Author Topic: Whole bean coffee in vacuum sealed bags?  (Read 2119 times)

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2880
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Whole bean coffee in vacuum sealed bags?
« on: October 05, 2017, 11:07:53 PM »
Hey guys,

Sort of a random question but does anyone know with whole bean coffee that you buy off the shelf in those 12oz bags, are the bags supposed to be tightly vacuum sealed where all the air is suctioned out of the packaging? Or is it normal and OK for the bags to have lost that suction and for beans to be lose inside?

I got a few bags from an online order and only one of them is fully suctioned. The others you can move or shake the beans around. Best by dates are early 2018.

rockeTree

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 182
Re: Whole bean coffee in vacuum sealed bags?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 09:57:41 AM »
They’ll last a little longer if the seal holds in theory, but whole beans are good for a long time so I personally wouldn’t sweat it unless I was super snobby about coffee. Use the well sealed bag last maybe.

Source: a pal who roasts his own and is super tense about it says he wouldn’t worry at all unless beans were a year old or otherwise badly stored (high heat etc).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

catccc

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1681
  • Location: SE PA
Re: Whole bean coffee in vacuum sealed bags?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 10:35:58 AM »
Most roasters don't get all the air out, but they do use a one way valve that lets CO2 out.  So loose beans are generally okay.

I know this because DH is a coffee enthusiast/afficionado and works in a 3rd wave cafe.  He and his coworkers like to sit around and graph total dissolved solids and get all sciencey with their coffee.  They won't use beans that are more than a couple weeks old.  So seeing an early 2018 best by date in early October of the prior year would make him cry.  Figuratively speaking, of course.  He's not really going to cry over old coffee.

Anyway, I'm gonna guess you'll be fine consuming coffee made from those beans.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2880
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Whole bean coffee in vacuum sealed bags?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 10:47:56 AM »
Most roasters don't get all the air out, but they do use a one way valve that lets CO2 out.  So loose beans are generally okay.

I know this because DH is a coffee enthusiast/afficionado and works in a 3rd wave cafe.  He and his coworkers like to sit around and graph total dissolved solids and get all sciencey with their coffee.  They won't use beans that are more than a couple weeks old.  So seeing an early 2018 best by date in early October of the prior year would make him cry.  Figuratively speaking, of course.  He's not really going to cry over old coffee.

Anyway, I'm gonna guess you'll be fine consuming coffee made from those beans.

LOL, I haven't gotten to that point yet (about being all sciencey about it). Just got into grinding/brewing my own via Aeropress. May get into pour-over and at some point. And am planning to experiment with buying green and roasting my own even sooner. Wanted to try some different brands and varieties though - picked up Starbucks and Tim Hortons on sale to try out so we'll see... it was the Tim Hortons where the beans were lose and air was in the bag. You could smell the coffee beans too from the package prior to opening, which I'm not sure if that's normal or not. Anyway, it's not as "smooth" as people describe it - not sure what all the hype is about. The French Roast I brewed from Sprouts has been the smoothest I've had so far. Also, only one of the packages of coffee I ordered appears to be 100% vacuum sealed/suctioned and that is the Starbucks French Roast variety - everything else has loose beans or the bags will shift if you squeeze them.

jamesbond007

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 462
  • Location: USA
  • One penny at a time.
    • I'm raising $3500 for the Arthritis Foundation.
Re: Whole bean coffee in vacuum sealed bags?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 12:12:10 PM »
I am a coffee snob and I toured the Peet's coffee roasters in Emeryville and talked to one of the roasters there. I asked about this issue and he told me not worry too much about it unless I store my beans for a very long period of time. We are talking months. He said, most people buy half a pound at a time at Peet's stores and it last a week or two and in that time frame it doesn't matter how you store. My takeaway from that conversation is that the key is buying in small batches. Now I store my coffee beans in a glass air tight canister I bought from Ikea a few years ago. No issues.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2880
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Whole bean coffee in vacuum sealed bags?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2017, 08:14:34 PM »
Thanks! For the unopened bags that are sealed and suctioned pretty tightly, should I throw those in the freezer? Or should I just keep them in a cool/dark place? I probably won't get to drinking those for a while (probably well over a month or two) at the rate I'm going.

One other question for those who roast their own beans - if you order them green in bulk what do you do with any excess beans you're not roasting? Just leave them in burlap sacks sitting in a cool/dark place? I've heard freezing green coffee beans may not be the best idea.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2017, 08:16:58 PM by jeromedawg »

Case

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 749
Re: Whole bean coffee in vacuum sealed bags?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2017, 05:19:47 PM »
Hey guys,

Sort of a random question but does anyone know with whole bean coffee that you buy off the shelf in those 12oz bags, are the bags supposed to be tightly vacuum sealed where all the air is suctioned out of the packaging? Or is it normal and OK for the bags to have lost that suction and for beans to be lose inside?

I got a few bags from an online order and only one of them is fully suctioned. The others you can move or shake the beans around. Best by dates are early 2018.

Here is your answer:

First, you must determine if the loss of vacuum is due to a leak or not.  Mess around with it.  If it is clear that air is flowing in and out, then you have a big leak.  In this case, use as soon as possible.

If there is no obvious leak, then it is likely due to offgassing of CO2 which comes as a result of roasting.  Coffee beans, very roughly, offgas 1 to 3 times their volume in CO2 during the week or so after roasting.  Depending on it was vacuum sealed effects how much gas could be released.  In any case, vacuum sealed coffee lasts a very long time. 

Hopefully it was not ground and then vacuum sealed.  If done this way, then likely a good deal of the nice smelling volatiles were removed in the vac seal process.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2880
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Whole bean coffee in vacuum sealed bags?
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2017, 09:41:47 AM »
Hey guys,

Sort of a random question but does anyone know with whole bean coffee that you buy off the shelf in those 12oz bags, are the bags supposed to be tightly vacuum sealed where all the air is suctioned out of the packaging? Or is it normal and OK for the bags to have lost that suction and for beans to be lose inside?

I got a few bags from an online order and only one of them is fully suctioned. The others you can move or shake the beans around. Best by dates are early 2018.

Here is your answer:

First, you must determine if the loss of vacuum is due to a leak or not.  Mess around with it.  If it is clear that air is flowing in and out, then you have a big leak.  In this case, use as soon as possible.

If there is no obvious leak, then it is likely due to offgassing of CO2 which comes as a result of roasting.  Coffee beans, very roughly, offgas 1 to 3 times their volume in CO2 during the week or so after roasting.  Depending on it was vacuum sealed effects how much gas could be released.  In any case, vacuum sealed coffee lasts a very long time. 

Hopefully it was not ground and then vacuum sealed.  If done this way, then likely a good deal of the nice smelling volatiles were removed in the vac seal process.

Thanks! Yes these are whole beans, not ground coffee. I just checked on another bag I got and I can hear air(? or is that CO2) being expelled - as I do that I can smell the beans.  Is this all normal? Or does that indicate a leak? I read that many people think the valve is actually a "smelling hole" haha.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 10:00:22 AM by jeromedawg »