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Date: 24 Nov 2006 21:21:32
From: Ton
Subject: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
Somewhere I read that a way to assess how fresh (roasted) a bean is, to
try splitting (or should it be breaking ?) it between your fingernails.
When this goes easy, it should be o.k.
What is your opinion ? Is this indeed a good way to judge the freshness?




 
Date: 26 Nov 2006 01:28:01
From: Ton
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
Thanks for the response.
I forgot to say that the "advice" I mentioned in my original post, was
mentioned on the website of the firm from which my beans come (although
I buy them from one of their dealers, a small tea and coffee specialty
shop in my neighborhood). I am now beginning to suspect them, by doing
so, of covering up the fact that their beans are not as freshly roasted
as they suggest. Because you also can order online and directly from
them, I sent them an email the other day, asking if they could guarantee
that ordered beans were roasted only a few days ago. They answered that
that could not be guaranteed and that it is quite possible that I will
get beans roasted 2 or 3 weeks ago, depending on their "old" stock.
Although it is an honest reply, I think that it will be better for me to
look for another supplier.
By the way, apart from the taste, what could be a sign that the beans
are not real fresh anymore ? With beans I recently bought of another
kind than I usually have (Ethiopian instead of Panama) and which CAN
easily be splitted, I get a 2oz pour in 25 seconds. So I assume that
the grind is o.k. I use the same tamp and amount of ground coffee as
usual. However the pour already starts after 3 or 4 seconds instead of 6
or 7 seconds and although dark in colour it is rather thin. Is this an
indication that these beans are already rather old or could it also have
to do with the sort of beans ?


  
Date: 25 Nov 2006 17:43:36
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
"Ton" <thisisafakeforspam@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:4568DF91.9030309@hotmail.com...
> Thanks for the response.
> I forgot to say that the "advice" I mentioned in my original post, was
> mentioned on the website of the firm from which my beans come (although I
> buy them from one of their dealers, a small tea and coffee specialty shop
> in my neighborhood). I am now beginning to suspect them, by doing so, of
> covering up the fact that their beans are not as freshly roasted as they
> suggest. Because you also can order online and directly from them, I sent
> them an email the other day, asking if they could guarantee that ordered
> beans were roasted only a few days ago. They answered that that could not
> be guaranteed and that it is quite possible that I will get beans roasted
> 2 or 3 weeks ago, depending on their "old" stock. Although it is an honest
> reply, I think that it will be better for me to look for another supplier.
> By the way, apart from the taste, what could be a sign that the beans are
> not real fresh anymore ? With beans I recently bought of another kind than
> I usually have (Ethiopian instead of Panama) and which CAN easily be
> splitted, I get a 2oz pour in 25 seconds. So I assume that the grind is
> o.k. I use the same tamp and amount of ground coffee as usual. However
> the pour already starts after 3 or 4 seconds instead of 6 or 7 seconds and
> although dark in colour it is rather thin. Is this an indication that
> these beans are already rather old or could it also have to do with the
> sort of beans ?

A good barista using good equipment could made an "acceptable looking" shot
with normal shot time/volume parameters, out of 6 month old beans. Unless
you were looking carefully, you might not notice a thing, however a
practiced eye would notice that the shot "blonded" much too soon.
Certainly, as the beans I use approach the time when I would toss them
(around 10 days after roasting if never frozen, less if I froze them
immediately after roasting, as is my practice with a portion of what I roast
each session) it becomes obvious that the shots are blonding earlier. This
can be counterbalanced, to some extent, by grinding finer, producing more of
a ristretto, but the resultant volume will be less.

I don't think that you can make reliable observations of bean freshness
based upon shot timing parameters because there are simply too many
variables, and the appearance of a shot is not always going to tell you how
it is going to taste.

The solution to "your problem" is either to find a good roaster who will
ship you very fresh beans, to find one locally from whom you can buy them,
or to home roast as many of us have come around to after becoming frustrated
with the first option and being unable to find the 2nd.

ken




 
Date: 25 Nov 2006 08:50:18
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
Ton <thisisafakeforspam@hotmail.com > wrote:

>Somewhere I read that a way to assess how fresh (roasted) a bean is, to
>try splitting (or should it be breaking ?) it between your fingernails.
>When this goes easy, it should be o.k.
>What is your opinion ? Is this indeed a good way to judge the freshness?
>
A very dark-roasted bean (like near black) will easily crumble into
dust right out of the roaster.

There are two tools that work best to verify the freshness of coffee
beans:
1) a calendar
2) your palate

Randy "it's half past roasted" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




  
Date: 25 Nov 2006 19:42:36
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
On Sat, 25 Nov 2006 08:50:18 -0800, Randy G. <frcn@DESPAMMOcncnet.com >
wrote:

>There are two tools that work best to verify the freshness of coffee
>beans:
>1) a calendar
>2) your palate
>

reverse those.



   
Date: 25 Nov 2006 23:50:59
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
On Sat, 25 Nov 2006 19:42:36 GMT, Barry Jarrett
<barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:

>On Sat, 25 Nov 2006 08:50:18 -0800, Randy G. <frcn@DESPAMMOcncnet.com>
>wrote:
>
> >There are two tools that work best to verify the freshness of coffee
> >beans:
> >1) a calendar
> >2) your palate
> >
>
>reverse those.

Dec. 31 to Jan. 1?

shall


   
Date: 25 Nov 2006 15:09:51
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
Barry Jarrett <barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:

>On Sat, 25 Nov 2006 08:50:18 -0800, Randy G. <frcn@DESPAMMOcncnet.com>
>wrote:
>
> >There are two tools that work best to verify the freshness of coffee
> >beans:
> >1) a calendar
> >2) your palate
> >
>
>reverse those.


1) A palate
2) Your calendar

like that? ;-)


Randy "stass reks free as always" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




    
Date: 25 Nov 2006 16:50:08
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
"Randy G." <frcn@DESPAMMOcncnet.com > wrote in message
news:c8jhm2dhp9som7uqnjl6a5e64pnoa2galg@4ax.com...
> Barry Jarrett <barry@rileys-coffee.com> wrote:
>
>>On Sat, 25 Nov 2006 08:50:18 -0800, Randy G. <frcn@DESPAMMOcncnet.com>
>>wrote:
>>
>> >There are two tools that work best to verify the freshness of coffee
>> >beans:
>> >1) a calendar
>> >2) your palate
>> >
>>
>>reverse those.
>
>
> 1) A palate
> 2) Your calendar
>
> like that? ;-)
>
>
> Randy "stass reks free as always" G.
> http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
>
>

no --

Your Calendar or Barry's Palate.

ken




 
Date: 25 Nov 2006 15:18:01
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
On Fri, 24 Nov 2006 21:21:32 +0100, Ton
<thisisafakeforspam@hotmail.com > wrote:

>Somewhere I read that a way to assess how fresh (roasted) a bean is, to
>try splitting (or should it be breaking ?) it between your fingernails.
>When this goes easy, it should be o.k.
>What is your opinion ? Is this indeed a good way to judge the freshness?

No. Grinding some up and brewing it is easy and removes all doubt.

shall


  
Date: 25 Nov 2006 18:51:36
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
shall wrote:
> On Fri, 24 Nov 2006 21:21:32 +0100, Ton
> <thisisafakeforspam@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>Somewhere I read that a way to assess how fresh (roasted) a bean is, to
>>try splitting (or should it be breaking ?) it between your fingernails.
>>When this goes easy, it should be o.k.
>>What is your opinion ? Is this indeed a good way to judge the freshness?
>
>
> No. Grinding some up and brewing it is easy and removes all doubt.
>
> shall

That assumes you have a point of reference. One way I can tell if beans
are fresh is to brew a small press pot. If coffee cause the water to
foam up and then settle back in a minute or 2 it's a good indication
that the beans are fresh as they are still giving off CO2. If the
volume of the water doesn't change the beans are "aged".

Coffee is like any other natural food product, it has a peak of flavor
and diminishes from there.

R "if it tastes good drink it" TF



   
Date: 25 Nov 2006 23:59:22
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
On Sat, 25 Nov 2006 18:51:36 -0500, Moka Java
<rtwatches@fishyahoo.com > wrote:

>shall wrote:
>> On Fri, 24 Nov 2006 21:21:32 +0100, Ton
>> <thisisafakeforspam@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Somewhere I read that a way to assess how fresh (roasted) a bean is, to
>>>try splitting (or should it be breaking ?) it between your fingernails.
>>>When this goes easy, it should be o.k.
>>>What is your opinion ? Is this indeed a good way to judge the freshness?
>>
>>
>> No. Grinding some up and brewing it is easy and removes all doubt.
>>
>> shall
>
>That assumes you have a point of reference. One way I can tell if beans
>are fresh is to brew a small press pot. If coffee cause the water to
>foam up and then settle back in a minute or 2 it's a good indication
>that the beans are fresh as they are still giving off CO2. If the
>volume of the water doesn't change the beans are "aged".
>
>Coffee is like any other natural food product, it has a peak of flavor
>and diminishes from there.
>
>R "if it tastes good drink it" TF

Depends what you mean by "fresh." Certainly the freshest beans will
foam the most. But, I have had many excellent cups of coffee that were
well past the frothy stage.

shall


    
Date: 25 Nov 2006 21:51:01
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
shall wrote:

> On Sat, 25 Nov 2006 18:51:36 -0500, Moka Java
> <rtwatches@fishyahoo.com> wrote:
>
>
>>shall wrote:
>>
>>>On Fri, 24 Nov 2006 21:21:32 +0100, Ton
>>><thisisafakeforspam@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>Somewhere I read that a way to assess how fresh (roasted) a bean is, to
>>>>try splitting (or should it be breaking ?) it between your fingernails.
>>>>When this goes easy, it should be o.k.
>>>>What is your opinion ? Is this indeed a good way to judge the freshness?
>>>
>>>
>>>No. Grinding some up and brewing it is easy and removes all doubt.
>>>
>>>shall
>>
>>That assumes you have a point of reference. One way I can tell if beans
>>are fresh is to brew a small press pot. If coffee cause the water to
>>foam up and then settle back in a minute or 2 it's a good indication
>>that the beans are fresh as they are still giving off CO2. If the
>>volume of the water doesn't change the beans are "aged".
>>
>>Coffee is like any other natural food product, it has a peak of flavor
>>and diminishes from there.
>>
>>R "if it tastes good drink it" TF
>
>
> Depends what you mean by "fresh." Certainly the freshest beans will
> foam the most. But, I have had many excellent cups of coffee that were
> well past the frothy stage.
>
> shall

I find that he coffee foams for a week or so after roasting. Most
coffee is still good and drinkable after that (IMO, YMMV) but after 2
weeks most coffee has "headed south". So if someone is selling you
allegedly fresh coffee and it doesn't foam in a press pot you might want
to ask them their definition of "fresh".

R "well it don't smell rancid and it won't make you sick" TF


 
Date: 24 Nov 2006 21:46:31
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
"Ton" <thisisafakeforspam@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:3f54a$4567544a$3ed486e0$21706@msgid.xenosite.net...
> Somewhere I read that a way to assess how fresh (roasted) a bean is, to
> try splitting (or should it be breaking ?) it between your fingernails.
> When this goes easy, it should be o.k.
> What is your opinion ? Is this indeed a good way to judge the freshness?

I have never tried this, nor would I think it would be a reliable test as it
would be effected by the roast level and the sort of beans you started with.

The best way to judge freshness is to know when the beans were roasted and
to count from the roast date using a calendar, a calculator, or you fingers.




  
Date: 25 Nov 2006 05:24:11
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
Ken Fox wrote:
> The best way to judge freshness is to know when the beans were roasted and
> to count from the roast date using a calendar, a calculator, or you fingers.

I don't know about you fingers, but me fingers don't count too good. Instead,
me use dog's toes.

--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


   
Date: 24 Nov 2006 23:35:21
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
"Andy Schecter" <schecter@remove.me.rochester.rr.com > wrote in message
news:%rQ9h.25210$zB4.19040@twister.nyroc.rr.com...
> Ken Fox wrote:
>> The best way to judge freshness is to know when the beans were roasted
>> and to count from the roast date using a calendar, a calculator, or you
>> fingers.
>
> I don't know about you fingers, but me fingers don't count too good.
> Instead, me use dog's toes.
>
> --
>
>
> -Andy S.
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/

does your nose run and your feet smell? Well, then you're built upside
down!

ken




    
Date: 25 Nov 2006 12:56:51
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
Ken Fox wrote:
> does your nose run and your feet smell? Well, then you're built upside
> down!

Pas très original, Monsieur Fox. :-P

--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


     
Date: 25 Nov 2006 08:40:26
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: About freshness of beans: How true is this ?
"Andy Schecter" <schecter@remove.me.rochester.rr.com > wrote in message
news:n4X9h.31797$xw1.10482@twister.nyroc.rr.com...
> Ken Fox wrote:
>> does your nose run and your feet smell? Well, then you're built upside
>> down!
>
> Pas très original, Monsieur Fox. :-P
>
C'était tard . . . .

ken