Finding the Coffee Sweet Spot

A good cup of coffee...it doesn't get much better than that. If you're reading this blog, you're not the kind of person that settles for a cup of the ol' Folgers that's been rolling around in the cupboard since Chumbawamba had a hit song. No, you like something a little more special.

But here's the big question. Have you ever tried fresh roasted coffee? I'm not talking coffee that was roasted in the past 6 months, or even the past 2 months. I'm referring to coffee that was roasted only a few days before being in your hands. If you're a self-proclaimed coffee lover, and you've never tried fresh roasted coffee, its something you shouldn't miss out on. 

 Think fresh corn on the cob from the farmer's market versus canned corn from the grocery store.

Coffee has a vast variety of flavors and aromas, but over time those exciting nuances get less and less, until you're left with the stuff they serve at church potluck. I've never heard someone take a sip of that coffee and say "Mmmmm, I love the blueberry and chocolate notes I'm getting." While there are many reasons — the amount of time that passed between that coffee being roasted and arriving in your cup is months (maybe even more than a year). Anything exciting that was happening with that bean has long faded.

 The coffee sweet spot

However, there's always a caveat. Surely if coffee that was roasted 5 days ago is good, coffee roasted the same day must be AMAZING! Right? Not so much. After roasting, coffee goes through a period of "degassing." During this time, the beans are letting off large amounts of carbon dioxide. If you brew coffee during this period, you can get some unpleasant flavors and aromas. 

So, in summary (thank you high-school speech class) try to drink your coffee between 3-15 days from roast date for highest levels of awesome. This chunk of time between "too fresh" and stale is the coffee sweet spot.