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Discussions > Espresso > blends > Vacuum Canisters  
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DrHog
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Digital Italia
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 7:28am
Subject: Vacuum Canisters
 

I'm looking into getting some of those canisters for my coffee beans that use a manual vacuum pump to evacuate the air, hopefully extending the life of my opened coffee bean bags.  Does anyone have any experience with these?  Any recommendations on brands and where I could pick some up?

Here is a link to one of the options from Vacu Vin (the same guys that make the vacuum wine stoppers):
http://www.vacuvin.nl/

DrHog: vacuvin.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 7:49am
Subject: Re: Vacuum Canisters
 

DrHog Said:

I'm looking into getting some of those canisters for my coffee beans that use a manual vacuum pump to evacuate the air, hopefully extending the life of my opened coffee bean bags.  Does anyone have any experience with these?  Any recommendations on brands and where I could pick some up?

Here is a link to one of the options from Vacu Vin (the same guys that make the vacuum wine stoppers):
http://www.vacuvin.nl/

Posted March 4, 2004 link

I have a question...

Q - If vacuum canisters are the way to store coffee to extend the life of beans, why don't the best local roasters use them?


What do local roasters use?
Most of the good roasters I frequent who sell beans by the pound or partial of a pound have them stored in large plastic containers (like tupperware), plastic pails with lids, or metal cans with lids (like the ones you can buy cheezy popcorn around Christmas time).

Some use foil bags - and pull the initial air out with a shop vacuum - but that is to keep the bags from exploding from the degassing.
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ahains
Senior Member
ahains
Joined: 5 Feb 2004
Posts: 174
Location: Renton, WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: FrancisFrancis X5
Grinder: Innova Conical Burr
Drip: Gevalia (was free)
Roaster: Hot air popper
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 8:54am
Subject: Re: Vacuum Canisters
 

I would wonder if those local roasters would avoid a bunch of vacuum sealed canisters because of the time required to pump out the air?
It is very common to see coffee bags with one way valves.. do you think this is to protect against expansion by degassing? Seems to make sense..

What I would wonder is if having the beans under vacuum would pull oils more to the surface.
When the canister is full, you don't have to suck much air out, because there is only the space between the beans. But as the canister becomes more empty, you could have quite a bit of air by volume to remove, so the beans would see greater vacuum.

I would assume that these would work well when full, but that you may want to avoid using them when mostly empty. How were you planning on using them?

Cheers,
Adrian

 
"What's the matter with this thing? What's all that churning and bubbling? You call that a radar screen?"
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rbh1515
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2003
Posts: 1,282
Location: Milwaukee
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: LM GS3
Grinder: Mahlkonig/VersalabM3
Vac Pot: have one
Drip: no
Roaster: got that too/never use it
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 9:33am
Subject: Re: Vacuum Canisters
 

OK...I'll ask a stupid question.  If you put a vacuum on the beans, aren't you going to prematurely draw out alll those good aromas in the beans--ie suck the flavor out.  Illy for example does not put their beans on a vacuum--they replace the air (oxygen) with nitrogen.  (at least this is what I think they do). Set me straight if I'm wrong.  I think the best thing is to only roast or buy fresh the amount that you can use in a week.   Rob
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DEchelbarger
Senior Member
DEchelbarger
Joined: 12 Feb 2004
Posts: 416
Location: Negaunee, MI
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Solis SL-70
Grinder: Macap M 4, Rocky,...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos, Nicro
Drip: pour over, Chemex, FR Press,...
Roaster: RK Drum, I-roast, manual...
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 9:34am
Subject: Re: Vacuum Canisters
 

I have used the Food Saver Vacuum system for several years and am personally convinced it extends freshness for extended periods of time.  For instance I have ordered Peets and kept it vacuumed out of the sun and had it fresh for a month.  I am now a home roaster and wonder about the degassing issue.  I have done it both ways, let the coffee degas in the air and in a vacuum canister.  I can't really tell a difference yet.  When degassing I may release the vacuum and reseal just in case there is a build up of gasses.  No problems yet.

I personally think this is the way to store coffee. Oxygen is the enemy right?
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ljguitar
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ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 10:31am
Subject: Re: Vacuum Canisters
 

rbh1515 Said:

OK...I'll ask a stupid question.  If you put a vacuum on the beans, aren't you going to prematurely draw out alll those good aromas in the beans--ie suck the flavor out.  Illy for example does not put their beans on a vacuum--they replace the air (oxygen) with nitrogen.  (at least this is what I think they do). Set me straight if I'm wrong.  I think the best thing is to only roast or buy fresh the amount that you can use in a week.   Rob

Posted March 4, 2004 link

Hi Rob...
This is the indication of one major roaster just East of St. Louis who has been roasting for 15 years. He says vacuum accelerates the outgassing and escape of the aromatics in fresh roasted beans, thereby speeding staling and loss of flavor simultaneously.

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ljguitar
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ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 10:42am
Subject: Re: Vacuum Canisters
 

Dechelbarg Said:

I personally think this is the way to store coffee. Oxygen is the enemy right?

Posted March 4, 2004 link

Oxygen is Only One enemy of roasted coffee...one of many. So is everything else which prematurely cause loss of aromatics, and oils.

Heat is an enemy, direct sun is an enemy. Age is an enemy, moisture is an enemy. Undue vacuum may prevent a bit of oxygen from reaching beans (not all by any means), but is it the oxygen that is causing the aromatics to leave the beans in the first place? Or the oils to dry out? Perhaps to a limited degree, but there are the other factors too (heat, light, age, and the CO2 outgassing on it's own).

Drawing a vacuum will accelerate outgassing. Coffee outgasses from the moment it is roasted until it is done. Speed that up and you will speed deterioration.

Ordering coffee from vendors automatically puts less than fresh coffee into your hands to begin with which you are battling to maintain without further deterioration.
  • If you don't believe me, then start ordering beans to be shipped to you from a local roaster via UPS (important) and after you receive them 3 days old, go to the roaster and buy some fresh roasted ones and compare them. Vacuum pack them for a week and go buy some more fresh ones and compare...etc.

If you start to roast your own beans, you may begin to discover that what you formerly considered fresh beans were only fresh in comparison to what you had tasted before. Truly fresh beans taste fresher...or is it truly 'not fresh' beans taste...different somehow?

Great roasters are not avoiding any process which keep coffee beans fresh because of the time it takes, including revacuuming containers.

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DrHog
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Digital Italia
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 11:26am
Subject: Re: Vacuum Canisters
 

Good discussion here!

I have 2 slightly different problems here.  My superauto has a bypass doser for ground coffee.  I always put my normal espresso beans in the hopper, and keep some ground decaf Illy for use with the bypass.  I use between 1/2 and 1 lb of beans per week, so I think I can use up my beans before they go stale.  Still, I'd like to keep that pound of beans as fresh as possible once I bring them home.  The decaf presents a bigger problem.  I don't drink a whole lot of decaf, so I'll crack the seal on the Illy when someone is over that wants some.  Problem is, now I've got a half pound of ground coffee open and the clock has started ticking on it.  The Illy can forms a decent seal, but there is no getting around the fact that air is in the can doing its nasty deed.

Another solution that I thought of was buying decaf ground espresso in small (i.e. 2 oz.) vacuum packs.  I just haven't found any of these on the market yet.  Any one know of a source for this?  BTW, I don't have a separate grinder, so I'm stuck with pre-ground options for decaf.

Thanks,
DR
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hamm
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hamm
Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 530
Location: Kettering, Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto (1st gen)
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: I'm not that kind of guy...
Drip: From the faucet occasionally
Roaster: I buy from several
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 11:41am
Subject: Re: Vacuum Canisters
 

ljguitar Said:

Oxygen is Only One enemy of roasted coffee...one of many. So is everything else which prematurely cause loss of aromatics, and oils.

Heat is an enemy, direct sun is an enemy. Age is an enemy, moisture is an enemy. Undue vacuum may prevent a bit of oxygen from reaching beans (not all by any means), but is it the oxygen that is causing the aromatics to leave the beans in the first place? Or the oils to dry out? Perhaps to a limited degree, but there are the other factors too (heat, light, age, and the CO2 outgassing on it's own).

L  a  r  r  Y

Posted March 4, 2004 link

I have a thought circling around in my head that I need to get out somehow.

Why is it that when you go to a grocery store that has a bakery/deli, you can buy cold cuts, sliced meats, cheeses, bread, etc. but it all must be used within a day or two else it goes bad.  Then you go around the sides and back of the store and you find national brand breads that expire in 1-2 weeks, cold cuts that expire in 7-12 decades, and if you look hard enough, canned goods that'll last through the next ice age?  

Preservatives.  

Look at anything that's pure such as fresh dairy, breads, meats, vegetables... All have a shelf life that isn't very long.  look at the ingredient list of a typical canned good and you'll need a degree in thermonuclear astrophysics with a minor in biochemical lexicography in order to even pronounce some of the stuff in there.

Why would coffee be different?  Add chemicals to make it stay reletively fresh, and you wind up with Folgers, i.e fake product made to look and taste like some form of coffee.

I have to wonder by trying to extend the life of a product that God made to be consumed within a short time, are we fighting a lost battle?

I find that if I'm toward the end of a batch and it's starting to go stale, if I grind finer it still works pretty well.  But unless we're roasting our own daily, I doubt you'll get the first week kind of fresh from any retailer to last longer than that week.

Now for a little of my favorite reading... ingredients:  salt, artificial honey-roasting agents... pressed peanut sweepings!!!  ....    Oh twenty dollars, I wanted a peanut!... $20 can buy many peanuts! explain how! money can be exchanged for goods and services... WOO HOOO!!!!
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DEchelbarger
Senior Member
DEchelbarger
Joined: 12 Feb 2004
Posts: 416
Location: Negaunee, MI
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Solis SL-70
Grinder: Macap M 4, Rocky,...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos, Nicro
Drip: pour over, Chemex, FR Press,...
Roaster: RK Drum, I-roast, manual...
Posted Thu Mar 4, 2004, 11:52am
Subject: Re: Vacuum Canisters
 

ljguitar,

How does using a vacuum canister differ from the the vacuum packed bags?  I've ready studies that suggest that in unopened bags coffee stays fresh for a long period of time.

I do roast my own beans, by the way, although only recently.  I will do an experiment, eventually, vacuum some beans and keep some of the same batch unvacuumed and see if I can tell a difference.  

All I'm saying is that my use of vacuum canisters has satisfied me.  Certainly better than letting them sit out in the air.  As a new home roaster my goal is to avoid the need for storage  -- although sometimes I want to hang on to some beans given my schedule.
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