule of 3's.  The secret is in the storage.


What are your thoughts on this?  Is most of your coffee gone within weeks of purchase, or are you hanging on to a bit, just to see if/how it improves with age?


If you're curious about my rantings: wineofthebean(dot)posterous(dot)com



Dry bean.

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Coffee Cellaring: Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: 22/03/2011, 12:39 PM »
Those of you who follow my blog (I think there's 2 all up), may have noticed my rattling off about cellared coffee.  To date, I've experimented with a 5-year old Kenyan, and a 5-year old Dominican Republic.

My initial findings indicate coffee can be very pleasant post-3rd-rule of 3's.  The secret is in the storage.


What are your thoughts on this?  Is most of your coffee gone within weeks of purchase, or are you hanging on to a bit, just to see if/how it improves with age?


If you're curious about my rantings: wineofthebean(dot)posterous(dot)com
I gather your talking about cellaring green beans.
I tend to keep about 30 kg of green beans on hand which is a years supply and roast progressively, oldest first, that means I'm always roasting coffee that was purchased about 12 months prior, heaven knows how long the middle men have had it in their posession.
Improves with age? I'm not sure that it can given it's not a processed product like wine or cheese, my feeling is that fresh is best, but of course I may well be wrong. :D
Cheers,

Dry Bean.

Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill. (Willie Nelson)

Bean Flying

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Coffee Cellaring: Thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: 22/03/2011, 02:38 PM »
For anyone who has tried Toby's estate Woolomaloo blend I know it contains an aged bean component intentionally. Whatever is in it it works well and was a nice change to play with.

There has been some fairly long term studies done by one of the guys on HB involving plastic/fridge type storage compared to more general storage. When quizzed about the fairness of the comparison (Jute bags in a Chicago warehouse to a nice stable temp) I got a fair bit of waffle in reply. Chicago's environment is nuts from freezing in winter to hot and humid over summer so any form of environment control would be a good thing.

Certainly getting them out of the natural fibre bags and into either cotton or mylar bags and avoiding extreme hot/cold and humid has to be a good place to start to avoid 'baginess' becoming an issue. Anecdotally beans can certainly be to fresh (had this with some from MTE) and with some of the COE coffees when cupped by the 'experts' they suggest a drop of 6-10 points. How much of that is actual and perceived and if it is done blind or known has got to be a factor.

Some of my stash is now over 3 years old plus whatever time from picking to here and still tastes pretty darn good to me. Storage is in cotton bags in a dark cool space by the coast so generally a fairly stable environment.

WotB

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Coffee Cellaring: Thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: 22/03/2011, 03:40 PM »
Yes, cellaring greens is what I'm talking about.

Usually, aged coffees are Indonesian, typically Sumatran.

In my experiments, I've tried two completely different origins, Kenyan and Dominican Republic.  What I've found in both instances is increased body.  They went from one-dimensional as espresso, to a more well-rounded coffee.  As pourover, they gained a lot more sweetness.

Dry bean.

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Coffee Cellaring: Thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: 22/03/2011, 09:56 PM »
Thinking about what's going on in the aging process, about the only character change I can think of is moisture loss which means that when the aged beans go into the roaster they will have less moisture than their younger siblings, I imagine this would result in roasted beans with less moisture and lower weight for a given volume that theoretically would result in a more intense flavour.
Not being a processed product like wine or cheese there is no flavour melding during maturation or aging.
Do you have any other thoughts about what is taking place? ??? 
Cheers,

Dry Bean.

Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill. (Willie Nelson)

WotB

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Coffee Cellaring: Thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: 23/03/2011, 01:19 AM »
Being a natural substance, coffee has a multitude of compounds that can and will impact on the qualities in the cup.

I'm no chemist, but I do understand that through the aging process, some compounds may deteriorate, while others remain robust.  Does caffeine decrease as the coffee ages?  If so, then it means at least the coffee will be less bitter, as caffeine itself is inherently bitter in nature.  Bitterness is a major off-taste, at least to the average consumer.  Why wouldn't that be a good thing?

Bean Flying

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Coffee Cellaring: Thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: 23/03/2011, 11:19 AM »
Some of the theory is that the beans loose some of the bright peak flavour notes due to loss of essential oils after the first year but it could also be a reduction/conversion of acids too. They also become bigger and more pronounced in flavour over time and lower acid according to the reading on aged beans on the net.

As you mention it is a natural reaction so enzymes working on acids, oils and various other compounds as well as reaction to the storage environment.

Must be money for a research project for 5 or 6 years somewhere  :)

askthe coffeeguy

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Coffee Cellaring: Thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: 23/03/2011, 11:52 AM »
If i wanted to try stale coffee I could just go to the super market  - mwmhahaha!
"The crema which dissipates is not the lasting crema..."

BeanGreen

 

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