Check out the video below where Roaster Brian discusses the factors that impact freshness (and therefore flavor) of roasted coffee, and how to help against the battle of Good Coffee going stale.
TL;DR - Buy fresh roasted coffee, store it well, and consume it before the 1-month mark. You'll be happy.
Summary of the video
- 3 factors impacting freshness: Temperature, Humidity, Oxygen
- Best storage conditions: Cool & Dry location, in as oxygen-free packaging as possible
- Storage in a freezer? - ONLY when you want to keep an sealed/unopened bag fresh for about 1-2 months. Once you open it, keep it in a cool, dry place
- Best storage solution: Our 5oz or 12oz bags, or our 2.5LB Airscape Storage Canster
Our 5oz & 12oz bags are thick-walled to prevent oxygen permeating the bag while sealed, they have 1-way release valves to allow off-gassing that occurs in the days following the roasting process (and let's you squeeze a sealed bag to get a whiff of awesomeness), and they have zippers for re-sealing allowing you to keep out as much oxygen as possible while working through the bag.
For customers who order our larger bags, 2LB & 5LB bags, we also have a great solution for you: The Airscape 2LB Coffee Storage Canister w/ RSR Logo - This wonderful device lets you store up to 2.5 lbs of coffee (or other perishable goods) in a mostly air-free environment. Check out the design:
Timeline for "freshness"
The timeline for what counts as a "fresh" roast is usually given as about 2-4 weeks after the roast date on the bag. After about 4 weeks, even a well-sealed bag of coffee will start to taste flat and not as flavorful when brewed.
We stamp a date on each bag to let you know how long you have to enjoy the awesomeness of fresh-roasted coffee. Never seen a roast date on a bag of grocery store coffee? There's a reason for that: Huge coffee companies don't want you to know how long those beans (or worse: grounds) have been sitting in those bags! :)
What's the BEST freshness period?
Brewing coffee in under 2-4 days after roasting, one can often experience some "off" flavors related to the de-gassing process that takes place for up to 4-5 days after roasting - often experience as a grassy flavor and thinness of body. Different coffees and different roast levels will "set up" faster than others, but from my experience, days 6-12 post-roast are the ideal freshness days. De-gassing will be completed and oxidation hasn't started doing its nasty work on the roasted coffee.
After that, you have 2-4 weeks of well-stored whole bean coffee to stay tasty and awesome. After a month, even in a well-stored environment, enough oxygen will eventually start to rob the coffee of its flavor.