Old Crop Green Beans

ChocolatePot

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Jun 26, 2015
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Honolulu, Hawaii
I am brand new to this forum and I am by no means an expert coffee taster. I did however drink many good cups of espresso in Italy, and fine cups of coffee in France, when I was young.

I am also a senior citizen and my taste buds are not what they used to be. Like many seniors I now prefer sweet and mellow over acidity. And I love well made 70% cacao chocolate, if that helps with a question that follows later.

About 14 or 15 years ago I got interested in roasting green bean coffee but as life became very hectic at that time I gave up my interest nearly as soon as I started. I did however purchase a Hearthware Precision roasting machine, which still works like new. I have just recently been roasting the following beans as indicated, which I purchased from Sweet Maria's at that time. They are given a 48 to 72 hour rest after roasting in degassing bags. They have retained great character being close to the cupping reviews written at that time albeit somewhat mellower and less acidic, only the Sulawesi was not that interesting , but still considerably more interesting than a Starbucks brew. I use the "French Press" method to brew.

I live up at about a 1000 feet a short distance outside Honolulu with no air-conditioning, temperatures year round average 68 F (20C) - 78F (25.6C), humidity averages 78% at 7am and 68% at 1pm. The coffees have been kept together in their small muslin sacks for this 14+ year in a dark cupboard hidden from view until I recently rediscovered them.

I have read two conflicting opinions on old green beans, one that this would be too old and the other that it can help if stored properly. In my case it seems to have helped.

The question is why? Hope some of you experienced persons can help.

Here are the beans:

Sulawesi Toraja Boengie "Flat Bean" City+

Brazil Cerrado Monte Carmelo 17/18 - Full City

Yemen Mokha Sana'ani Saihi Type '99/00 City++ to Light Vienna 48 hours rest

Kenya AA - Auction Lot '00 Nyanja Estate City to Full City perhaps City+ is best

Guatemalan Oriente Finca Tres Marias 99/00 City

Peru Organic Cuzco '99/'00 City

Costa Rican Tarrazu La Pastora Estate '00 City+



Thank you to those who respond.
 
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peterjschmidt

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Oct 10, 2013
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Milwaukee, WI
Storing properly will help, but there is no way to store beans well enough that they will survive a 14-year hiatus.

That said, if you roast them and find them drinkable, then there's no reason for you to not enjoy them. You didn't say how much you have on hand of the old beans, but personally, I'd toss them or roast and donate them to a shelter or something like that, and start over. Of course it depends on your finances and level of frugality, and how well you like how they taste as well as how good your palate is. No doubt some of the people that will tell you past crop coffee is not worth roasting don't have the discernment of palate to recognize a past-crop coffee if it bit 'em in the ass.

The general rule of thumb is that coffee will begin losing some of its nuance after a year, with ~2 years being the limit. But they don't just fall off a cliff during that time.
 
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ChocolatePot

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peterjschmidt,

Thank you for your quick, informative, and kind reply. In future I will ensure that the beans are used as soon as possible and certainly within one year.

That said, these green beans themselves have no off smell. Once roasted and de-gassed they smell just as I remembered as a young child in Europe when I went to the coffee roasters shop with my father, that is to say wonderful.

The roast itself takes no longer or shorter than the times suggested, and recommended, for the type of roast selected, say City or City+, by persons with knowledge of this Hearthstone roasting machine. So I am assuming the moisture content in these hard dried beans must be fairly close to what they were 14+ years ago. And certainly, while the tastes and flavors are somewhat muted, they are still delicious and distinctive. If the oils had gone off would they not smell rancid?

I think that as a natural product if he quality is high enough to begin with, and stored properly (even by accident), it might be possible to enjoy it quite some time after its due by ate. The following are examples of this.

Thirty five years ago, in the UK, I was fortunate enough to have purchased a large number of vintage Cuban cigars, around 200 plus. They were over twenty years old they had been properly stored in an industrial cigar storage facility with controlled humidity. I only had to pay the many years of unpaid storage fees (minimal) and their very low original cost price to take possession. My dad a life-long premium Cuban cigar smoker, smoked most of them. He considered them the best smoking he had in his entire life, he lived to age eighty four.

Also in London around 1972 my best friend and I purchased, at a reputable auction house, a case of champagne, originally vintage 1942 and hidden from Nazis, and then re-labeled as a coronation bottle for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth. Sadly the contents of the bottle had turned the color of near dark chocolate despite them having been perfectly stored. Nevertheless we decided to try a bottle as we could not sell them on. Never in my life before or after have I drunk a champagne as delicious. It was smooth caramel rich yet still effervescent, tasted like sparkling creamy chocolate, it was better than....... We drank the entire case over the next few months despite a very very good offer from the head of a major champagne. But perfection has no price.

So in conclusion think I just got lucky with good tasting beans from Sweet Maria's, and possibly a great climate to store them in. Sadly if I did this again for fourteen or more years, I might be dead.
[h=2][/h]
 
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ChocolatePot

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However I did notice a couple of interesting things about these beans, one is that the purchase weight 14+ years ago and the current weight is the same. The other that after degassing for only 48 hours in most cases, sometimes 72, there seems to be no carbon dioxide (mild foam) release when brewing using modified French press method, nor "fizz". And yes I do use degassing bags.

Method used is medium grind just before making coffee, 4 minutes starting at 201F in glass pot, then stir to sink grounds, then wait 5 minutes, NO pressing just inserted just above coffee to catch grinds. Drink when temperature is comfortable.

Would a shortened degassing rest of 24 hours or less be better? I will try in a few days, maybe over the weekend, to roast and then immediately make coffee to see if any CO2 left. I will report back if anyone is interested.

And sorry no more Cubans, and the '29, '47, and '55 Lafites and d'Yquems have all been consumed!
 
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peterjschmidt

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And sorry no more Cubans, and the '29, '47, and '55 Lafites and d'Yquems have all been consumed!

Well then, I guess I'm done answering in this thread. :)






You're really in uncharted territory here BTW, so your own experimenting is all you'll have to go on.

CO2 being present is generally a detriment as it slightly prevents water from accessing the particles fully; that's why in a pourover they'll pour a small amount of water and let it bloom for 30sec. before adding all the water. Also, the off-gassing after roasting... it's the release of the CO2 that allows the flavor compounds in the bean come together for flavor completion.

In your case, I doubt that CO2 will have to be a consideration.
 

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