Green Beans Gone Bad

Discussion of the merits of various green beans, where to obtain them, and how best to roast them.
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Green Beans Gone Bad

Post by Endo » Sun May 09, 2010 6:55 pm

Hey all you roasters out there. Can you tell me how I can tell in the cup if the green beans I've been using are stale (i.e. beyond the typical 18 month expiry)?

I seem to notice a lack of crema and grounds fluffiness on my most recent roast and I'm wondering if the bean age is to blame.

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Re: Green Beans Gone Bad

Post by JohnB » Mon May 10, 2010 9:12 pm

I would imagine you would notice a big difference in the taste. Fruit fading, ect. I vac bag & freeze my greens so even after 1 year they still taste like they did when I bought them.
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Re: Green Beans Gone Bad

Post by Ch83 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:01 pm

Looks like I will resurrect an old post but have a question on the subject. How long do everyone find an acceptable time for green beans to roast before they lose too much of their profile. Under non vacuum sealed conditions. I also assume the 18mo mentioned is from harvest/lot date? Thanks

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Re: Green Beans Gone Bad

Post by peter » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:02 am

I think 18 months is a good guideline. If you started using the beans at 18mos. and didn't have a reference point of what the beans were from the start, you might not notice anything wrong w/ them. In my bean bunker, high humidity is the main culprit, so I vac-seal my stash. I just roasted some El Salvador CoE from 3 years ago that was vac-sealed the whole time, and it's still wonderful. In many ways, the degradation of the green beans mimics the staling of roasted coffee; you know it's happening, but it's not like it falls off a cliff. IOW, if 18 months is the spot you think it's failing, it was alread beginning before that and will continue tapering off, but it's not like you have to throw the beans out at 18mos.

You are correct, that the clock should start ticking from when the beans are processed, not just when they arrived at the importer or when they were purchased from the importer. That's usually a shot in the dark, because we only know the approximate harvest and shipping schedules.

And for those who roast decaf, they have roughly one third to one half the shelf life of regular greens.
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