I recently got caught up in getting a coffee deal that was a little too good to be true, so I hope to save someone else the embarrassment of going through the same thing. Ordered three different coffee varietals, two blends and one single origin, from this roaster, after inquiring as to the freshness of the roast (they indicated shipping within a few days of roasting). When I opened the bags, the shiny oils on all the beans made my heart sink...clearly overroasted. Sure enough, nothing I did produced drinkable shots from my equipment (Cremina, Pharos). Company doesn't respond to my emails after the sale. I guess they're embarrassed too...their overroasting is worthy of Starbucks. If you're tempted by their steep initial discounts...well, just don't. Incidentally, their bags didn't have a "roasted on" date at all, so I have no idea whether they were telling the truth about the freshness of the roast. I think I just learned the difference between "fresh" and "good."
Ok, recently contacted by Andrew at Fresh Roasted Coffee. He had seen this post, and was trying to make amends. My previous email had apparently not been reviewed, so I forwarded it to him. He shipped out a new order, which I have now tasted. I received two single origins, (Ethiopian Sidamo and Indian Mysore) along with an unspecified blend, called Fogkicker. All had roast dates on the bags (Andrew stated that they now recognize the value of doing this) and the bags indicated how light or dark the roast is intended to be. From ten days of pulling shots, I can now state that this roaster is perfectly acceptable, and (for me, at least) quite good. The beans compared favorably with the Deep Cello Black Tie and Nostromo that I have been using (I realize these are dark roasts and not directly comparable) as well as a super premium from Brown Coffee, which was, frankly, too lightly roasted for my tastes. I do like happy endings, and thanks in part to Coffee Geek, I consider this one.
Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 5:18am Subject: Re: Fresh Roasted Coffee, LLC...A Word of Warning
Oils on the surface of roasted coffee do not necessarily indicate over-roasting. Shipped from PA to TX in the summer heat, riding for so many hours in the back of a hot truck, will bring out oils. No response from E-mail is problematic. How long did you wait for a response? Did you try to call them? No roast date on packages to indicate age would alone keep me from buying from them.
Unfortunately, buying coffee blindly, and particularly for espresso, will often result in this outcome; dark, oily beans which have had the life roasted out of them.
Posted Fri Aug 17, 2012, 5:28am Subject: Re: Fresh Roasted Coffee, LLC...A Word of Warning
Yeah, I think my critical thinking skills got fried in our Texas summer. I have recently ordered some very fine Blue Bottle Hayes Valley which seemed to arrive in excellent condition, so I'm not thinking the transport is the problem. In retrospect, I should've noticed that their Papua New Guinea single origin was billed as "limited edition dark roast."
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