What is Peak Flavor Coffee?
Like any fruit or vegetable, coffee tastes best when it is made from freshly roasted beans. Freshly roasted coffee beans reach their best or peak flavor on day 8-14 after roasting. In the first 7 days after roasting, coffee beans need to get rid of the gasses that help develop the aroma and flavor during roasting. Using the beans during this de-gassing phase will generally make your coffee more bitter. After about 8 days, however, the aromas are fully developed, and coffee reaches its best or peak flavor. As of day-14 post roasting, coffee beans start to slowly lose their aromas over time as oxidation sets in. This does not mean that the beans are bad but peak flavor has passed by that time. It is difficult to purchase freshly roasted coffee beans for home usage. Beans from the supermarket are often more than 120 days old and have lost most of their aroma by the time you use them. After such a long time, the oily surface specific to espresso beans often starts to acquire a slightly rancid taste, making beans from the supermarket even more unattractive. To get a coffee with peak flavor at home therefore, you need to buy your beans freshly roasted on demand and use them between day 8-14 after roasting.
Coffee reaches its best or peak flavor during day 8-14 after roasting.
Peak Flavor Coffee is coffee made from freshly roasted beans, brewed 8-14 days after the coffee roasting has been completed. To get best or peak flavor coffee at home, you need to buy your coffee at a place that roasts your order on demand, sends it to you within 7 days in small, good quality packaging so that you can use it within one week from the day it arrives at your home (i.e. day 8-14 post roasting). Coffee beans from the supermarket are often more than 120 days old, which will make it difficult to get the best or peak flavor in your cup.
Fresh beans are important to reach peak flavor in coffee. Generally, green coffee beans should not age beyond 6-8 months before they are roasted. Beans that are older than 6 months before roasting generally lose some of their oils, which contain the most important aromas to make the taste and body of any coffee better and help to form the crema, which is essential to espresso.
Fresh roasting is the most important step to capture most of the coffee bean aromas in your cup and reach peak flavor. Peak flavor can be reached when coffee beans are roasted medium dark with an extended roasting development time. The development time is the roasting phase in which the maillard rection happens and carbohydrates and amino acids are transformed into useful components for taste, body and smell. This roasting phase starts when the beans have lost their moisture and lasts until “first crack”. Extending the roasting development phase with an optimum rate of rise in temperature is essential to getting most flavor and aroma out of your beans. During this phase the beans turn from green to brown.
Following a fresh roast, coffee beans need to rest, so that roasting gasses can escape the beans. Degassing takes about 7 days and ensures that the gasses that helped develop aromas during roasting can now escape from the beans. After degassing for about 7 days, the freshly roasted coffee beans can now be used to make espresso or other types of coffees. That is why it is not advisable to use coffee beans for grinding or brewing within that 7-day period. If you do, you’ll find that small bubbles will appear during brewing and that the coffee has a bitter off-taste. Giving the roasted beans a well-deserved 7-day rest before you grind, use and brew is the best method to preserve aroma and reach peak flavor when you pour a coffee.
To avoid oxidation during these 7 days and beyond, it is important to grind as close as possible to usage. Grinding increases the surface area of coffee dramatically and thus provides ample opportunity to reach more of the coffee solids to speed up oxidation. Oxidation slowly makes the good aromas disappear. That is why it is important that the time of grinding is as close as possible to the time of brewing. To avoid oxidation as much as possible. At Peak Flavor Coffee, we grind our beans only just before sending out the coffee to your house.
To help preserve aromas after grinding, whilst allowing the coffee to rest and de-gass, the last important factor to reach peak flavor is good quality packaging. At Peak flavor Coffee, we use multi-layered packaging with an aroma-seal. Our packs are specifically developed to minimize oxidation before brewing whilst allowing de-gassing through the valve on the front side of the pack. This helps you reach best of peak flavor when you brew the freshly roasted beans at home on day 8-14 after we started roasting your order.
At Peak Flavor Coffee, we start roasting your beans upon receipt of your order. We send the beans to your home during the following 7 days of degassing, so that you can brew coffee in that 8-14-day peak flavor time window and enjoy coffee at its best. Now, you also understand why we do not have large packages of coffee. Selling smaller packs ensures that the coffee stays fresher and gives you the chance to finish your pack with the 8-14-day time window.
If you want to enjoy best or peak flavor coffee, try out a small pack of our coffee, roasted on demand and sent to your home before Day 8.
Source: Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCA - USA)