General tips on coffee aging and storage
While you can certainly begin brewing a few days after the roast date, we frequently recommend resting the coffee (especially for espresso) for 1-2 weeks as the flavour profile and extraction will tend to balance out and become more consistent. Flavours will start to open up and more nuanced layers show up in a more balanced cup.
Fresh roasted coffee needs time to ‘degas’ to release the trapped CO. The trapped gases hinders water from entering the structure of the coffee to fully get in there to extract all the goodness we want. Darker (more developed) roasts will degas faster while lighter roasts tend to be slower. So in general lighter roasts tend to benefit from longer resting times.
As whole bean coffee, we recommend consuming most of our coffees within a 4-8 week time frame. Of course, factors such as storage methods and ambient conditions have a role in this.
Here are a few generalized trends that we have noticed:
- higher elevation washed coffees with lighter roasts tend to benefit from more resting time
- more heavily processed coffees such as anaerobic, yeast inoculated, experimental processes, etc. tend to degas more quickly and benefit from brewing a bit sooner
- certain varieties will notably do better with more rest (e.g. pink bourbon we often find does better with 2-3+ weeks rest)
Ultimately your storage conditions, taste preferences, grinder and brewing setup can affect what may be "optimal rest time" for you and each specific coffee. All that said, we hope our anecdotal experience is helpful for you.
In general here are a few tips in storing coffee to help preserve freshness:
- store in airtight container or the bag/packaging the coffee came in (can have one-way valve)
- avoid heat and moisture
- avoid exposure to air (sealed bags are good, vacuum seal even better)
- avoid storing near strong odours (coffee absorbs this very well)
- can freeze but be sure to vacuum seal to avoid frost buildup and absorption of odours from fridge/freezer