Let's talk coffee freshness.... is there such a thing as TOO fresh? The quick answer is: YES. After roasting coffee it needs a chance to degas in order to get the best cup possible.
So, what is degassing and how does it affect my brewing?
Coffee roasting leads to chemical changes within coffee. After roasting, coffee remains "active" for a period of time with gases (mainly CO2) leaving the freshly roasted coffee. The degassing period negatively affects the flavor of your coffee by creating an uneven extraction in your brew.
The fresher your coffee the more degassing will impact your brewing. This is why it’s important to bloom your coffee (we recommend adding enough water to cover the grounds, stir the slurry, and then let it sit for 30 seconds) in order to release any gases (CO2) in your coffee.
However, if your coffee is to too fresh, it won't matter how you brew because the extraction will still be uneven leading to a sub-par cup. This is due to the overwhelming amount of gas (CO2) found during the entire brewing process.
How long does the degassing process take? When should I brew?
Degassing can vary from coffee to coffee and roast to roast. A majority of the degassing occurs within the first 24 hours. However, the whole degassing process can take anywhere from 2 days post roast to 10 days post roast. This is why we say a good rule of thumb is to try start drinking your coffee anywhere from 4 days post roast to 14 days post roast.
Much like a fine wine, coffee typically gets better as it goes. BUT, it should be noted that coffee typically starts to leave what we consider the "good fresh zone" around a month post roast. Around a month is where most will start noticing a drop in quality in your cup, with the next mile-marker after that being two months post roast.
A note about pre-grinding coffee
Buying pre-ground OR grinding your coffee well before brewing significantly speeds up degassing... but not necessarily in a good way. The finer the grind, the more surface area comes into contact with oxygen, the larger the gas volume is released. This can make your coffee stale in a matter of hours. So, when possible grind your coffee at its "peak" right before brewing.
A Final Note
While the above is useful information to have, at the end of the day we are all aiming to get the best cup possible - and you're the only one who can judge what is good for you. IF you ever end up with a super fresh bag of coffee on your hands go ahead and try it. See if you like it - then let it sit a few days and try it again.... then repeat again by letting it sit a few more days. See if you can taste a difference.
We hope you enjoyed this article! If you have any feedback OR have a topic you'd like us to cover feel free to shoot myself (Luke) and email at: