I have been in the coffee industry for about 5 years or so and managing my first coffee shop.
First thing I noticed was that the coffe we are getting from our supplier is about 90-100 days old (after roasting). Other coffee companies I have worked with get their coffee to me within 2 weeks of it being roasted. Seems strange.
They insist that their coffee is stil fresh after 90 days because of their packaging but everyone I have spoken with disagrees. Some of the vaccum sealed bags I recieve has deflated and the coffee is hard. I have fought tooth and nail with the company but nothing I do seems to be working to get fresher coffee.
Does this seem right to anyone? I want to switch coffee companies but my boss loves them. Help!
Jaclyn, any roaster worth his/her weight in beans will have FRESH coffee at your door within a few days after the actual roasting process. That coffee should be used within 2-3 weeks MAX for optimal results.
Case in point... I know nothing about Canterbury, but have done a fair amount of reading about the Illy family. They go to great lengths to source the very best coffees, then put that coffee through approximately 200 quality control checks from start to finish, roast to what they consider perfection, then package and flush the cans with nitrogen. No matter how good that coffee is/was when packaged ALL will be lost when it sits around for months at a time waiting to be consumed.
Hopefully you will take into consideration what others have said and please do understand the members here are very knowledgeable in what they do and are very serious/passionate about coffee. Sometimes that passion can offend others.
I agree with most of the above posts - there's no reason for coffee not to ship same-day or next day after roasting. Many coffees need a couple days of de-gassing before you use them, but in my opinion most are past their prime 10-14 days after roasting. At that point you're already losing a lot of aromatics that can't be contained no matter how the beans are packaged. Roasters who want to sell old coffee may call that "leveling out," but that's just a nicer sounding way of saying it's lost most of its original flavor and doesn't have much more to lose. In my previous job we roasted and delivered everything the same day it was ordered and we worked very hard with our clients to keep their orders small and frequent to make sure they never had to use coffee past 10 days old (14 in rare instances.)
Sounds like you know what you're doing and like your boss has different priorities. If you can sell your boss on the better-quality-means-better-business formula, that's great! In my experience a lot of small business owners get very stuck in their ways and have a really hard time changing approaches, but it sounds like you're prepared to make a good case for changing. Good luck!
Any updates Jaclyn? Were you able change the mind of your boss?
Yes, a lot has happened. Convinced him to change coffee! I also worked my magic and had him fix the grinders and change the burrs (which was 5 years overdue). Finally I have arranged for professional training for all my girls with his blessing. Things are looking up!
Congrats - nice job!!!