Is There a Need to Rest Freshly Roasted Coffee?
Well……. it depends on what your objectives are.
What do I mean?
Well, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with freshly roasted coffee. It smells fantastic, it’s puffed up like popcorn and it’s a beauty to scoop up with your hands and then hear the rustle of it’s fall. And it tastes amazing, kind of like bread straight out of the oven.
There’s a few reasons why the ‘ resting ‘ phase of roasted coffee came about.
Let’s take a look at that.
1.Packaging Roasted Coffee
As you may know, the roasting process brings about many different chemical reactions in the coffee seed. A lot of these reactions create carbon dioxide which escapes as gas. Just because you are done with roasting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the coffee beans are done with all of their reactions.
Believe it or not, it still continues after the roasting process. This results in excess CO2 gas which is released into the surroundings.
What would happen if we were to package them in a sealed airtight container or package?
Yes….. that’d be your perfect time bomb. Perhaps the worst thing is you won’t know when it will go off.
And that’s why there came a need to ‘rest’ freshly roasted coffee beans in order to allow the excess CO2 to escape.
But we don’t need to worry too much nowadays. The advent of the air valve has solved this problem since the valve doesn’t allow air to enter into the package but allows the excess CO2 to escape out of the package.
It’s common to find air valves attached to packages which contain over 250grams(0.55pounds) of coffee but nothing less. So perhaps it may be more common to rest coffee when you are planning to store freshly roasted coffee in a sealed package without valves.
I’ve never had this experience since I’ve only used ‘rested’ coffee when making espresso but I’ve heard some nasty stories.
It seems almost impossible to make espresso from freshly roasted coffee beans. And when I say freshly roasted, I mean coffee that’s just been roasted a few hours ago.
When making espresso, you have to grind the coffee to the point that it pretty much resembles powder. So, the surface area of coffee in contact with the air increases meaning that you have even more CO2 escaping into the air than compared to the pre-grind state.
And then you have to press the ground coffee into a compressed layer inside a porter filter. Not only that, pressurised hot water will force itself through the bed of the coffee.
So, what might happen? Yes, another bomb-like situation. Only this time, it’s not a time-bomb. It’s a hand-grenade with the pin pulled out.
The Mixed Opinions of Freshly Roasted Coffee
Some of my roaster friends have said that the coffee brewed from a freshly roasted batch can be rather ‘gassy’ or ‘fizzy’ since there’s so much activity going on around the palate making it a little difficult to evaluate the taste. They said that resting the coffee for 3~4 days was best for the prime cup of coffee.
But of course, not everyone thinks like this. Some roasters say that there’s nothing better than freshly roasted coffee and that it doesn’t really need resting if you’re just brewing coffee at home and aren’t planning to package it or anything.
The founder of the Blue Bottle Coffee Company even went so much as to make a historic vow:
I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my customers, so they may enjoy coffee at its peak of flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious and responsibly sourced beans.
As I may have stated in my previous post, coffee is really what you want it to be.
If you want to have freshly roasted coffee straight out of the roaster, then go ahead.
And if that tastes amazing and even better than ‘rested’ coffee, then you may have found what you like best.
If, perhaps, coffee straight out of the roaster is not to your liking, then you may enjoy coffee after it’s been rested for some time.
And that’s totally fine.
The only thing to be wary of is when you plan to package freshly roasted coffee or make espresso from freshly roasted coffee.
Otherwise, you have all the freedom as to whether you want to rest or not rest your coffee.
Be happy, and do what makes you happy.