The importance of your roast date

February 25, 2015

How important is a roast date?  We look at when our bread was baked. We look at when our meat was cut. We look at all 360 degrees of every vegetable and fruit then smell it before we put it in our shopping cart. Shouldn't we look at the roast date on our coffee? Somewhere down the road we never picked that up.

This needs to STOP! You are right in saying your year old coffee won't kill you, but this isn't Egyptian honey we’re talking about. It might still taste like coffee, but it isn’t something you can RAVE about! You deserve better. If you’re looking for good coffee, you have to look for the roast date, and demand one. Having a freshest before date isn’t good enough. No, you want coffee that tastes good, not coffee that just-isn’t-bad-yet.  If a company doesn't have a roast date that means they have stopped caring about their freshness of their coffee and started thinking about how full their shelves are. We apologize if you’ve come into RAVE and we’ve run out of our Kenyan microlot. We really are because it’s an amazing coffee. We’ve got a great excuse though. Some gentleman who looks like Einstein and really likes his coffee just bought our last kilo. We made enough to keep it fresh. Your regular grocery store can’t guarantee that and countless other coffee sources can’t either. We’ll have some more for you before you can say Yirgacheffe correctly.

Think that’s too much to think about? After coffee is roasted it releases gases and over time develops flavour.  At RAVE we don’t put any coffee in our espresso hopper until it's at least 6 days old, 8-10 days preferably.  At an espresso level it can be way too acidic and bright if brewed too early. Between the 1 week and 5 week period, coffee is at its best.  After 5 weeks it starts to lose flavour and go downhill from there. If you aren’t going through your coffee within two months of buying a bag you should probably think about buying a smaller bag.

Okay, so you bought a small bag of beans that are fresh, 6 days from roast- the perfect time to start using it. But you’re going away on a week vacation in a couple days. You have to put them in your freezer because that keeps them fresher...? Sorry another myth, just like lighter roasts having more caffeine.  All of our bags have a one-way valve to let the gases escape the bag and all of our 250g bags are resealable to make them air tight. Put that on your shelf where you keep your spices, your cups, your crackers at room temperature.  No freezer or fridge for those precious beans!


Be careful when grinding your coffee to not leave it out for too long. The increased surface area of ground coffee speeds up the degassing process and ultimately you will lose the freshness of the coffee. Even the best coffee beans can taste stale if you leave them ground for too long.