How can you tell quality coffee beans from stale coffee beans?

Pouring a brewed coffee into a cup

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a hot and steamy cup of coffee to start your morning or perk you up in the afternoon. But if that coffee is stale, the ritual can be anything but enjoyable. A lot of people don’t realise that their coffee can go bad if it sits too long in their pantry or that their coffee might already be stale when they pick it up from the local supermarket.

So, how can you tell quality coffee from stale coffee? Here are some tips for how to recognize whether your coffee beans are fresh:

1. Take a close look at your beans

Fresh beans have a glossy appearance from the oily substance that gets drawn out during the roasting process. When you pick up the beans, they should leave some residue on your hands and there should be some residue on the inside of the bag.

2. Breathe deeply

Fresh coffee beans give off a delightful aroma. Take a deep inhale of your coffee beans. If you can’t smell anything, or the smell is faint, then those beans are past their prime.

3. Use the plastic bag test

Seal a few handfuls of beans in a plastic bag and leave them on your counter overnight. In the morning, check to see if the bag is inflated or deflated. If it’s inflated, then your beans are still fresh. If it’s deflated, then your beans have gone stale. The bag will inflate when the beans release carbon dioxide, which only happens while they’re still fresh.

The best way to make sure you’re only brewing fresh coffee from fresh beans is to buy a little at a time instead of stocking up on coffee beans. By a few days’ worth of beans from a source you trust. This will ensure that the beans won’t have time to go stale before you get around to brewing them. Never store your beans in the fridge, since they can pick up the flavour of other food stored there. For more ideas on how to make sure you never drink a bad cup of coffee again, contact us at the roastery.