When you roast your coffee beans at home are you eager to brew coffee right after to experience the freshest cup possible? Hold on just a moment. While it may seem like the logical thing to do, brewing coffee immediately after roasting is not recommended by experts.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into why you should avoid brewing coffee right after roasting and explore the optimal waiting time to brew a delicious cup of coffee. We’ll break down the many intricacies involved in roasting and degassing coffee beans too.
Can you Brew Coffee Right After Roasting?
If you really want your coffee to taste fresh with a proper, distinct flavor profile, then you should not brew immediately after roasting the coffee beans. When you roast the beans, a chemical process takes place. Carbon Dioxide gas (CO2) forms inside the beans. After the roasting process is complete, the beans are filled with CO2, waiting to cool down and begin the release of CO2. This process of allowing the CO2 to release is called degassing and is highly important to observe when considering flavor.
The beans will be too fresh to brew before the degassing process is complete, giving a flavor equivalent to stale or flat-tasting coffee, sometimes with high notes of acidity, which is why the wait after roasting coffee beans is so necessary. However, not all the carbon dioxide needs to exit the beans. It’s a fine balancing act that we shall cover more about shortly.
Do Coffee Beans Need to Breathe?
Coffee beans should be allowed to breathe only during the degassing process. During this process, it is necessary for the beans to breathe to let out excess CO2 coming from the roasted beans. However, oxidization after the degassing process is complete is what will cause your beans to go stale. This process should never occur. The reactive effects oxygen has when in contact with the oils of the beans is what makes them lose much of their flavor and eventually go stale.
After degassing, roasted coffee beans should not interact with oxygen and moisture at all, and should be stored well in an airtight container.
How Long Should Coffee Rest After Roasting?
There really isn’t any fixed amount of time to let your roasted beans rest, as this is determined by multiple factors. The resting time after roasting, also called degassing time, varies primarily when it comes to the size of your beans and how you intend to brew the beans.
If you’re planning to brew for a french press, then 72 hours of resting time would be ideal to get the full flavor of a dark roast found in french press. Lighter roasted beans, ideal for brewing for drip and pour-overs, could take up to a week to degas well enough for brewing methods that have quicker extractions. To get the best extraction for espressos, you would need to let the beans rest for at least 7 days, but it may take you closer to 12 days for the best extraction.
At the end of the day, it all depends on the coffee you buy. Sometimes, you might have to keep checking on the beans and determine for yourself when you think it’s right for your brewing method.
Should You Speed up Coffee Degassing?
Degassing is important not only to make your roasted beans less acidic and drinkable but also to make them suitable to brew for a certain style of coffee. As mentioned earlier, degassing determines the efficiency of the extraction process, and the amount of time the beans are given to degas will determine the type of brew it is right for.
Therefore, speeding up the degassing process won’t give you a very flavorful cup of coffee and may cause trouble when extracting flavors, depending on your chosen brewing method. One important tip is always to make sure to have in mind what type of coffee you want to make before the degassing process begins.
How Do You Tell When Degassing is Complete?
It is kind of tricky to know when exactly the degassing process is complete, but if you follow the suggested times for degassing it will give you a decent idea of what to look for in the final stage of your beans. Judging by the color of the beans (light, medium, or dark roast) is the easiest way to identify the completion of the degassing process. For darker roasts, the degassing time is generally much shorter than lighter roasts due to a longer extraction time while brewing. The lighter the roast, the shorter amount of time it will take for extraction, but a much longer duration for degassing.
Another way to tell if the degassing process is complete is by placing your beans inside a resealable plastic bag or a zip-lock bag. Leave it overnight. If the bag puffs up during this time, then you know that they are still degassing. However, judging it by color and following the suggested degassing time periods for each brew method are more efficient ways of getting accurate brews.
How Long After Roast Date Is Coffee Good?
After the roasting process is done, your beans will begin to age progressively. The degassing stage is essential in getting flavorful and drinkable coffee no matter the number of days required, but any further oxidization beyond this stage will determine the freshness of your coffee.
It is very recommended to store your coffee beans properly, after degassing, to keep them from interacting with oxygen and moisture in the air. If the coffee is stored well, then you can keep it for up to 6 weeks before it loses all flavor and becomes stale. However, if the beans are ground, then they may not last as long.
Though many roast and grind their own coffee, some may prefer to buy freshly roasted beans and use a grind and brew coffee machine. A bag will have a roast date on it to help you know how long you have until it goes stale. If you want to roast beans at home, you can either use a heavy pan on a stove or use a home coffee roaster machine. The former is less expensive but isn’t as easy to control even roasting of beans.
How to Degas Coffee Beans and Store Them
Use a Coffee Bag With Degassing Valve
Sometimes, coffee beans come packaged in a bag with a one-way valve to let out excess carbon dioxide from the beans. This is called the degassing valve. It is a bag that essentially blocks out light and oxygen from entering while allowing the escape of CO2. All that needs to be done is to keep the bag on the counter, preferably away from sunlight, for as long as it needs to degas depending on when the beans were roasted. But if you are a home roaster, then consider buying bags with a degassing valve to keep your roasted beans inside. This Remtap degassing bag with a zipper is a popular purchase. It’s resealable and meant specifically for this process.
When the time comes to store your beans, it’s very important to store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. This will help keep the beans fresh for a few weeks away from any unwanted oxygen and moisture entering and contaminating the beans. But make sure to store them only once the degassing process has been completed and you have made sure that there isn’t any more CO2 coming out of the beans. If you have coffee grounds that need storing, the same type of container will work but it won’t stay fresh as long as whole beans.