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Old 05-31-2011, 08:05 PM
Kid at Heart Kid at Heart is offline
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Default Can Ground Coffee Be Stored?



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I was just reading some posts on buying green coffee beans. One big issue is storage life of ground coffee. But can we do better than what comes on the grocery shelf? I currently buy plastic "cans" of coffee that appear to be atmospheric pressure sealed. I miss the old days of vaccuum sealed cans. I loved the aroma as the can was pierced!

Having said that, I have a stash of store bought ground coffee. At the rate I drink coffee, I think I have a two year supply, working on 42 month supply. I'm an armegeddon freak!

Why can't I decant my coffee into quart canning jars and gas flush them? Or use an oxygen absorber? I do that with my flour!

David
Old 05-31-2011, 08:39 PM
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If it can't then that 5 gallon bucket I got hiding is going to the pigs....lol
Old 05-31-2011, 08:44 PM
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I buy ground coffee via mail order, and I order a large supply (at least a year) at a time to save on shipping.

I've never had a problem. Just keep it cool and sealed.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:48 PM
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Anything ground is not going to keep as well as if it was left whole. Grinding increases the surface area, which increases exposure to O2. But even left whole, roasted coffee beans don't store terribly well. The easy way is to store unroasted green coffee beans and roast them as you need them. They store very well long term. And roasting them is such a simple process that you can do it over a basic campfire or anything else.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:21 PM
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I've been working on learning to roast green coffee beans with the specific goal of storing perhaps 20 pounds of such beans as long-term preps.

It's *my* comfort food.

I have a local coffee shop that buys green beans and roasts them; he'll sell me Columbian beans for a very good price, if I buy in bulk. I'll store them in mylar bags w/ O2 absorbers, probably a pound per bag (but that depends on circumstances). I may also store them in smaller bags for the potential of barter.

Roasting the beans has been a bit of a challenge--I've roasted them in a pan on a stove, and in the oven. They smoke! It's an issue. Doing it over a campfire would not have that problem, of course, but I've been able to make it work in a pan.

I roasted some of the Columbian beans today (have a sample), and they turned out pretty well. I talked to my guy at the coffee shop, and he said I didn't quite get them fully roasted. There's a process the beans go through as they roast, something called "first crack" and then "second crack," which are signals as to the progress of the roast.

First crack: Water in the beans flashing to steam, causes the hull of the bean to come off. Second crack is a carmelizing of the bean (if I remember his explanation correctly), and that's what I didn't quite get to.

Still, it was eminently drinkable, after grinding up.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goose3 View Post
Still, it was eminently drinkable, after grinding up.
I've made just about every mistake there is to make in roasting coffee save starting a fire. Keep working at it. The smoke is a real pain in the neck even with my fancy roaster with smoke suppression. The smoke detectors go off every time I roast, unless I roast in the laundry room (which I now do). I have seen a number of homemade roasters on YouTube that were genius. Or you could try a hot air popper (not my favorite method) or an old fashion stove top popcorn popper (with the lid and stirring handle). I've heard the stove tops work pretty well, but the smoke is still awful!

BTW depending on the coffee you are roasting, going into second crack might not give the best flavor. You should roast it the way you like it, which means you have to experiment. Most Columbians do well between first and second crack. I normally stop the roast when I hear the first few cracks of second crack because I like coffee that is roasted darker. The problem is that darker roasts can hide some of the lighter, more interesting flavors behind the taste of smoke and charcoal if you roast too dark. Coffee has a tendency to "coast" past the point at which you want it to stop. It's some nonsense about thermal mass.

Anyway, good luck and keep at it.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:52 PM
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I've seen people write that they can't taste the difference between coffee they bought last week and coffee they've had in storage for 10 years. To me that is like saying you can't taste the difference between brown rice you bought last week and brown rice you had in storage for 10 years. The oils in brown rice go rancid fairly fast. Similarly, the oils in coffee go rancid. Moreover, there are volatile oils that basically evaporate. Once those aromatic oils are gone, a lot of the flavor goes too.

If you are satisfied with store bought coffee, I wouldn't store more than a year's worth, and I would try to buy it whole bean. Get a decent burr grinder and you're good to go.

But if you want to try a new hobby, going with green coffee beans is great! I really enjoy it, both as a learning pursuit and as a finished product.
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:56 PM
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I roast mine in a whirly pop, bought 1 unused this weekend at a garage sale for a $1

Also I roast mine in the garage on a single hot plate, picked up a candy thermometer at the thrift store for like a buck. Pour green beans in a 475 degrees and turn whirly pop for 7-11 minutes then 1st crack short time later 2nd crack then pull off and cool quickly. I use a small led flashlight to check bean color. I have fan at end of garage and I used 2 metal colanders to pour them back and forth until cooled.

Also get a conical burr ginders like zassenhaus, I love mine, dont want electrical as it "cuts" the beans and builds up heat as a conical grinder does not.

I would not go back to like "folgers" or any other. Once you have freshly roasted coffee beans all others taste spoiled.

Also let roasted beans sit for 24 hours after roasting for all co2 to excape

After I roast coffee beans and bring them in the house they smell like you could eat them, and ground coffee beans smell like someone just made a pot of coffee!
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goose3 View Post
I've been working on learning to roast green coffee beans with the specific goal of storing perhaps 20 pounds of such beans as long-term preps.

It's *my* comfort food.

I have a local coffee shop that buys green beans and roasts them; he'll sell me Columbian beans for a very good price, if I buy in bulk. I'll store them in mylar bags w/ O2 absorbers, probably a pound per bag (but that depends on circumstances). I may also store them in smaller bags for the potential of barter.

Roasting the beans has been a bit of a challenge--I've roasted them in a pan on a stove, and in the oven. They smoke! It's an issue. Doing it over a campfire would not have that problem, of course, but I've been able to make it work in a pan.

I roasted some of the Columbian beans today (have a sample), and they turned out pretty well. I talked to my guy at the coffee shop, and he said I didn't quite get them fully roasted. There's a process the beans go through as they roast, something called "first crack" and then "second crack," which are signals as to the progress of the roast.

First crack: Water in the beans flashing to steam, causes the hull of the bean to come off. Second crack is a carmelizing of the bean (if I remember his explanation correctly), and that's what I didn't quite get to.

Still, it was eminently drinkable, after grinding up.
Hi Goose3,

I just replied to another post( http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...3&postcount=35 ) with similar questions. To keep it short, I'd advise against storing green coffee in mylar, everything I've learned about coffee in the past several years indicates green coffee needs to breathe.

One of my favorite learning centers for coffee are the forums at www.coffeegeek.com I think I'll post some questions over there in the next day or so to see what sort of responses I can get in regards to long term storage of greens.

My personal experience is that after aprox 2 years, the varietal (regional) characteristics of the coffee tend to diminish. That's not to say the coffee isn't palatable, it is, and it's actually very good when compared to the "Juan Valdez" style of coffee we grew up on... Lets just says it's past the expiration date

David
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:07 PM
rextex rextex is offline
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Many people say it can't be kept but I opened some recently that I've had stored for little over five years and it was as good as what I bought a few weeks ago.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:15 PM
Kid at Heart Kid at Heart is offline
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Coffee is going to be one of my comfort foods at the BOL. I used to drink a bottomless cup of coffee (at the restaurant) all night long with my friends, when I was younger. Now I can only drink about 3 mugs before my digestion suffers. I was planning on cutting back to 2 for appearance's sake, at the BOL.

But back to the discussion at hand. Whole wheat flour goes rancid because oxygen gets to the oil in the flour. Whole grain wheat stores for decades without treatment. So the trick seems to find a way to keep oxygen away from the oils in products, even vegetable oils. I have a source for dry ice. I've even thought about putting a teaspoon of dry ice in the bottom of a quart jar, filling the jar with coffee, putting the lid on loose, and waiting until the dry ice is vaporised to close the lid down. A friend is concerned about dry ice damaging product.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:33 PM
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It may be time to do some experiments with coffee storage. Some green coffee suppliers are experimenting with vacuum sealing for long term storage, but all of them (that I looked at) currently recommend storing in paper or burlap for long term storage. Mikek has been storing in mylar for a while. Do you have any observations that might help? For those interested I found this interesting article on growing your own coffee trees from green coffee beans: Growing Coffee Trees.

Sorry for hijacking the ground coffee storage thread!
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:34 PM
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I've drank coffee that was opened and 10 years old. Perfectly fine. Sealed you'd run out long before it went bad.
Old 05-31-2011, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJ View Post
I'd advise against storing green coffee in mylar, everything I've learned about coffee in the past several years indicates green coffee needs to breathe.
How to store it for long-term then? Seal it in mylar w/o O2 absorbers? What other way should I look at storing it?
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:45 PM
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I think the coffee that you buy in a bag already ground or in a plastic container or can is already stale and that is what you are used to. So having it two years later really does not change much. I can tell a difference between a large grind and using a boudum or using a coffee maker and I prefer the first over the later.
Old 06-01-2011, 12:12 AM
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DavidJ, you caused me to do some internet searching. I'm confused now, as some of the sites I see recommend storage so the green coffee beans can breathe, but others, like this, advocate for a nitrogen-flushed mylar-storage approach:

Our unroasted coffee beans are packaged in mylar, metallic oxygen-barrier bags, and then nitrogen-flushed to ensure freshness. It has been proven that a nitrogen-flushed environment is the best way to store green coffee beans prior to home coffee roasting.(http://morecoffee.com/search/102474/

and this:

Daterra was the first farm in the world to start with nitrogen-flushing and vacuum packing their green coffee. By now lots of other farms are following suit and many of the best specialty roasters refuse to store coffee in jute sacks. http://coffeecollective.blogspot.com...it-part-3.html


I'm not trying to pick a fight here, just trying to find a way to store coffee for the long term, and O2 absorbers in mylar is analogous to nitrogen flushing.

Any insight you can provide will be appreciated!
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:19 AM
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unroasted and unground they will keep alot longer and when i visited a coffe plantation in costa rica I was suprised at the low temps cofee will roast at i think depending on the recipy its as low as 150 degree all the way to 300 ish so you could hypotheticaly get whole beans and roast em yourself in your oven
Old 06-01-2011, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rextex View Post
Many people say it can't be kept but I opened some recently that I've had stored for little over five years and it was as good as what I bought a few weeks ago.
How did you store it?
Old 06-01-2011, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Survivalguy72 View Post
I've drank coffee that was opened and 10 years old. Perfectly fine. Sealed you'd run out long before it went bad.

I got a great deal on cans of Folgers about 12 years ago ....... slowly rotating thru them ....... good vac seal and tastes great ......

I buy jars of instant coffee at the dollar store for a $1 ....... great barter item and a hedge against inflation & C A / Africa instability ........
Old 06-01-2011, 03:31 PM
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Exactly. Unless you were storing 20 years worth of coffee which would require it's own room, you will rotate or use it up before it could ever go bad. And that goes for just about all preps. Speaking of instant. I have a jar in my cabinet that expired in 1999. Still smells fresh as a baby's bottom.
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