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How long will beans stay good for
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > How long will...  
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Dapuma
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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 6:13pm
Subject: How long will beans stay good for
 

I have a sealed bag of beans, they were roasted locally about 1-1.5 months ago...are these going to make decent enough espresso or should I just use them for latte's and milk based drinks
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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 8:14pm
Subject: Re: How long will beans stay good for
 

Grind 'em and use 'em.  If you like the espresso, use 'em up.  If it's not good enough for your taste, use 'em up making a tiramisu, some ice cream and milky morning drinks and espressos for your in-laws.  You'll certainly notice a difference in how much better beans are when roasted only a week or two ago.
Now I want tiramisu.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 9:34pm
Subject: Re: How long will beans stay good for
 

Dapuma Said:

I have a sealed bag of beans, they were roasted locally about 1-1.5 months ago...are these going to make decent enough espresso or should I just use them for latte's and milk based drinks

Posted February 28, 2013 link

Personally, I'd throw 'em away . . . compost 'em . . . or something like that.

Are you familiar with the Rule of Fifteens?

Babbie's Rule* of Fifteens:
-- Green (unroasted) coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months, or they go stale.
-- Roasted coffee beans should be ground within 15 days, or they go stale.
-- Ground coffee should be used within 15 minutes, or it goes stale.

Your choice.

Cheers,
Jason

* OK, so there are very few hard-and-fast "rules" -- more like "rules-of-thumb."

 
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Dapuma
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Posted Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:34pm
Subject: Re: How long will beans stay good for
 

hmm tiramisu, I make a very good one...and i just got an Ice Cream maker, perhaps will make espresso ice cream and poundcake, i usually do a coffee anglaise with french roast, i wonder if I tried making it with espresso instead of coffee and reduce the coffee syrup for less time or perhaps water it down a bit - could be a nice variation
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NobbyR
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 2:41am
Subject: Re: How long will beans stay good for
 

Almost a philosophical question.

According to the afore mentioned, generaly accepted rule of fifteens, those coffee beans are way to old. However, in my personal experience I've brewed fine tasting espresso that had lots of crema using beans that were up to three months old from roasting, provided they were packed industrially (sealed bag with a one-way-valve) and stored properly. I'm absolutely sure the resulting espresso would have been even better, if the beans had been fresher. But they were also far from being completely stale. YMMV.

I guess you have to use them within two weeks to get them at their aromatic peak. But they don't go stale overnight. It's a process of more or less slow degradation. IMHO Babbie's Rule of Fifteens are a rule of thumb. So my advise would be, too, to try them for espresso and if you like the taste go ahead and use them. If not, throw them away.

 
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"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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AntWilliams90
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 9:00am
Subject: Re: How long will beans stay good for
 

I've heard the Babbie's Rule of Fifteens mentioned alot...and whilst they aren't wrong, I always question these 'neat' lists - it would be one hell of a coincidence if the peak points in a beans life were all 15's

My local roaster always says 'The gates to coffee heaven close in 21 days' - i.e. they recommend using the beans within 21 days of roasting.

I personally buy 1 weeks worth of beans every friday, from my local roaster, and let them rest until the Monday before using them...beans don't hang around in my house...

 
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
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frcn
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 9:42am
Subject: Re: How long will beans stay good for
 

The "rule" is a guide point. For example, while a batch of medium roasted beans for drip may be drinkable for 21 days to some people, for espresso, a demanding home barista would probably trash them at two weeks - maybe less. Some beans need a long rest after roasting for best taste- as much as a week. So roast, blend, method of brewing, and most importantly your personal taste preferences all dictate the "rule's" parameters. Like the "2 ounces in 25 seconds" espresso "rule," it is just a starting point.

 
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JasonBrandtLewis
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 12:03pm
Subject: Re: How long will beans stay good for
 

Hmmm . . . does no one actually read the posts people make here?

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Personally, I'd throw 'em away . . . compost 'em . . . or something like that.

Posted February 28, 2013 link

Why did I say that?  Because the OP wrote:

Dapuma Said:

I have a sealed bag of beans, they were roasted locally about 1-1.5 months ago

Posted February 28, 2013 link

After six weeks, I'd toss the beans . . .

Secondly, didn't I say

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Babbie's Rule* of Fifteens:
/////
* OK, so there are very few hard-and-fast "rules" -- more like "rules-of-thumb."

Posted February 28, 2013 link


Of course it's a rule of thumb!

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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takeshi
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 2:21pm
Subject: Re: How long will beans stay good for
 

Dapuma Said:

I have a sealed bag of beans, they were roasted locally about 1-1.5 months ago...are these going to make decent enough espresso or should I just use them for latte's and milk based drinks

Posted February 28, 2013 link

I wouldn't use them and I'm a latte drinker.  Poor espresso is poor espresso.  Milk make may poor espresso more palatable but it doesn't make for a good latte.

That said, do what works for you.  If you're happy with what's in the cup then that's all that matters.
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DavecUK
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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 5:21pm
Subject: Re: How long will beans stay good for
 

I think Illy believe that they might last years after roasting.....;-)
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