Storing green beans

Discussion of the merits of various green beans, where to obtain them, and how best to roast them.
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4vDesmo
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Storing green beans

Post by 4vDesmo » Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:40 pm

Well, not storing green beans the vegetable, storing unroasted coffee beans.

The greater the inventory poundage on my pantry shelf gets, the more I think about the storage issue. Like wine, I don't want to buy something great and then end up pouring it out because I waited too long. But I would like to be able to keep some favorites around.

How long is it reasonable to expect green coffee beans to keep and retain their quality? What is the best way to store them for best long-term results? Is the roast profile going to change as they age?

Steve

Niko

Post by Niko » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:06 pm

I have about 150lbs of green laying around. The SF Bay Area is a great climate to store coffee since the temps are pretty much the same year round. The sacks are laid out in a way so they can breathe (all burlap, no plastic) and none are resting on the floor and the room is fairly dark and the temperature is extremely stable as well as the humidity. Coffee can easily be stored for about 3 years with the only change I've noticed is more body gets developed over time. The roasting profiles are tweaked accordingly but not much.

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bbqnut
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Post by bbqnut » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:49 pm

For a lot of the fruitier coffees (like the dry processed Sidamo), I notice even after 6 months not having the same punch as when I first got them.

I also store them in similar conditions as Niko.

Something like a Bolivian doesn't have a lot of character to begin with, so it seems to keep longer, but it probably just has a lot less distance to fall.

So I would say it depends, but I am now not stockpiling the way I used to. I now try to keep my stash to 50 pounds or so (vs. the 150-200 before).

4vDesmo
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Post by 4vDesmo » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:49 pm

I'm wondering if I need to worry about the dry desert air. Cool and dark storage in my pantry should be fine, but the humidity is very low.

Is keeping the beans in a breathable storage (like burlap) preferable to a sealed container? Right now my beans are stored the way they shipped to me - either plastic bags or sealed foil.

Niko

Post by Niko » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:59 pm

That should be OK for short term storage, a month or so is OK in plastic, anything beyond that is preferred in the burlap.
The really dry air is better than really moist environments as well, you don't want stuff growing in your beans either.
If I move to a drier climate, the plan is to get some kind humidity control in one of the rooms (for the beans :D ).

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