Hi all, I'd love some help on this. I'm a home roaster with a potential opp. to take my passion to the next level and sell some of my roasts locally. For the quantities I want it's not financially viable to keep buying from my existing source. So...I'm looking into buying from an importer. Ideally I want about 120 lbs total (made up of 2 or 3 different beans) The smallest the importer sells however is 130-16lb bags.
1) Is this the norm? How likely is it that I will find someone to split a bag?
2) Is anyone interested in splitting a bag or two/selling me some greens?

If I ended up going for 2-3 bags at 130lbs each, I'd have to know that they would last a long time because of the long time it would take me to get through them........
3) I know it's hard to generalize, but how long can greens be stored for before detoriation in flav?

Thanks in advance!
Paul

NB: I'm after premium quality organic, direct /fair trade

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Replies to This Discussion

Cafe Imports does small bags in MN 800 278 5065
Hi Paul,
I'm a home roaster too.
I'm not going to be a wiseguy, but to generally answer your questions;

1) Yes they actually want you to get a pallets worth of coffee, or it's not worth their time ;-)

2) I will share a link with you where you can split bags of coffee between friends, and have fun too.
I buy 90% of all my beans @ Green Coffee Buyers Club my username is garybt3.

3) Green beans generally last up to 2 years (under optimal conditions) before noticeably degrading. Although there are a few tricks to longer term storage, it's best to buy in quantities that you plan on using within the year. IMHO

Gary Roasting Coffee At Home
Your beans are deteriorating right now! no, really.

Coffee is an agricultural product, and like a pear or a leaf of lettuce, it is in a constant state of change, call it deterioration if you will. This seems like an obvious point, but its worth stating. Unlike the pear or lettuce, your green bean are not going to reach a point when they are "bad", (ie. visible mold or slime). I try to cup every production roast I do so I can follow my beans on a week to week, day to day basis. And as the greens in my inventory age, I make adjustments at the roaster. Sorry to answer your question backwards, but the answer to your last is really general: It all depends on your sensitivity to those changes. Ive roasted a coffee for a few months and hated it, then one day it turns a corner and opens up, evens out, and becomes quite pleasent, like some stubourn cabarnet that only blooms after the bottle is open for an hour. Keep in mind: if you bought a bag of coffee from Panama today, it could either be a month old, or thirteen months old, or 8, or 50. Your storage is the last stop on a long, usually complicated journey from the tree.

In my opinion, the earthy character of Indonesians tends to last a bit longer than the bright, acidic notes in central Americans and washed Africans. That being said, sometimes very bright centrals and Africans can benefit from a little aging, While the fruit, fermenty, sweet notes in some dry processed Africans can turn to vinegar after six months. Buy coffee sometime soon after harvest. Roast it all before next harvest. watch your inventory evolve, if something starts to take a turn your dont like, roast it quick and get it out while it is still good. Follow the seasons if you can, different origins harvest at different points in the year, (different elevations harvest at different times of year as well.) Some places have two harvests.

1) This is very much the norm, unless it is something special, and your importer is splitting up bags, (Cup of excellence lots, for example). I've found some vaccum packed coffees in smaller, 20-25kilo bags. I've never roasted on a scale such as yours, and I do no know how many roasters are doing so. It might be tough to find others in your general geographic area that are. if your not roasting more than a few bags in a year, your probably not making a living off of it.

good luck in your endeavor
Thanks for all the great replies. That helps heaps. I kind of figured with regards to the "shelf life" but think I was looking for justification to buy in quantities way larger than I required.
Good food for thought.
Thanks again.

Anita LeBeau Griggs said:
Hi Paul!

Theta Ridge (www.thetaridgecoffee.com) will split bags all the way down to a single pound (or anywhere in between), if you'd like. You can also find 1, 5 and 50 pound bags through ProCoffee (www.procoffee.com). I've purchased from both and have had good experiences with both companies.

The rest of the folks have given you great input about how long the green beans will last in storage.

Good luck!

Anita
Paul

Just remember one major thing regarding this. You are about the 32nd person to have touched this coffee. A lot of barista's forget this major fact. So it's so important that you look into every bit of detail that you possibly can to ensure a good cup.

What everyone has said is all very true. however they are forgetting a very crucial task. Storage of your coffee after you have roasted it. The green bean is extremly resiliant, and can withstand a bit of a beating. However once you have roasted the coffee, looking after it becomes even more crucial. When do you bag it? How long do you let it de-gas before bagging? How do you properly de-gas the coffee? These are some major things you need to take into account. I know of some people that will do a roast, and for a month, test the coffee everyday of the month to see how it de-gasses. when is it's optimal bagging time. You might find some coffee's are better left for 2-3weeks before bagging, and some a couple of days. You need to find out for yourself what works best for you.

So yes, looking after the green bean is important. However, looking after the roasted coffee is even more!
Thanks Wayne, that's a good reminder. I've had that thought floating around in the back of my mind for a while now. I have a decent system in place at the moment but I am only roasting a couple of origins so the testing begins when I expand my stock in order to figure out bagging times for each particular bean.


Wayne Oberholzer said:
Paul

Just remember one major thing regarding this. You are about the 32nd person to have touched this coffee. A lot of barista's forget this major fact. So it's so important that you look into every bit of detail that you possibly can to ensure a good cup.

What everyone has said is all very true. however they are forgetting a very crucial task. Storage of your coffee after you have roasted it. The green bean is extremly resiliant, and can withstand a bit of a beating. However once you have roasted the coffee, looking after it becomes even more crucial. When do you bag it? How long do you let it de-gas before bagging? How do you properly de-gas the coffee? These are some major things you need to take into account. I know of some people that will do a roast, and for a month, test the coffee everyday of the month to see how it de-gasses. when is it's optimal bagging time. You might find some coffee's are better left for 2-3weeks before bagging, and some a couple of days. You need to find out for yourself what works best for you.

So yes, looking after the green bean is important. However, looking after the roasted coffee is even more!

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