Have you ever heard of coffee bean degassing or out-gassing? It's nothing more than freshly roasted beans giving off CO2 gas for the first few days. So, why should you care? If you're a regular customer of Lake City Coffee, then coffee bean degassing isn't an issue. On the other hand, you might want to know why Lake City Coffee is so incredibly smooth and why our packaging is far superior and unique in keeping your beans super fresh.
Great-Grandma’s Coffee Bean Degassing
In your Great-Grandma’s time, coffee bean degassing was completely unheard of. Why was Great-Grandma’s coffee so superior in flavor as compared to today's industrial coffee companies? Primarily, because she didn’t burn the snot out of her beans. Instead, she fresh roasted her coffee, at home, to a medium or dark brown color.
By gently roasting her beans using a low-n-slow method, she preserved most of the bean’s oils, thus also preserving more flavor. Because Great-Grandma gently roasted her beans, she also had little, if any, coffee bean degassing.
Industrial Coffee Bean Degassing
Unlike your Great-Grandma, today’s industrial coffee companies burn the living snot out of their coffee beans. Even their “light” roast contains little, if any, of the coffee bean’s original oils. This over roasting is what causes nearly all coffee bean degassing.
Unfortunately for the industrial coffee companies, when their burnt beans are put into an air-tight bag, coffee bean degassing causes the bag to blow-up like a balloon. When this happens, these sealed bags have the potential to burst.
Oxidized Over Roasted Beans
Many coffee roasters promote resting freshly roasted beans for several days before bagging. They actually let their beans sit in open bins to oxidize with the air. Their thinking is the beans need to fully degas before bagging. They also believe that resting the beans improves its flavor.
Resting freshly roasted coffee beans borders on insanity and should be a criminal act. Never let your beans oxidize, i.e. be left in the open air. The best cup of coffee I’ve ever had is on the same day that it was roasted. End of story.
One-Way Valve Myth
Leave it to engineers to make a better mousetrap. The industrial coffee companies could just admit that it’s their own over roasting that’s causing the excessive degassing. Nope, instead of admitting this, they decided to install into their coffee bags a, supposedly, one-way valve, thus allowing the degassing CO2 to escape, yet, supposedly, not let any air back into the bag.
Here's the problem with one-way valves. They don’t work. Along with letting the CO2 escape, they also let the coffee’s natural oils to evaporate. These coffee oils are essentially what makes coffee taste like coffee. Coffee oils contain the coffee’s bioflavonoids, antioxidants, caffeine, aroma, and flavor.
My One-Way Valve Experiments
Hardly a month goes by without me buying coffee from my competitors. Since 2015, in every single instance, each and every one of these knucklehead Charbucks Wannabes package their coffee with fake one-way valves.
And in every instance, I can easily blow and suck air through the valves. I have also let the bag sit for weeks on the counter and never once has the bag changed shape. If the one-way valves actually worked, changing barometric pressure should force the bag to expand and contract. But it doesn’t. It just sits on the counter looking exactly like it did the day it arrived.
Like I said, one-way valves are a cute idea that just doesn’t work. Unfortunately, that means all their customers end up with dry tasteless coffee.
Lake City Coffee's Low-n-Slow Roasting
When whole bean coffee is roasted properly, i.e. gently roasted, low-n-slow, from a golden color all the way to a very dark brown color (never black), then degassing is minimal, thus the fear of blowing up a coffee bag is unfounded.
In fact, when gently roasting coffee beans, I find that what little degassing that does occur, actually improves the flavor and aroma of the coffee beans.
Oxygen – The Enemy of Freshness
As any prepper will tell you, when preserving food that’s intended for a long shelf-life and maintaining as much flavor as possible, this requires eliminating oxygen from the food’s environment. Oxygen is the enemy of freshness.
For some odd reason, every single coffee company that I know of does nothing to eliminate oxygen from the coffee bean’s environment. One-way valves do nothing to take oxygen out of the air within the bag, much less removing the oxygen from the beans.
Prepper’s Oxygen Absorbers
Back to our prepper friends. All preppers know about oxygen absorbers. They’re little packets of food-grade powdered iron that are placed inside of air-tight packages of food. The powdered iron, within the oxygen absorbers, simply turns to rust. The rusting process simply converts the oxygen to nitrogen.
Nitrogen is an inert gas; thus it will not interact with, nor change, any substance. The nitrogen is thus the perfect environment for preserving food. When placed within a food package, these oxygen absorbers can extend the shelf-life of nearly any food product from 1 year to easily 5 years and in some cases to 10 or 20 years.
Lake City Coffee’s Oxygen Absorbers
I’m a prepper and have been for a while, so I’m quite aware of the benefits of oxygen absorbers. Once we changed our packaging to the air-tight standup pouches, it took me about 3 nanoseconds to realize the benefits of adding oxygen absorbers to these super cool air-tight pouches.
I am skeptical by nature and thus had to test any new packaging system. After several months and dozens of experiments later, I concluded that our air-tight pouches with oxygen absorbers not only looked cool, but they kept our coffee way more fresh tasting than anything I could have hoped for.
How Long Will Lake City Coffee Last?
As a rule of thumb, our new packaging will keep your fresh roasted coffee tasting the following percentages as good as the day it was roasted:
- Cupboard 3 weeks = 98%
- Cupboard 6 weeks = 95%
- Freezer 2 months = 95%
- Freezer 4 months = 95%
- Freezer 6 months = 90%
- Freezer 12 months = 90%
How Unique Is Lake City Coffee’s Packaging?
I study my competition. Every year since 2015, I taste test coffee from dozens of my competitors. I also read many articles about my industry and my competitors.
That being said, I can categorically say that I have yet to find anyone, other than us, using oxygen absorbers to preserve their coffee. This is a game-changer. Nobody preserves their coffee longer and with better taste than Lake City Coffee.
Russell & Alisha
As you can tell, Lake City Coffee is a small mom-n-pop business and we like it that way. Therefore, we can afford to take several aspects of our business very seriously.
- We know coffee and we’re very opinionated.
- We’re obsessed with finding the perfect Costa Rican coffee beans. That means that, each year, we taste test dozens of beans from the same region, just to pick one super smooth bean for your drinking pleasure. No one in the industry does this level of taste testing.
- When it comes to roasted coffee, nothing beats freshness. Thus, we like saying “From our Roaster to Your Table In 24-72 hours”.
- Having fun is also important to us. That includes having fun with our business and more importantly having fun getting to know our customers and turning them into friends.
If a big company said these things, I’d say, “BS!”. But unlike our competition, we don’t answer to anyone. Our paychecks aren’t on the line. So, if you’re happy you can tell it to me directly. Or if you have an issue, you can tell that directly to Alisha. Hey! Don't blame me for that setup. She's the CEO. I'm just the chief bottle washer.
Here’s to good coffee and here’s to you!