SteveFreides Senior Member Joined: 9 Jun 2012 Posts: 21 Location: Ridgewood, NJ Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Syncrony Drip: No Drip - French Press Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Wed Jan 1, 2014, 8:07am Subject: Ageing Coffee Beans
I am getting to the end of some Aged Sumatra I bought from Sweet Maria and they are out of it with no ETA for more.
My understanding from Sweet Marias is that they didn't age these beans themselves and that generally the beans are aged closer to their source and sold as aged to distributors like Sweet Marias.
I recently found JadaBug as a source for Aged Sumatra and bought some - trouble is, it doesn't seem to be aged much, if at all, compared to my usual Sumatra Mandheling type of coffee. The Sweet Marias stuff was a distinctly different color, rather chocolate brown, and also had a distinctly different taste; the JadaBug stuff is pretty much regular Sumatra Mandheling green beans.
I'd appreciate any guidance on ageing my own Sumatra. It doesn't seem like brain surgery to do, and I was thinking of putting beans in a burlap bag that other coffee had come in and just setting it on the shelf for a few years, giving it a stir every now and then. Our basement seems a fine place for coffee - it's a little cool but the temperature and humidity remain pretty constant year-round.
And, of course, if anyone has a good source for Aged Sumatra in the meantime, I'd love to hear about that.
By way of background, I home roast, generally blends of my own devising and not single origin, for use in a super-auto espresso machine and a French Press. My blend for the super-auto is 1/6 Aged Sumatra when I can get it.
Aging coffee is not really as easy as it might sound. there is a distinct difference between "aged" coffee and OLD coffee. It helps to understand a bit about why anyone would age coffee to begin with... when coffee was first being imported to europe from places like java, the coffee had to be loaded, break-bulk into the hull of a ship. the vessels at the time would then embark on the long and difficult journey across the seas and into europe. during the transit the agroscopic nature of the beans allowed for a distinctive "defect" to take hold. That defect is what people in europe began to recognize as the flavor of indonesian arabica coffee. now that the process is a bit more streamlined, some folks miss that taste... hence the "aging" this is typically done at origin (or at least near by) in warehouses specifically designed for this process. they open and close shutters on the sides of buildings to control the temperature and humidity inside where the beans are resting. they are turned on a schedule and moved throughout the warehouse. how long a coffee takes to properly "age" depends a lot on climactic conditions and good distributors will take samples every few months to check on the aging process. you will be sorely disappointed if you just throw some coffee in a jute or sisal bag and throw it on a shelf. be patient... find a reliable and trusted source.
It should be understood well what this ageing coffee beans is. We should not compare these beans to an old coffee because this connotes lower quality which taste is boring and lifeless. The age coffee is from coffee beans that have been aged for a number of years to improve the coffee flavor
Ageing coffee can be done by holding the beans in burlap as what is done in Sumatra where it is rotated frequently. It is also done by monsooning where the beans are held in the warehouse and exposed to the moist monsoon winds as in India. This is done to have more body, very low acidity, and very strong and wild flavors.
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine. www.coffeeloversmag.com/theMagazine
This is exactly why I'm asking. I have burlap sacks here because some of the coffee I buy comes in them. But I suspect that too little moisture might not be good, and we know that too much moisture for an extended period of time would likely lead to rotting.
So I'm just trying to figure out how I ought to do this because I would like to give it a try.
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