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Author Topic: Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant  (Read 4660 times)


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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« on: 08/10/2011, 10:11 PM »
Was going to buy some beans today at one the local reputable suppliers, but as i was driving around the city i came across another roaster whom has a few cafes around town and a bean supply shop at the markets, so with a bit of hesitation i decided to buy some of their beans. They have quite a few different types of beans but there was one big problem, and I must point out that this is the head office, this is actually where they roast the beans - the guy couldn't tell me when any of the 20 or so different beans were roasted  :o he seemed uninterested and i got the impression it didnt really matter. Reluctantly i did get my weekly dose of 500gr and he said he gave me a bit extra.

I get home and open the beans packet and boy they smell stale. f.f.f
I'm not even going to bother testing some and will ditch them to someone i know whom takes my seconds  :D

Alarm bells did ring when he couldnt tell me ANY roast date, and it would of been a bit awkward if i had just walked out, but lesson learnt, be careful!

You know I did a little writeup about one of their franchised cafes awhile back and now together with the crap i bought today - my impression of them is 'avoid'.

I have a couple of places i usually buy from and never tread too far away, today i did and got caught out.


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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #1 on: 08/10/2011, 11:48 PM »
Some roasters choose to keep their roast dates confidential and whilst I'm a massive PRINT THE ROAST DATE supporter, it can sometimes be a double-edged sword.

Last week I received a bit of a "rare" toasting by a new customer who bought from our online store. It seems the roast date we placed on a pack was about 12 days old and in her words the coffee was now stale (but in my mind it would have only just reached the start of it's ideal consumption window).

It did'nt matter that the coffee was in transit to the other side of the country for 5 days and then sat in a PO awaiting collection for 4 days. Yep, I copped it because the coffee was 3 days old when it left our factory.

After trying explain that we really don't like coffee that is less than 3 days old leaving the factory, it did'nt matter and alas I was yet again engaged in a long, consuming exercise defending a date on a pack of coffee. I know this is the exception because we always somehow try to work miracles with fresh roasted coffee or at least try and put advice on the pack when it's too fresh as it runs out the door too early.

I have other customers who basically ask (or I should say demand) that their coffee has come straight off the cooling tray (via the de-stoner of course) and sent immediately. All that at a heavily discounted price - who's the bunny then  ???

Anyway, back On Topic - I can't speak for other roasters, but it could very well be that the person you asked had no idea when the coffee was roasted, or did not want to take a moment to check, or deliberately did not wish to reveal the dates for fear of brand risk (Every coffee roaster is fresh - even the ones imported from Italy on a slow boat), which in this case clearly has'nt worked for that brand........ :'(


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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #2 on: 09/10/2011, 12:11 AM »
My feeling is that they dont rotate the roasted beans because there is no practical way to do this. When on display, they are stored in clear plastic connected tubs and with a flap lid on top, and at chest height. i suspect that when they get low they just throw the 'new' stuff without rotating. No proof of this and so i wont name them.

Also, and to what mycuppa says, some of their beans may be imported already roasted, this i hadnt thought of and omg i feel guttered knowing i may of bought those beans.

The guy that served me seemed knowledgeable enough and not some drop-in kid.

Not wanting to get into anymore guessing of what they may or maynot do - the bottom line is they couldnt date the beans, nor was there any dates on any of the containers.

No date - no good.


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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #3 on: 09/10/2011, 12:41 AM »
Interesting discussion here....I wonder sometimes though do we get too obsessed with dates??  I too like knowing the date when coffee I buy is roasted, but I recently bought some MTE beans from Di Bella, as well as their Ali Reserve Blend.  Neither of these had any roasted on dates for which I was also quite disappointed.

I cracked open the beans and I must admit, the MTE smelt like it might have been roasted a while ago although the Ali Reserve didn't.  I was quite nervous to try it, but I did, and they were delicious through both the Aeropress and my EM6910.

I still think that all good roasters will put a roasted on date, but I think sometimes letting the taste guide our opinions rather than the roasted on date is good practice.  I know I've had some beans which are freshly roasted complete with roasted on date that were horrible!

Give them a try adelaidecoffee, you might be surprised!  :)

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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #4 on: 09/10/2011, 01:03 AM »
Everyone likes coffee at a post roast degas level that there taste-buds demand
Depending on the bean type my preference is 5 days to 14 days degas post roast
Then its normally consumed in approx 7 days

I have read from Dry Bean's posts that he likes beans at one day post roast
So its all about what the individuals preference is

I am sure that some people depending on the bean and roast would probably let beans degas for up to 21 days
In this instance I have done some trials & found that light roasts that are used in an espresso machine prefer longer degas / rest times

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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #5 on: 09/10/2011, 10:22 AM »

Alarm bells did ring when he couldnt tell me ANY roast date, and it would of been a bit awkward if i had just walked out, but lesson learnt, be careful!

Weird. I wouldn't have felt in the least awkward - would  just walk out with a simple 'Thanks, but I'll leave it for now'

As to roast dates. As a noob, I used to buy beans from a local(ish) cafe and roastery and some of them were frankly disappointing. Turns out the ones that disappointed were way too fresh and 1-3 days post roast just didn't bring out the best in them.

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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #6 on: 10/10/2011, 04:49 PM »
As Jeff mentioned above some beans peak at different times and also peak with different roast levels.

If I got a full roasted blend to try then 7-10 days+ is getting there while if was drinking a bean roasted light then if it was sold to me more than 4 or 5 days old then I wouldn't be buying it generally.

A roaster I used to use commercially never had roasted on or use by dates but I also never had stale roasts from them either ;)


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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #7 on: 10/10/2011, 06:20 PM »
Its one thing to toy around with 1, 7, 10 day old or 2 week beans, its another to supply a customer with stale smelling beans.

I went out the following day and bought some new beans at one of my reputable places I get them from, thank goodness. Never will I recommend the place where I got those dodgy beans as per my original post, who knows what other 'bad' business practises they are doing.

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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #8 on: 11/10/2011, 08:27 AM »
I bought some beans about two years ago from a very well roaster who smiled as she handed me the packet - and when I got home I discovered that they we're nine months old! lesson learned - now I'm uber cautious where I get my roasted beans from and much more likely to roast my own at home as a result!
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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #9 on: 11/10/2011, 01:19 PM »
looked at some CoE beans advertised by a big 'chain' roaster for sale in their stores the other day - which I at first thought was pretty impressive;

when I checked the pack, it showed it was roasted a couple of weeks ago, with a use-by date of September 2012 - arghh!!


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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #10 on: 11/10/2011, 01:43 PM »
Yes, it now seems CoE is starting to become the latest marketing tool.

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Coffee bean roaster/supplier rant
« Reply #11 on: 11/10/2011, 02:02 PM »
playing the devil's advocate:

adelaidecoffee, I wish you had

a) tried the coffee and  / or
b) taken the coffee back to the supplier

You would have first hand experience of the coffee as well as the supplier's reaction, there would have been more facts and meaning in this topic

Without you having tried them or taken them back, my own opinion is all the rest of this has no significance and is all subject to a lot of guesswork about who is or isnt doing something correctly. And therefore it is fortuitous you decided not to name the roaster, because we dont really know if he did anything to be ashamed or accused of.

Also the fact that you know someone that will (my words) take whatever you don't like off your hands is proof that the market is made up of individuals that have different likes and dislikes.

Quite a few other posts in the discussion exemplify that the business of coffee isnt an exact science, different individuals demand (yes DEMAND) and / or EXPECT different levels of service and quality from their suppliers, and many dont fully understand a lot of the information they obviously read on the internet that they consequently want to impose on their suppliers...

Pat you've annunciated this opinion in other posts and other places and I am afraid that roasting your own simply because you didnt get what you wanted/expected from one supplier is a little on the extreme side. If that line of argument was extrapolated throughout, I personally would be doing all my own gardening, working on the cars, doing all my own computer network stuff, baking my own bread, keeping chickens for the eggs, doing all the ironing and washing, painting the house, doing all the fencing, growing all the veges etc etc etc etc etc. I wouldnt have the time to go to work for all the things I have to do myself because I have sometimes not been entirely satisfied with the standard of something someone once did for me.  Not at all condoning a roaster selling a packet of coffee apparently 9 months old, but I would like to believe you roast your own because you like to do it and have a special interest, rather than because someone once "sold you a pup"  ;) Incidentally did you tell them they sold you coffee packed that long ago?

dR and Bruce.......CoE is.....Church of England?  ;D Better not assume everyone knows what you are writing about or know first up that you mean "Cup of Excellence"  ;) In so far as being impressed that someone is selling cup of excellence coffee, there are only two questions: You were prepared to pay the price? and What was it like in the cup? If it wasnt hellishly expensive ie sold for way above the price of regular coffee then it wasnt cup of excellence. Some roasters do this with "blue mountain" coffees, and clients think it is best quality Jamaica Blue....they only need look at the price. And for the other you only need to look at the old charbucks philosophy of buying the best grades, "ethical quality" coffees they can find then burning them to an oily black mass before telling you how good it is.... it has to be good in the cup otherwise its totally irrelevant what it started out as.
In closing and with specific regard to this cant please all of the people all of the time.

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