How to do a coffee freshness test and more brewing tips

Fresh coffee doesn't always taste better. Here's how to do a freshness test all of your own.

There are some best practices for brewing, but I’m a bit of a rule breaker when it comes to what we’re supposed to do to make a great cup of coffee. In this post I discuss some of my equipment, my coffee-to-water ratio, and how to perform a coffee freshness test to see if your beans have rested enough.

Typically, I brew every morning with a Kalita 185 SS Wave. I’ve really grown to love paper filters, as they offer so much clarity in the cup. While I have an Acaia Pearl, I typically use my crappy red nothing-fancy scale to brew with, probably because I’ve had it for so long, and if I break it, it was only $15. I also use a Baratz Encore for grinding, my Hario Buono Kettle for pouring, and a crappy plug-in kettle for boiling.

I usually brew 20g in, 300g out, or 15:1.

One thing to keep in mind when brewing is resting.

Shockingly to most, fresher coffee doesn’t always taste better.

Do some tests for yourself. Take a retail bag that’s roasted the same day and break it into different sample sizes. Ideally each sample should be about double your typical brew amount. So for me, it would be 40 g. Put those into airtight containers and store properly. Then brew a cup (or two – that’s why you have double) every day, noting how the coffee changes flavor over time from day one of roast, to the optimal date.

The reason you break out the retail bag into individual portions on the day it’s roasted is to minimize the effects of oxygen from opening and closing the bag daily. In a perfect world, you could put the individual samples into sealed valve bags. But only people like me have those laying around.

Remember to record your findings, and feel free to share them with me! I LOVE information.

Roast on.

Ryan

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