How long does ground coffee stay fresh in doser???????

Hello to all, and proffessional Baristas in particular

I would like to know everyones belief on what is the suggested time frame that ground coffee will still be useable for a fresh coffee once it is in the grinders doser ready to be dosed,
I ask this question, as a individual who stated that he was a barrister, Said" it would stay fresh for 24hrs ground in the hopper".

 

My own experince differs from this and would like to hear others opinons.

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Chris said:

*These are generalities, and depend on the bean, the environment, and your tastes. While there are occasional outliers, anyone that suggests that these are way off would arouse my suspicions. Especially about his tastes... ; >

Okay, I'll bite...
It really does depend on the fineness of the grind. I would say that perhaps coarser grinds are fresh for 15 minutes, but not something as fine as espresso. And to say "fresh" is ludicrous. I would say at the marks given the coffee is more or less dead. Again, there are exceptions.

All credit to Daniel Ephraim for this info. His numbers, my words (kinda, lol).
As a very general rule of thumb:
- French press turns one bean into about 275 particles
- Drip turns one bean into about 1,000 particles
- Espresso turns one bean into about 3,000 particles

Running with that knowledge, let's assume that one bean has a general surface area of 3.4 cm2. If you split that bean, you have a surface area of 4.4 cm2. If you split each of those halves in half, you have 5.4 cm2. At filter grind (1000 particles) you have 34 cm2. In my head, if I have 10 times the surface area, the bean is deteriorating 10 times as fast. Is my logic flawed? So indeed, when dealing with 1,000 particles you might have 15 minutes until it's dead, but not at 3,000-3,500 particles. In that realm, we're talking maybe (MAYBE), what... 4-5 minutes?

It's not worth it. Don't think of the doser as something to hold ground espresso, think of it as something to break up clumps.

Your doser should always be as empty as possible.

-bry
If this helps at all, I recently got into a brief "discussion", i.e. argument, with my boss about this very thing. After this, I compared pre-ground to fresh-ground espresso in three separate tests.

The first time, I compared fresh to 10-15 minute old espresso, which had stayed inside the doser. I pulled shots myelf and watched the whole process, and the older espresso was visibly changed. The crema was darker and, well less. The taste was simply more flat, as one would predict. To remove bias, I prepared another similar test (10 minutes later, of course), and had my co-worker pull the shots for me while i had my back turned. I was easily able to distinguish between the two. For a final test, I repeated it again as before but pulled two shots of each 10-15 minute old espresso and fresh espresso, again with my back turned and with the assistance of a co-worker. It was very easy to figure out which was which, by vision, smell, and taste.

Espresso is not meant to last, my friend.

~DW


Bryan Wray said:
Okay, I'll bite...
It really does depend on the fineness of the grind. I would say that perhaps coarser grinds are fresh for 15 minutes, but not something as fine as espresso. And to say "fresh" is ludicrous. I would say at the marks given the coffee is more or less dead. Again, there are exceptions.

There always are, and the fifteen was found as a number that wold cover pretty much everything. None of these are meant to be the ideals, just a general idea of how long these things will last. Do I like pie right out of the oven? Nope, too hot... After thirty minutes? Yeah! Are they better then? Yeah, will I turn one down after it's been sitting for a few hours? NO! Is it better than after thirty minutes? Nope, but it's still pretty darned good. How about after a week? Well, I cold still do it, but it's really going to suffer from waiting. So, I conclude that pie are not good immediately after cooking, they are best after cooking but before cooling off entirely, still good (but not best) after they've cooled, but sometime between a few hours and a coupla weeks, they begin to be far less good, and actually begin to go bad.

Now, I could write a treatise, that covers coffee beans in all of it's various forms, that follows the example I've lain out above, but it wouldn't have that rhythm, wouldn't be that memorable, or easy to remember, and would require a different version for each and every prep method, bean, latitude, altitude, etc.
I just figured that with the accompanying caveats, y'all would be able to figure it out for yourselves.
I suggest that you grind* immediately upon deciding to make an espresso, do that immediately after grinding, and then drink it immediately after creating.

And I'm 'Babbie'. The title of the lil poem came about after all of my coffee lover friends started citing my suggestions to all of their coffee loving friends. They came up with the name, and suggested the 'fifteens'. It started out as no more than a year or so for greens, no more than two weeks for roasted, no more than fifteen minutes for ground, and immediately as possible for espresso.
Well you sound like Mark Prince to me... trying to carry on with his "parameters for a Godshot" or "espresso nirvana" and how one should obey the time/volume rules for proper extraction. Blah blah blah!
No offense BTW!
I can't comment on greens being used within 1 year (15 months) because I do no roasting, but do agree on grounds being used in less than 15 minutes as well ASAP for espresso use. BUT I surely don't agree on roasted beans being no good for more than 15 days. I have had great results with drip coffee when the beans hit 3-4 weeks easily as well as having good results with espresso being 3+ weeks old. I'm not talking outstanding espresso, but surely drinkable in every sense of the word. Personally I think it depends on several factors such as the roast level, how the beans are stored, temperature/humidity in the work area, etc.

One last thing... if my friends called me 'Babbie' I'd chokeslam every one of them.
I won't use any ground coffee for a customer after it's sat for 5 minutes, But I do my best to not waste it. If I do by mistake grind more than I need either one of the other employees or I will drink it, or if there is a regular in the shop that we like we sometimes offer it to them for free. We don't have any sort of loyalty card or any other discount system for regulars so I am quite alright with the occasional free spro for a customer or two to make sure nothing gets wasted.
I say grind to use NOW! No sense in grinding extra. Definately grind to order


Shadow said:

No offense BTW! One last thing... if my friends called me 'Babbie' I'd chokeslam every one of them.

Hey, no offense, but you're not paying attention. Reread the posts, re-read the rules, and pay particualr attention to the caveats that address exactly what you're mentioning.

And, i9t was good enough for my grandfather, and his father, and my father, I think I'm alright with people calling me 'Babbie'. Now if anyone referred to me as 'Shadow', man, it'd be on.
Hi Peter,
In business (paticularly large coffee brands) its difficult to grind to order, which as we all know is the ideal. I was always taught that as a good rule unground beans should last only 24 hours in the top hopper and ground should last 4 hours. After these times the quality of the espresso poured will be of a lesser quality and so you coffee should be discarded. But like i say in an ideal world you would only grind the beans you need for each coffee. if you want to see the differences in fresh/unfresh coffee then try and pour an espresso from unfresh beans & compare it to a fresh bean espresso. This simple test makes for good training! I offer a free espresso taste & sensory test ebook in my website that would help you with it.
Thanks
Kim xx
www.baristatrainingcourse.com
I try to load in the hopper only what I expect to use daily. Then at the end of the day I empty any remaining beans back into the bag supplied by the roaster and squeeze out all the air. This seems to work much better than leaving them in the hopper overnight. I also like to use up any beans trapped in the grinder chute and brush out the throat, then use those grounds up on the last extraction of the day.

Kim, I'd never want to drink or serve any espresso made with 4 hour old grounds. 10-15 mins. MAX for me, otherwise I purge a bit when the next drink order rolls around.
Bryan said: "Running with that knowledge, let's assume that one bean has a general surface area of 3.4 cm2. If you split that bean, you have a surface area of 4.4 cm2. If you split each of those halves in half, you have 5.4 cm2. At filter grind (1000 particles) you have 34 cm2. In my head, if I have 10 times the surface area, the bean is deteriorating 10 times as fast. Is my logic flawed?"

10 times the surface area might not mean exactly 10 times the deterioration, but I doubt it's far from the truth, so I would agree with the logic.

But just out of curiosity, how are you computing those numbers? Splitting a coffee bean in half will produce different surface areas depending on how it's split, will it not?


But again: it's a moot point. Grind to order!


(Another issue worth considering is that ground coffee releases CO2 very quickly, and the amount of CO2 present has a huge effect on extraction times: The longer the beans sit around in ground form, the less CO2 they'll have and the faster water will flow over them in the portafilter. Freshness aside, grinding to order will improve your shot consistency more than you might expect.)


Kim Sammons said:
Hi Peter,
In business (paticularly large coffee brands) its difficult to grind to order...

No, actually it's not. Its just as easy as it is for any of us. All you have to do is care.


Brady said:


Kim Sammons said:
Hi Peter,
In business (paticularly large coffee brands) its difficult to grind to order...

No, actually it's not. Its just as easy as it is for any of us. All you have to do is care.

Indeed... not difficult at all. I watch $4000-$5000/ day (1000ish transactions) shops do it all the time. That isn't just for espresso, that's for every cup... drip is done on a per cup basis as well, no airpots.

It really does just come down to giving a crap.

-bry

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