Smaller Bag, Better Brew?
The sizes of coffee we offer come with a discount the larger size you purchase, which is common in the world of coffee. So why would you choose to buy a smaller bag? Well, you may just be eager to try each of our many beans, grinds and roasts before committing to a larger bag. But there is another reason, it is both significant and scientific and can improve your coffee drinking experience.
While much of a coffee's distinctive qualities are determined by where it's grown and how it's processed, the bulk of coffee flavor comes from roasting. If you've had the chance to take in the smell of unroasted or green coffee, you'll recall how the aroma more closely resembles fresh produce and green peppers than a fresh brewed cuppa. That warm, deeply sweet smell of a newly opened bag of coffee? It's the product of artisan roasting. That being said, roasting is also the chief culprit behind coffee going stale. During the roasting process, the beans lose mass and become more porous, making it easier for aromatics to escape the coffee. Easier to smell and enjoy. Easier to lose.
According to Professor Chahan Yeretzian, the head of the Coffee Excellence Center at the Zurich University of Applied Science, "The aroma of the roasted bean... if you measure it, you see a loss of freshness between a few days"
But, in the pursuit of peak flavor, there is more than aroma to consider. The immense heat of roasting breaks down sugars and amino acids into carbon dioxide. In the first few days, the build-up of CO2 can significantly affect brewing, making it much harder to get a tasty cup. The coffee has to rest and de-gas before it becomes easy to brew. From Professor Yeretzian, "In the first week, [the coffee] evolves every day... from a CO2 perspective the first week is quite dynamic. I wouldn't think of it as aging; it's more a calming down." For coffee lovers seeking the most flavor, you should aim to balance the degassing of CO2 with the loss of important aromatics. For darker roasted coffees, this period usually starts after the first few days after roasting*. For lighter roasted coffees, it's a good idea to wait a little longer before diving in, say 5-10 days. This is because dark roast coffees are more porous than light roast after spending more time in the roaster.
It's important to consider how you'll be enjoying your coffee as well. For more gentle brew methods like drip or pour over, you can start using your favorite coffees a little earlier. For espresso, it's important to give the coffee a bit more time to rest before subjecting it to an intense, pressurized brewing environment.
*Something to consider: a very dark roasted coffee will have oils on the surface of the beans. This exposure of the coffee oils to air leads to fast oxidation of those oils, which can cause rancid flavors. Another good reason to not wait to brew your favorite dark roast.
All of this information is the reason there is a one way valve on our bags. To allow CO2 to escape, while blocking oxidation-causing air to enter. Interestingly , coffees that are packed in a vacuum bag are not meant to promote freshness, simply prolong the risk of it going rancid.
So, when deciding which size of coffee to buy, think about how much you drink: We do not recommend ordering more than you can drink in a month. So a smaller sized bag will stay fresh for the longest amount of time until the bag is finished.
A 2oz bag is perfect for a few cups if you just want to try a new brew. At a conservative single cup of coffee per day, a 12oz bag will last you roughly 20 days. If you drink two or more cups per day you may opt for several 12oz bags of different varieties to enjoy for the month. A 1lb bag will last about a month. A family of coffee lovers can easily work through a 2lb bag in several weeks. Our subscription service allows for you to have a fresh variety of coffee delivered to your door every month, even weekly by special request.
We do not offer expedited shipping because our free ground shipping gives the coffee the exact amount of time to de-gas before arrival and our size options allow you to enjoy a fresh cup until your bag is empty!