Venia Blog: Reviews, Musings and the Like

  • Q&A: How long does roasted coffee stay fresh?

    Posted on March 11, 2015 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    As beans age, you face a scenario similar to the law of diminishing return. Chemically, lots of stuff happens to coffee as it get older. The result in the cup is a drop in acidity, decline of clarity, decline of varietal/origin character, decline of body, thin mouth-feel, decrease of aromatics...and a host of many other negatives.

    How long a roasted coffee is fresh depends on many things, like packaging, density, roast degree, process type, form (pre-ground/whole), relative humidity, exposure to light, temperature exposure...etc. As a rule of thumb, a coffee about 2 weeks off roast is at its peak in quality, give or take. Lighter roasted high elevation coffees (high density) such as our Kenya Nyeri Karatina Peaberry and Guatemala San Rafael Urias tend to age very well. Low grown coffees (low density) such a many Brazilian or Hawaian Kona coffees tend to age very quickly. [Soap Box]: Hawaiian coffees are some of the most expensive coffees to buy in the United States. A fresh Kona is a delightful experience, but most people buy a bag from a grocery store that was roasted 4-5 months before they brew it. Any goodness from these coffees are long gone. Unless you buy a bag from a roaster that is clearly marked with a roasted on date, don't waste your money on Hawaiian coffees. [Off Soap Box]

    When brewing coffee that is old, perhaps a month or two past roast, you might notice that a once fruity and floral Ethiopian Yirgacheffe now tastes rather generic. This didn't just happen all at once. If you brewed this coffee exactly the same each day over the span of 2 months you would notice that it gradually declines in quality, it doesn't one day go from being really good to blah. If you brew this coffee for espresso, for example, as the coffee ages it becomes thinner and decreases in body. To compensate for the age, one can slightly increase the dose (amount of coffee used) or grind a bit finer. Changing one or both of these factors can extend the "life" of this coffee for awhile, but at some point increasing dose or grinding finer can no longer compensate in cup quality. This is what I call the "Law of Diminishing Return" when applied to coffee.

    Interestingly, coffee that is newly roasted needs a couple days of "rest" before brewing before many of the flavors start to really show themselves in the cup. For espresso use, 3 days of rest is the minimum we recommend before brewing, 5-6 days of rest seems to be a sweet spot for most espresso coffees.

    How a coffee ages after it reaches its peak can be a perplexing. Oxygen, light, high humidity, and high temperatures all seem to be enemies of freshness. We package our coffees in high barrier bags with tin-ties. Once open, we recommend folding the top down, expelling as much air as possible, then secure closed with the tin-tie. This will protect the coffee from excess oxygen exposure, light, and changes in humidity.

    If you don't plan on using the coffee for a few days, it is okay to put it in the freezer. To do so successfully, place the tin-tie bag inside a Ziploc freezer bag, expel as much air as possible, then place in your freezer. The important part is to remove the bag several hours before use and allowing the coffee to return to room temperature before opening. If you open when frozen, moisture in the air will condense on the cold beans and get them wet (think a glass of iced tea and the water that forms on the sides of the glass).

    So How long does roasted coffee stay fresh? The simple answer is: It depends. But, a good rule of thumb is a coffee retains most of its "fresh" attributes until about a month after it was roasted.

    This post was posted in News, Coffee Education and was tagged with Coffee, Q&A, How Long Is Coffee Fresh, Stale Coffee

  • New Colombia & Java Offerings Now Available

    Posted on March 3, 2015 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith


    We have two great new offerings available now for purchase on the website:

    The first offering is from Banexport's Colombia 90 point "Million Pesos" program and is a real treat.  Grown on the Bellavista estate by farmer Alexander Cortes, this offering won't last long so grab some while we have it. Super creamy mouth-feel, cane sugar sweetness, cherry, lemon, and a clean finish.


    Colombia Finca Bellavista | Alexander Cortes Million Pesos Program


    The second offering is a regional mix of fully washed coffee from West Java, or Java Sunda.  Remarkably clean and refined, a product of farmer/producer education and infrastructure investment, this Java lot is an example of the amazing potential of an often passed over growing region when it comes to specialty coffee.  Many of the subtitles of Indonesian coffees are completely covered over by the powerful, in your face flavors of the traditional wet-hulling process produces.  The washed processing on this lot brings out flavors of baking spice, black tea, raisins, and raw sugar.  Yummy!


    Java Sunda Gunung Tilu Coffee


    This post was posted in News, On Sale and was tagged with Washed Process Coffee, 90 point coffee, Colombia Bellavista, Colombia Million Pesos Program Coffee, Alexander Cortes Coffee, Java Sunda

  • New Coffees Available Next Week

    Posted on February 18, 2015 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    We are excited to announce the arrival of several new coffee offerings available next week.  Multiple lots of coffee from Java, and Brazil, and two 90 point offerings, one from Colombia and a late comer from Ethiopia our last until next year's crop.  Stay tuned!

    This post was posted in News and was tagged with New Coffee Offerings

  • Black Friday Sales Thru December 7th

    Posted on November 28, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith




    We have some great prices on lots of coffee gear, espresso machines and some of our great coffees now through December 7th. Check them out under the Sales tab above or CLICK HERE.

    This post was posted in News, On Sale and was tagged with Sale, BLACK FRIDAY

  • New Video | Yama Rekrow Butane Burner for Coffee Siphons

    Posted on November 19, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    A quick look at the Rekrow Butane burners available for tabletop coffee siphons like Yama and Hario models.

    This post was posted in Accessory Review, News, Coffee Education, Tutorial and was tagged with Yama, Vac Pot, Yama Coffee Maker, Butane Burner, Rekrow Butane Burner, Butane Coffee Maker

  • Free Shipping on Coffee Sampler Pack for a Limited Time!

    Posted on October 20, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith


    From long time coffee lovers to first time specialty coffee buyers, we are often asked if we could offer a sample pack of several of our current coffees.  Well, wait no longer!  Our sampler pack includes 3 different coffees, each highlighting different growing regions and unique flavors from around the world.

    We look long and hard for exceptional coffees that we are proud to offer our customers, and our first sample pack is one in which we could not be prouder.  Two of the coffees cup at over 90 points! (If you don't know what that means, it means they are really-really good.)

    To kick off the introduction of our sampler pack, we are offering free shipping on the coffee sampler through October.  Use Code SAMPLER in the discount code box at checkout.  CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

    This post was posted in What We are Drinking Now, News, On Sale and was tagged with Single Origin, Coffee, Free Shipping, Natural Processed Coffee, Washed Coffee, Coffee Sample Pack, Coffee Sampler, 90 point coffee

  • US Vs. Them | Marshmallow Roast Analogy

    Posted on August 17, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith


    Well, this pretty much speaks for itself.




    This post was posted in News, Coffee Education, Tutorial and was tagged with How We Roast Our Coffee, Marshmallow Roasting, Don't Burn Your Coffee

  • New Upgrade to the Vibiemme Double Domobar Espresso Machine

    Posted on August 14, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    Vibiemme has made a few nice changes to their Double Domobar espresso machine, now called the V4.0.  Most of the changes involve power management, making the machine more efficient and more effective at running on 15 amp circuits.



    New Vibiemme Double Domobar Version 4.0 home espresso maker


    To do this, the first change involved the removal of the traditional pressurestat that controlled the steam boiler pressure (and thus temperature) and added a PID temperature controller (PID stands for Proportional, Integral, Derivative...essentially a computer controlled temperature controller that "intelligently" controls the heating element).  PID control had already been introduced to the brew boiler in previous generations.

    Thanks to an innovative method of controlling the percentage of power to the heating elements, Vibiemme’s Power Management Control System (PMCS) automatically regulates variable power to each heating element. The total amperage draw of the machine will never go over 15 amps using 110-120 volts.  Using this PMCS, only up to 15 amps are required (no 20 amp circuit needs to be added to your kitchen) without any additional switches or internal adjustments.


    Vibiemme PID Detail


    Other changes include insulation added to both copper brew and steam boilers to minimize energy loss and a redesigned drip tray cover that reduces splash-back from the brew-group's 3-way pressure release valve, and now the Over Pressure Valve (OPV) drains into the drip tray, not the water reservoir.

    Add these changes to the already excellent features of the Double Domobar, and this is and excellent choice for any espresso enthusiast looking for a top of the line espresso maker.

    This post was posted in Espresso Machine Review, News and was tagged with New Product, Double Domobar, Home Espresso Machine, E61 Espresso Machine, Vibiemme Espresso

  • Updated Baratza Vario 886 In Stock

    Posted on August 13, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith

    One of the things we love about Baratza, is that they are always in the process of improving their already stellar line of coffee grinders.  We say it all the time and will say it again, Baratza makes some of the best coffee grinders on the market at each price point, from entry level to light commercial.  They introduced the new Forte grinders this winter, aimed primarily at commercial pour-over bars and light duty espresso bars.  They have now incorporated the metal portafilter holder developed for the Forte grinders into the Vario Grinder, a nice improvement over the plastic version on earlier models.


    Take a look at the new Vario here: Baratza Vario 886


    This post was posted in News and was tagged with Espresso Grinders, Coffee Grinders, Baratza, Burr Grinder, Baratza Vario, Best Home Coffee Grinder

  • Review of our Ethiopia Danch Meng

    Posted on August 4, 2014 by Venia Coffee Roasters | Keith


    The coffee blog Corner of the Cafe gave a nice review of our Ethiopia Natural Yirgacheffe Danch Meng.  Pull up a chair and take a look here:

    This post was posted in Uncategorized

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