Now is the time of year when we await the new harvest from most coffee producing countries. The previous year’s crops become described as ‘past crops’ in roasting nomenclature, immediately imposing a negative connotation. There’s a reason for that. Coffee, as a natural food product, undergoes an aging process.
I’d identify two main aging traits that affect the flavor of roasted coffee. One of them is fading, causing a decline of flavor’s intensity and is always inevitable, appearing sooner or later.
The other is a presence of woody flavor and aroma. A very characteristic, unpleasant note that can be compared to wet wood or cardboard, stale bread or grain. The better processed coffee you have, the later it will happen, most likely.
There’s also some anecdotal data that natural processed coffees are more likely to be aged sooner than washed coffees.
A very important thing for a roaster is to be able to detect aged flavors in the cup before purchasing or before they become overwhelming, destroying coffee’s elegant flavor forever!
Our Roasting Tips are brought to you by Piotr Jeżewski (88 Graines Q Grader & Sourcing Director)