The Dirty Portafilter

My corner of the Internet, mostly espresso related but occasionally life will interfere.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Importance of Fresh Roasted Beans


I see questions about bean freshness or the occasional ‘help new machine but no crema’ post in just about every coffee/espresso forum I frequent. I am surprised by the number of people that purchase a $1000+ espresso machine but continue to purchase beans from the local grocery store. No matter how expensive you machine is or how good your grinder, old stale beans are incapable of producing an acceptable shot.

Fore those of you that are new to the espresso world, and those veterans that have forgotten how bad it can be, here is a short post with a few photos to help reinforce the importance of fresh roasted beans. Keep in mind that these photos are from beans that are no older than 7 days out of the roaster. The beans are ground in a Mazzer Mini and with the exception of one photo, all pulled from an Isomac Millennium. The one odd ball photo is me pulling a shot on my Gaggia Factory lever machine with beans ground in a Gaggia MDF (that is my office setup).

My tale begins tonight. I have been in Toledo on business all week so I was unable to roast any coffee. I ordered some Code Brown from Coffee Emergency Wednesday. My package was due this Friday, however Friday being a national Holliday the post office was closed. So I worked around the house today while I anxiously awaited my package. I waited, and waited, and waited, but still no delivery and it was now almost 5pm. Having not had a drink of coffee or espresso for a week, I was desperate. So having abandoned hope, I hopped in the car and ran down to Kroger’s.

Yes, I know, coffee from Kroger’s, nothing good can come of that, but like I said, I was desperate. So I picked up a bag of the freshest thing they had and rushed home to make a cappuccino.I dumped the little charcoal brickets into my Mazzer and ground away. It took about three shots to get the grind dialed in. I was getting a 2oz shot 28 seconds, pretty much perfect timing. Now for those of you with a weak constitution, you may want to look away. Here is what I got.

To contrast that, here are a few shots of some shots from beans that are between 4 and 7 days out of the roaster.

Blend #10





Blend #22


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