The question of coffee freshness is a common one! There are lots of factors that go into the answer.
What affects coffee freshness?
One of the enemies of coffee freshness is oxygen. As coffee oxidizes, it loses complexity and flavor. This oxidizing process is expedited when the coffee is ground, because there is more coffee surface area exposed to the air!
Luckily, coffee is a dry good, which means there's not much chance of coffee "going bad"— rotting or getting moldy—unless it's exposed to coffee freshness's other enemy: moisture. Save the water exposure for when you're actually brewing the coffee!
You don't have to worry about these enemies, though! We've got all the tools and tricks you need to make sure you're drinking coffee at its peak deliciousness.
How long does coffee stay fresh?
Myth Bust Alert! The very freshest coffee is not the most delicious!
Coffee needs to degas, or let the CO2 trapped inside the bean escape, before our taste buds perceive all the tasty goodness the coffee has to offer. Let the coffee degas inside the bag for 5-7 days after the roast date noted on the label.
Once the bag is open and it's exposed to the oxygen in the environment, coffee is good for about 21 days before it starts to taste stale (thanks to the oxidizing process).
However, we at Congregation have adopted a clever trick to keep your unopened bags fresher for longer!
We seal our bags of coffee after flushing them with Nitrogen. The Nitrogen displaces the Oxygen in the bag before it has the chance to attack the beans! Unopened, this bag of coffee will stay fresh for 4 months.
How can I keep my coffee fresh?
Easy! We've got the answer for you built in to each bag of coffee.
The reverse vacuum on each bag of coffee is there to assist you in your freshness goals! After you dose out your coffee from the bag, just tuck the bag ends back into the label, and squeeze the air out of the reverse vacuum nozzle. This will minimize the amount of air, and therefore oxygen, in the bag. Store the coffee in a cool, dry place—a pantry is ideal—to maximize your freshness efforts.