So today it’s been 2 weeks since we put the bags of coffee in the freezer, fridge and on the shelf as I’ve described in my previous post. It was time to taste the first three bags. Originally we described the flavour of the coffee as being fresh and fruity with a light citrusy acidity. The taste is of light red berries and it has a clean and sweet finish.
When I took the bags of coffee out I noticed straight away that there seemed to be more air in the bag stored in the fridge, whilst the bag stored in the fridge was moist on the outside. We left the bags of coffee on the counter to thaw and to reach room temperature.
We examined the leftover beans for possible visual differences and it turned out that the beans left on the shelf had gotten an oily sheen, the beans from the fridge where quite matt with the beans stored in the fridge being somewhere inbetween. The coffee was roasted for french press and other normal brewing devices and were lighter than for espresso. They were dumped before second crack so they did not have an oily sheen to begin with.
Tim (Varney) and I started the cupping and smelled the grinds before adding water. There where some differences in the strength of smell. The one from the freezer had the most intense smell when it was dry with the ones from the shelf coming in second. After adding water the beans having being stored in the fridge had the strongest aroma with the ones from the shelf still coming second.
Tim (Wendelboe) and Ingrid joined in after we had broken the crust and had let the cup cool enough to taste. We weren’t completely in sync, but we finally reached the conclusion that the coffee having been stored on the shelf retained more sweetness and had a better acidity. The beans from the freezer had become more flat and boring, not showing any of the pleasant acidity that had been in the original cup. The beans having been stored in the fridge had become bitter and unpleasant and were rated dead last.
The final score after two weeks of storage is:
I can’t wait until next week when we take out the next three bags and see what has happend after another seven days of storage has passed. Has the fridge-beans kept better than the others or does the conclusions remain the same? Will Chris have anything to add to the taste panel when he returns from his vacation in Bulgaria? Keep tuned in for the exciting next installment.
Please keep in mind that there are several aspects of the storing of beans we have left out completely to make the experiment more managable (repeatedly opening and closing of bags, different storage containers etc), and that these aspects might have an impact when you store your beans. We have only used one way valve bags and left them unopened in the different places of storage before cupping them.