After cooldown, open air or vented bag?

Opportunity

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Feb 24, 2005
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I've been using a stovetop popcorn popper to roast ever since my Hearthware iRoast died. It's more arm work, but can make a pound at a time, and I'm able to have much better control over the roast.

Everyone always says (and I agree from experience), that fresh roasted coffee is at it's flavor peak 48ish hours after you roast it. But after the coffee is fully cooled off, does exposure to air make it worse or better for those 48 hours?

I roast twice a week, so I'm not letting it go more than 4 days ever, but I store it in an air tight vented bag for those 3-4 days. Am I not giving it the 48ish hour air time it needs to achieve full flavor, or is it better unexposed to fresh air but sitting in a vacuum for those 48 hours?
 

ElPugDiablo

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Jul 16, 2004
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Hartford and New Haven, CT
The time between roasting and brewing is to let roasted beans de-gas, not to let coffee have any air time. But if you are using yours up within 4 days, I don't think it would make much difference.
 

BeanGrinder

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Aug 11, 2004
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North Georgia, USA
Yeah, I agree with Pug. If you are brewing your coffee within four days of roasting there isn't much to worry about. To address your question, the advantage of a valved bag is that the one-way design will let gas escape, but not let much air in. Air and moisture are the coffee bean's worst enemy. So, keep your beans in a closed container as you use them over the four days.

Think of coffee beans like senior citizens...they prefer to live in warm, dry climates and STILL like to be wrapped up. Although coffee beans don't play shuffle board they do scream when you pour boiling hot water on them.

-BG
 
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Opportunity

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Feb 24, 2005
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Ha!

I actually finally did a taste test. Roasted up a pound, let half of it sit out open, put the other half in a vented bag as soon as it fully cooled, maybe 30-45 minutes.

Even just 24 hours later, the coffee that was left out in the open tasted duller and flatter than the bagged version from the same exact roast. Still better than anything you'd get in a store, but the bagged version had an extra level of "complexity" that made the open air coffee seem to lack some special magic.

Same result after 48 hours. So yeah, bag your coffee. ;)
 

BeanGrinder

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Aug 11, 2004
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North Georgia, USA
Yet another disadvantage of leaving the beans exposed to the open air is that you might allow airborne particles, aromas, etc., to affect the beans.

Mason jars? Whatever.
 

Fresh Roaster

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Jun 30, 2006
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Just remember if you use bags that seal completely without a valve like a ziplock, put a pinhole or two in it. The main reason those bags have valves is they tend to tear the seam or explode as the gas expands the bag. You learn these things after your first five pound bag ends up on the shop floor. :oops:
 
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