Finding that Fresh Flavor
If you've read our journal post about coffee freshness, then you'll know that "to find the peak flavor of freshly roasted coffee, one needs to balance two important factors: the loss of aromatics, and the build-up of carbon dioxide. For most coffees, this happens in a window of 4-14 days after roasting."
Peak flavor will depend on the brew method, the beverage, and the coffee. Keep an open mind as you experiment day-by-day with different brew ratios for each coffee. Some straight espresso shots might have significantly smoother body on day 7 than day 5 or more interesting fruit notes at day 10. When brewed in a pourover or Aeropress, these coffees will perform totally different (the experiment begins anew!). And don't be surprised if beans continue to delight you 1-2 months post-roast. Once you find the ideal freshness for your coffee, how can you keep it that way?
When you're storing coffee, the goal is to keep it in a place free from lots of light, oxygen, intense aromas, and moisture. At Clive, we store our beans in an Airscape canister. We keep the coffee sealed until we're ready to use them. If you're going to put beans in your grinder hopper, try to only put in a days worth. If you live in a very dry environment, you may want to try single dosing.
Some grinders have the option of single dosing, which means you'll grind an individual dose (16-18 grams for a double spout portafilter, 20 grams for a bottomless portafilter with triple basket) at a time instead of storing beans in the hopper. To read more about which grinders we prefer for single dosing, click here. Single dosing allows beans to be stored air tight right up until you grind, and it also allows easier switching between coffees.
In decades past, storing coffee in a freezer was a popular idea, but these days it is generally not recommended. This is because coffee loves water will quickly absorb any smells and moisture in your freezer. But if you like to order fresh roasted coffee in bulk or won't be able to go through the beans within a month, you can experiment with preserving freshness by freezing some for later use. If you'd like to try this, make sure the beans remain sealed in an airtight container until they reach room temperature.