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Home ::  About Coffee

About Coffee

Learn About Coffee

We take our job of importing, roasting, and delivering you fresh gourmet coffee very seriously. We certainly don't want to go through all of effort and not have you reap the rewards of an excellent cup. We know that what you do after that bag of gourmet coffee is delivered is vital to the integrity of the coffee, so let us help educate you.
and empower you with knowledge from our experts to ensure a perfect cup of delicious gourmet coffee every time.

Grinding Coffee

Grinding your beans just prior to brewing results in a much stronger and fresher flavor. The type of grind you use should correspond to the way you brew your coffee. You should use the finest grind possible for your brew method without going too fine. For example, if you use a very fine grind on a drip coffee maker, it can clog the filter, but if you use too fine a grind on a French press, the coffee can actually pass through the filter.

Brew Method Grind Setting
Drip brew Medium
Espresso Machine Fine
Permanent Filter or Vacuum Medium to Coarse
French Press Coarse

The Grinders

Blade Grinders

The word "blade grinder" is sort of a misnomer since there really is no actual grinding going on. This type of grinder is more like a blender for coffee beans. Blade grinders are very popular because they are cheap, readily available, and easy to use. However, blade grinders have serious drawbacks. First and foremost, they offer very little control. Basically, you are guessing how long you want the blades to hack the beans apart. Instead of a consistent, even grind, you can easily get chopped chunks mixed with powder. Also, blade grinders produce a lot of friction which produces heat. Heat actually starts to rob your coffee of it's aroma and essences before it's even brewed. Grind your coffee with a blade for long enough, and you may even be able to detect a "burnt" taste.

Burr Grinders

The best and most common burr grinder is a conical burr grinder. These devices actually crush the beans between a moving surface and a non-moving surface. The positioning on the burr is what regulates the ground size, which allows for a more consistent grind. Since the beans are being crushed rather than sliced, there is not a noticeable increase in heat when using a burr grinder, so there will not be a burned taste or a loss in flavor.

Coffee roasters and commercial coffee companies use burr grinders, and they are available in all sizes from large commercial grinders to countertop models. While you could get away with using a blade grinder for brewing coffee in a drip machine using paper filters, you should certainly only use a burr grinder if you are brewing coffee with a French press or using a permanent filter.

Storing Coffee

The enemies of roasted coffee are moisture, air, light, and heat. Do you know the best way to avoid these potential contaminants? To find the answer to the age-old question of "Should I freeze my coffee?" and learn the best ways to keep your gourmet coffee fresher for longer. Read on below.

There are popular misconceptions on the way roasted coffee should be stored and maintained. The enemies of roasted coffee are moisture, air, light, and heat. Storing your coffee away from them will keep it fresher longer. Therefore, an airtight container stored in a cool, dry, dark place is the best environment for your coffee.

Freezing Coffee - Not as Good as an Iced Mocha

Some people store their coffee in the freezer thinking it is going to keep the coffee fresh. Here are a couple of reasons why storing coffee in your freezer is a bad idea:
  • Coffee is porous. This is a good thing for fans of flavored coffee as the beans absorb the coffee flavoring syrups and oils that are used to make flavored coffee. However, if given the chance, coffee can also absorb other things like the flavor of seafood or the moisture that your freezer produces. This moisture will in turn deteriorate the coffee and even make it taste like, well... like a freezer.
  • When coffee is roasted, the beans release their oils and essences to give the coffee its distinct flavor. You'll notice these oils are more prominent on dark-roasted coffee and espresso. When you break down these oils by freezing, you are removing the flavor.
Think about it...if coffee tasted better and fresher from the freezer, then you would buy it in the frozen food section, your local coffee shop might look more like an ice cream parlor, and our power bills would be through the roof trying to maintain a meat-locker the size of a warehouse.

When to Freeze Coffee

How long does coffee stay fresh? A good rule to use is two weeks. Now, if you happen to have found a great price on bulk coffee, and you don't plan on using it within two weeks, the freezer can be an acceptable one-time shot. What this means is that once you take it out of the freezer, it should never go back in. The constant changes in temperature will wreak havoc on your coffee. The frozen moisture on your coffee will melt and be absorbed into the bean. When you put it back into the freezer, you are repeating the process.

The goal in freezing coffee is to keep it away from moisture. If you have a five-pound bag of coffee to store, divide it up into weekly portions. Wrap those portions up using sealable freezer bags and plastic wrap. I've even read you should go so far as to suck out the excess air from the freezer bag using a straw!

Remove the weekly portion when you need it, and store it in an air-tight container in a dry place like your pantry. Do not put it back into the freezer!

When to Refrigerate Coffee

Never, unless you are conducting a science experiment on how long it takes to ruin perfectly good coffee. The fridge is one of the absolute worst places to put coffee.

Buy whole beans and keep them whole as long as you can.

Would you cut a cake into pieces the day before you plan to serve it? Would you buy it pre-sliced? Of course not! The pieces would quickly become stale and the frosting would start to dry out. The same goes for coffee. Grinding the coffee breaks up the beans and their oils, exposes the beans to air, and makes the coffee go stale a lot faster, no matter how you store it.

This holds especially true for flavored coffees!

For the best tasting coffee, buy your beans whole and store them in a sealed container in a dark place. Grind right before serving.

Vacuum-sealed coffee

Vacuum-sealed coffee does not equal fresh coffee. When coffee is roasted, it releases carbon dioxide and continues to release it for days afterward. Fresh-roasted coffee can be packaged in valve-sealed bags to allow the gasses to escape and will taste best about 48 hours after roasting. To be vacuum sealed, the coffee has to first release all its CO² or it will burst the bag. The vacuum bag will indeed help preserve coffee longer while it ships and maybe sits on a store shelf, but before it shipped it had to sit around for a while before it was "sealed for freshness." Vacuum sealing is best for pre-ground coffee, which we already know is not going to taste as good as fresh-ground coffee.

A quick review for serving the best coffee:

  1. Buy whole beans directly from a coffee roaster if possible.
  2. Look for valve-sealed bags, not vacuum-sealed.
  3. Store your coffee beans in a sealed container in a dark place.
  4. Grind your beans just before brewing.
  5. Enjoy!