Back to the Basics
Today, there are endless options when it comes to coffee. With coffee shops popping up everywhere, styles and combinations abound. One of our main passions is bringing coffee back to the basics and using quality ingredients for every step. If your main ingredients are not delicious on their own, your coffee is not what it could be, no matter what creamer, sweetener, or syrup you add. It all boils down to two things: water and beans.
Water is the most important ingredient in coffee. If your water is highly chlorinated (city water) or hard (well water), chemicals and minerals will mask the flavor of the coffee. Using a water filter would definitely improve the taste of your coffee! In our experience, brewing the same coffee with great tasting water versus unfiltered tap water makes a big difference! Try using a good purified water to make your coffee and see what you think.
Finding a kind of coffee that you like is definitely important, but freshness of the beans is also crucial. One of the questions we hear regularly is, "How long until my coffee is rancid?" Honestly, the answer to that is somewhat subjective. Before coffee is roasted, it is green. In that state it can stay fresh for a really long time. There are stories of people finding green coffee beans in tombs that are over 100 years old, roasting them up, and saying the coffee tastes great. Roasting, however, changes the bean chemically and starts a chemical reaction. The roasted bean slowly releases carbon dioxide for about 7 days. If the coffee is ground, the carbon dioxide will release in about 12-24 hours (which is why grinding the beans as you use them is best). After the carbon dioxide is released, oxygen from the air will start to oxidize the coffee, making it stale.
"So my coffee is bad after a week? You're such a coffee snob!" is usually what I hear next. Truthfully, the coffee does start becoming stale, but this is a process. Think of it like bread. A loaf of french bread doesn't go from soft and pillowy to being able to be used as a hammer over night! Rather, it progressively gets more stale over time. The same is true of coffee, which is definitely drinkable as it becomes stale, but is not as appealing as fresh roasted. With this perspective, you can be the judge of how old is too old for you.