Have you ever given much thought about the coffee you drink at home and where it comes from?
Have you always grabbed a bag of coffee from the supermarket shelf because it's convenient? Well I did too. It was convenient and affordable. However over the past couple of years, I have learned a lot about coffee and some would now even call me a 'coffee snob'.
I no longer buy my coffee from the supermarket and there are lots of reasons why...
WHY IS FRESHLY ROASTED COFFEE SO IMPORTANT?
Coffee flavour is massively determined by how fresh it is. Flavour is at its best around three days after being roasted.
During the roast, gases form inside of the coffee beans. It's really important that the coffee sits for a few days (on average) to degas so the Carbon Monoxide leaves the beans. If you don't allow this to happen then your coffee will taste sour. However, once this degassing process has taken place, fresh is always best when it comes to coffee.
As soon as the coffee is exposed to oxygen, it can start to stale. You know that gorgeous aroma you can smell when you walk into a coffee shop? Well that smell is actually the coffee starting to stale. The coffee is being ground (in those noisy coffee grinders) and is exposed to air so its starting to oxidise. Thats ok though because in most good coffee shops, coffee wont be sitting there for long before its used.
Once I found out about this, it got me thinking about coffee for the home. How fresh is our coffee that we buy and use at home?
The good news is that most coffee bags are fitted with a one-way valve. This enables Co2 to escape, without letting oxygen in, which would speed up the staling process. However, this wont stop the coffee from staling over a longer period of time. In my opinion, coffee is best consumed within six weeks of being roasted but there is no set in stone time-frame of this. Different roasters say different things and its down to roast, packaging, taste and opinion.
Beans will stay fresher for longer if they are packed in their whole bean form. Once ground, there is much more exposure to oxygen and so ground coffee will start to stale a lot more quickly. For this reason we would always recommend a grinder at home - it really will make a huge difference to the flavour!!
LETS TALK SOME MORE ABOUT SUPERMARKET COFFEE
Supermarket coffee is a bit of a weird one for me. I spent years buying my coffee off the shelf and I thought my coffee tasted ok. However after delving into the beautiful world of coffee, my views have changed considerably. Here are the reasons I no longer buy coffee from the supermarket:
We don't know when the coffee was roasted.
Sure it has a best before date but coffee has a really long shelf life ....years in fact! This doesn't mean it's fresh and certainly wont taste as good as a coffee that was roasted a few days earlier.
Generic coffee blends and flavours.
As coffee is becoming more and more popular, we are seeing an increase in variety on the shelves of the supermarket which is great. However, the main focus for most brands on the supermarket shelf, is to sell a LOT of coffee, roasting mediocre coffee blends that are determined more on price, which tends to compromise on flavour and quality. They roast in bulk and pack in large volumes.
Some of the supermarket brands add the cheaper 'robusta' bean to their blend to bulk it out and save costs. Robusta beans have a stronger, 'earthy bitter' flavour which tend to go unnoticed when mixed with milk (we will save this topic for another blog post).
It's for this reason that I started drinking freshly roasted coffee from various speciality coffee roasters. The more I tried fresh coffee, the less I liked supermarket coffee which I soon found to taste stale and flavourless in comparison. I now notice delicate flavours in my coffee and I appreciate every sip.
Fancy trying the flavour difference for yourself?
Leave some beans or ground coffee in a bag in the cupboard for 8 weeks. Order the same bag of freshly beans or ground coffee from the same roaster. Make a brew with both bags and do a blindfold test (you might need your friend or partner to help you with this).
SO LETS TALK ABOUT THE PRICE OF COFFEE
There is no doubt about it, supermarket coffee is cheap like I touched on earlier. It has to be so that it can sell in the masses and make a profit. However, I would much rather spend a little bit more and buy from an independent company that puts love and care into every single cup.
Would you buy the cheapest £2.99 bottle of wine at the supermarket? Or would you rather go for something mid-way that is going to taste much better? Well now think that way about coffee.
If you love coffee then why not get a really fantastic, freshly roasted coffee and spend just that little bit more? Most 250g bags of coffee from a roaster are still affordable and there are so many subscription services available on the internet so you can have it delivered to your door whenever you like. That's right, its now convenient too!
This is just one of the reasons why I set up Maverick Coffee Co. We offer an excellent range of freshly roasted coffee, which can be delivered to your door every week, two weeks or month.
Our coffee blends are roasted once a week, ensuring the coffee is always fresh and delivery is free.
Try it today and see if you can spot the difference between supermarket and fresh; https://maverickcoffee.co.uk/collections/coffee.