Today was week 3 of the storage experiment. The coffees had today been stored for 3 weeks in the freezer, fridge and on the shelf. It was time for the second cupping.
For people reading about this experiment for the first time it’s important to read the two preceding post.
I took the bags out early to make sure they were properly thawed before the tasting started. The proceedings went on as last time, and todays cuppers were Tim Varney (espressobar manager at Tim Wendelboes), Tim Wendelboe himself (coming in to the cupping at a late point but adding valuable input), Chris Kolbu (part-time barista and recently returned from vacation. He came in to the cupping a bit later on), an unsuspecting customer wanting to participate in our daily cuppings and finally myself.
Today I included a control sample in our line-up; a La Esperanza roasted a week ago to the same roast degree. It proved to make an interesting point.
In this cupping we gave the coffees 6 points for first place, 4 for second, 2 for third and 0 points for fourth place.
The jury seemed a bit divided, and even though the points added up to give us a order to rank the coffees in the end there wasn’t a clear consensus. Two of the cuppers actually preffered the coffee having been stored on the shelf for three weeks to the fresh control sample. Their names remain secret to protect them from shame and utter humiliation…
So without further ado I present this weeks ranking of the stored coffee (the difference from last week being of course that we included the control sample, and if you exclude it you get the results to compare with last weeks cupping):
1st place: The control sample with 26 points
2nd place: The shelf stored coffee with 14 points
3rd place: The fridge stored coffee with 10 points
4th place: The freezer stored coffee with 8 points
The conclusion is that the coffees seemed closer this time around than they did last time. The shelf stored coffee still seem to have an edge, but the two other samples are scored mostly equally. The descriptions given by the cuppers also seemed to put all three storage methods closer together and it seems like that at this point three weeks into the experiment there isn’t that much of a positive difference between the storage options. It’s also clear in my mind (even though the two unnamed cuppers inadvertently gave 6 points to the shelf stored coffee instead of the control sample) that to store coffee for this long should be avoided if possible.
What will happen next week when we cup the last three bags of the experiment? Will the shelf stored coffee finally be dethroned? Is it better to store your coffee in the fridge if you’re going away on holiday for 4 weeks and don’t want to throw away your coffee beans? Keep tuned for the final installment next Wednesday.
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.
Picture taken by Chris Kolbu