A Tale of Too Many Coffees

in Buying Coffee, Storing Coffee

Coffee is best when it’s fresh, and it’s FRESHEST 2-3 weeks after it was roasted.  This means a few things:

1) You should buy your coffee from a place where you know it was roasted recently.  It wasn’t roasted recently if it comes in a big tin pre-ground, or if it’s instant.  Also, the friendly staff at Starbucks probably don’t know how recently their whole bean coffee was roasted.  Go to a local roaster.

2) Only buy as much coffee as you intend to consume over the next 2-3 weeks.  For me, that means two trips to my local roaster each month to buy a pound at a time.  I go through a pound of coffee every 2 weeks, the average person probably 2-3 weeks so I definitely suggest buying one pound at a time.

3) Finally, do as I say and not as I do

I currently have SIX different coffees in the house.  You’ll see by the pic above that not only have I had to label them individually with masking tape and a Sharpie marker, but one of them is still in an unopened bag and one of them is in a tupperware container because I’ve run out of coffee cans.

The last time I had to deal with a coffee overstock, it was because I had just bought some at the same time as some friends had gifted me with some.  That happened to me again, but at the same time, I’ve made two separate unplanned trips to my local roaster and couldn’t help myself but get more while I was there!

Here’s what I have in-house to work through:

I’ll talk about the coffees individually at a different time.  For now, what’s important is deciding how to handle this situation so that I can enjoy these great coffees before they go stale.  It may help to read about my last coffee overstock situation.  The circumstances here are a little different, so my guideline going forward is all about balance.

There has to be an order (even if there are ties) for which ones I want to drink the most.  If I want to enjoy them at their best and drink them first, it means the others will go stale faster.  If I drink the least fresh ones first because the fresher ones have time before they go as stale, I’m likely to be drinking all of this coffee in a less than premium freshness.  And those are the three factors that I will need to weigh against each other as I make daily decisions on which one to grind and brew:

1) Roasting date: The more recently it was roasted, the fresher it is.

2) Preference: Which ones am I most interested in.

3) Quantity: How much do I need to go through, and is there a little left of any of them to go through those quickly.
The Triple-Peckered Billy Goat coffee was roasted the furthest back, and I have about a half-pound of it left.  It is also the one I’m least interested in.  I may not get to it at all.

The Fire Roasted Coffee in Costa Rican and Peruvian were roasted at approximately the same time – a week ago – and I am interested in each of them very much because they are both new to me from this roaster.  I will make these a priority, but I have some time to get to them.

The Fire Roasted Coffee in Kenyan was just purchased today.  I’m very anxious to try this one again from my local roaster but I have some time since it was roasted within the last few days.  In fact, I could go a week without touching this one, but just couldn’t help myself buying it today.

The Planet Bean blends, Freedom Fighter and Morning Glory, were probably roasted a couple weeks back.  They’re both very good and I don’t want to waste either of them.  They were also gifted to me in half-pounds so there isn’t that much left of either of them.  I’ll make them an immediate priority as well since they won’t last long.

And of course, that one idea that always slips my mind…there’s always the option to pass some on to good friends that enjoy good coffee.  Does anybody want this Billy Goat coffee or did I already mention it didn’t make the short list?


  1. ME! Oh Oh Mistah Kottah … ME! lol


    How can anyone resist a coffee named that!?!

    Comment by Julie VW — February 4, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  2. 🙂 – you’re referring to the Billy Goat, I assume?

    Comment by Marc Wortman — February 5, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

  3. Yessir. Billy Goat.

    Let me know if I win the prize. I’ll be out and about pretty much every day next week (the upswing of tax time!), so could swing by 3M or wherever.

    Have a super day!

    Comment by Julie VW — February 5, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

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