Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why we roast

People ask me frequently, "Why does The Commonplace Coffeehouse roast coffee?" The quick answer: Coffee stales quickly.
It doesn’t go bad like bread which will harden and show mold. However, there are clues that the consumer can recognize when trying to determine the freshness of coffee.
Given about one month after roasting, coffee has almost completely lost its flavor and gone stale (really you should be drinking your coffee 3 days after roasting to 14 days). Most coffeehouses do not roast their own coffee beans, but they should. When you walk into the grocery store to buy your coffee, think, “When was this coffee roasted? Have the purveyors cleaned the bins that they are in (the oils in coffee can go rancid and sour)?”
One can tell coffee is fresh by smelling the coffee — is the aroma strong and consistent or does it have a touch of sourness to it? Does it smell "skunky?" You can also tell by snapping the bean in half. If the bean snaps it is fresh — NO SNAP = STALE.
The Commonplace Coffeehouse has a small capacity roaster so that every roasted coffee bean that is in the coffeehouse is no more than a couple days old. A commitment to freshness should be enjoyed at every level of life that is affordable to the consumer — coffee could be that commodity for you. Come, let’s pursue the perfect cup together.