I get asked the same question every day: “What’s the easiest way to make the best coffee?” And I give the same answer every single day: buy fresh coffee!
If your coffee is bitter, burned, dull, and disappointing, you’re going to have a hard time feeling the richness of life while you’re drinking it - and that needs to change!
There are a lot of ways to make drinking coffee a more rewarding and fulfilling experience, but the easiest and most dramatic one actually has to do with the coffee itself, not how you make it.
Fresh coffee is the best coffee. Without fresh coffee, no brewing tricks or fancy machines will be able to help you get the coffee quality you deserve.
Freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee are ripe for drinking because all of the flavors and aromas are wonderfully preserved for you to experience. Is provides a moment of tranquility that awakens your senses and an occasion for gratitude.
Fresh coffee is more than the best coffee. It’s an avenue for you to experience life in a vibrant way.
Fresh Coffee Is Rich With Flavors And Aromas
It’s very important to remember that coffee beans come from a plant that is rooted in the ground. They aren’t produced in a factory. They aren’t a creative invention. They are seeds inside a living cherry. Let that sink in.
Just like with any agricultural product, coffee doesn’t remain fresh forever. And just like every other natural food product, it’s best when it’s extremely fresh.
It’s not a super-processed food that can keep its flavor forever, and it’s definitely not a plastic that can sit on the shelf for decades and never change. Coffee beans are organic; they change and decay over time (like all good things).
Have you ever had coffee that tasted like blueberries, oranges, roses, or jasmine? These flavors are actually aromas being given off by the coffee’s natural oils. When these aromas enter your mouth in the form of coffee, they rise up into your nasal passage and your brain interprets them as rich flavors.
Fresh coffee is abounding in aromas, but pre-ground and stale coffee lets them all loose long before you’re ready to experience them.
Coffee cells break down over time, just like anything that’s organic. As they decay, the flavor of the brewed coffee becomes less clear and more muddy. The sweetness and acidity fade away into a dull soupy flavor. Yuck!
When high-quality coffee is well grown, well roasted, fresh out of the roaster and freshly ground, the flavor possibilities can be astounding.
Fruits like blackberries, mangos, and grapefruit make appearances. Rose, jasmine, and other sweet floral notes show up. Pleasant woody and earthy notes are pleasant and balanced. The sugars are vivid and ripe, tasting like honey, cane sugar, or brown sugar. The acidity is crisp and refreshing.
Simply put, fresh coffee is exploding with flavor. That’s what we’re all after!
How Coffee Goes Stale
When green coffee beans are roasted, thousands of chemical reactions take place, altering the beans rapidly and significantly. The sugars caramelize, the aromas are unlocked, and the flavor develops.
Carbon dioxide trapped within the coffee begins to seep out rapidly immediately after roasting. As the gas forces its way to the surface of the bean, it pushes some of the natural coffee oils with it. This results in two things:
- The aromatic coffee oils become more easily evaporable now that they are closer to the surface of the beans, which means those aromas will fly away more quickly.
- The empty space that once contained the carbon dioxide is now free for oxygen to invade, causing the beans to enter a new stage of decay.
Generally, roasted coffee is at peak freshness for only about two weeks. Well-packaged coffee can keep oxygen out of the beans while letting the CO2 out, but as soon as you open that bag, oxidation will begin.
Oxidation Kills Coffee (And Everything Else)
When an electron is stolen from one atom by another, the original atom becomes fundamentally different and behaves erratically, damaging other atoms around it. We call this process oxidation.
With hot materials, oxidation produces fire. With some metals, oxidation produces rust. With food, oxidation brows apples, hardens bread, and stales coffee.
Oxidation happens all around us and is largely the reason we lose enjoyment in older foods. Is your cereal not as flavorful as it was? Has it lost its crisp texture? Oxidation. Have your bananas become mushy and brown? Oxidation? Is your coffee lacking any zing or brightness? Oxidation.
With coffee specifically, oxidation breaks down the cells walls, altering the flavor of the coffee dramatically. That refreshing sweetness and crisp acidity in fresh coffee becomes a muddle swamp of dull and bitter flavors.
That’s not what you’re interested in spending time and money on. You deserve better!
For pre-ground coffee, it’s even worse. Since the beans are ground to small particles, it doesn't take the carbon dioxide long to exit, and it doesn’t take long for oxygen to find its way in. Once coffee is ground, it only has about 30 minutes until the flavors are disappointingly different.
This is why a burr grinder is the most important coffee investment you could make: grinding coffee just before you brew is a non-negotiable when it comes to freshness.
Stale Or Satisfying?
The choice is yours: will you take a few extra minutes to seek out the freshest coffee you can, or will you fall back into habits that result in dull, stale coffee?
If you’re ready to experience coffee at its very best, you want to make sure the beans you're buying are as fresh as possible.
We send our Coffee Club subscribers their specialty-grade beans just two hours after they're roasted. That means they receive the beans 1-3 days later, which rivals the freshness of buying direct from a local roaster (and for many, it even beats them in terms of freshness).
But freshness isn't the only thing we strive to protect. Our beans are sourced from some of the best, most sustainably-minded farms in the world. Most of our beans are either organically grown, bird-friendly certified, or rainforest alliance certified. Our farm partners love growing not only delicious, but ethical coffee.
You simply cannot beat these freshly roasted beans. Period. Taste it for yourself.