Need some input: barrel aged coffee


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So i've seen these guys being marketed by many cigar aficionados, Oak & Bond. I sent them an inquiry and got some feedback. They do indeed roast, pack, and ship out everything ASAP. Medium roast level, and all coffee is from last harvest.

About me. I make a pour over coffee, single origin, black, just about every single day. Haven't tried anything barrel aged. I've no idea for how long they age them in the barrels for, or even what the process consist of. Obviously they couldn't give away all the details. My question is, for those who are into coffee, is this something I should try out? 

Just something I'm pondering today... 

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usually coffee roasters make a point to tell you that coffee goes off very quickly.

to boost sales, perhaps.

I roast my own and have kept it for three weeks or so with no noticeable loss of essence.  

I don't know what a barrel would add to coffee, and if it would add what it does before the coffee would start to diminish.

maybe someone messed up and bought too much,and decided to market this as a "thing ".

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I taught myself how to roast, and yes, that 3 weeks is where it drops off noticeably. Depends on the coffee and roast level as well. Espresso roasts tend to last a bit longer. 

From what I read on their website, they wanted to be unique, and they started a niche product. I wonder how long they let the green beans "age" in the barrels, and if they add anything to alter the process. Very interesting. I'm not quite sold. Maybe I need to try some.

Green coffee is ok to hold onto about a year after harvest and processing. Perhaps up to a year and a half, but will diminish after that. I've heard of aging green beans, but not in oak barrels before. 

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4 minutes ago, nKostyan said:

Perhaps we are talking about aging coffee in barrels after Bourbon or whiskey? But it's not aging, it's flavoring. Coffee has a short shelf life... unlike cigars...

Not necessarily. I don't have experience aging coffee, but have read about people that have done it. Some have success, some do not. There are so many variables involved.

To be crystal clear, we are not talking about aging coffee post-roast, we are talking before roasting.

The big variable is how the coffee is stored (temp/humi.) and for how long. I've heard anywhere from 6-24 weeks. So 1.5 months to 6 months. 

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I’ve never really heard of this so the cynic in me starts to think ‘gimmick’. But there’s no harm in getting a small bag to try out. I also like a black pour over coffee so would be interested I. Tour thoughts!

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Something tells me that this might actually be decent as an espresso. 

I decided to try them out and will review the bourbon barrel aged as well as the cabernet sauvignon barrel aged.

Reviews for both prepared as pourover via Chemex or Hario, as well as Aeropress, and Aeropress with Prismo.

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The concept of barrel aging seems a little gimmicky to me.. I'd be surprised if it actually had any significant impact on the final cup quality once the green beans had been roasted.

I feel like it'd also be quite easy to attribute a lot of the natural flavours from the coffee to the barrel aging processing.

Will be interested to hear your reviews though ?

 

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1 minute ago, BenW said:

The concept of barrel aging seems a little gimmicky to me.. I'd be surprised if it actually had any significant impact on the final cup quality once the green beans had been roasted.

I feel like it'd also be quite easy to attribute a lot of the natural flavours from the coffee to the barrel aging processing.

Will be interested to hear your reviews though ?

 

I'm gravitating towards gimmick as well, but curiosity has compelled me to at least give it a shot. They claim medium roast with a single origin Brazil (Chapadas de Minas) in which I have a bit of knowledge and experience with--Brazilian coffees in general--not any specific farms. It's always been best to me roasted and served as espresso. That is mainly how you see Brazilian coffee served, or as part of an espresso blend. But we'll see how it goes

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I’ve tried a few different whiskey barrel-aged coffees. It’s part gimmick for sure, but can be dependent of the coffee used. (i.e. sumatra, colombian, ethiopian, brasilian) 

That characteristic whiskey barrel aspect you find in barrel aged beers comes through in spades in the coffee. It’s too intense for an everyday cup. As achange of pace it’s fun. Put some in a homemade ice cream it could work very well. 

If you are into fancy coffee, pourovers stuff like that then, sure give it a try! Best if a local cafe has some you can try a single cup, but a bag won’t put you out much money anyway. Looking back, I should have tried some as iced coffee. That might have worked well. 

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6 hours ago, garbandz said:

usually coffee roasters make a point to tell you that coffee goes off very quickly.

to boost sales, perhaps.

I roast my own and have kept it for three weeks or so with no noticeable loss of essence.  

I don't know what a barrel would add to coffee, and if it would add what it does before the coffee would start to diminish.

maybe someone messed up and bought too much,and decided to market this as a "thing ".

I haven't tried this myself, but my brother buys freshly roasted beans and then vacuum-packs them at home.  He claims that there is no loss of flavour, and I never noticed a difference when I had a cup at his place (but then, his taste in beans, grin and roasts is different to mine, so who knows).  Might be an idea to experiment with...

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Just now, gweilgi said:

I haven't tried this myself, but my brother buys freshly roasted beans and then vacuum-packs them at home.  He claims that there is no loss of flavour, and I never noticed a difference when I had a cup at his place (but then, his taste in beans, grin and roasts is different to mine, so who knows).  Might be an idea to experiment with...

Nah this doesn't work. However, some companies (Blue bottle the leader) have been using what I believe to be nitrogen when they package grounds, single servings. I've tried them and they are very similar. The price is offsetting though. 

As soon as coffee is roasted, it degrades exponentially. Removing the oxygen doesn't stop that. Also, if you don't use a 1-way valve, I can see it popping under the pressure as the coffee de-gases.

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33 minutes ago, Derboesekoenig said:

Nah this doesn't work. However, some companies (Blue bottle the leader) have been using what I believe to be nitrogen when they package grounds, single servings. I've tried them and they are very similar. The price is offsetting though. 

Using nitrogen in a domestic setting would be prohibitive and would take us way, way down the rabbit hole of obsessive behaviour.... ? 

But they do use it for all manner of fruit to preserve them, sometimes for years, until they can be sent to market.  The big fruit growers in the Alto Adige (South Tyrol, Italy), for instance, use huge nitrogen-filled warehouses to store their apple harvest.  

 

33 minutes ago, Derboesekoenig said:

As soon as coffee is roasted, it degrades exponentially. Removing the oxygen doesn't stop that. Also, if you don't use a 1-way valve, I can see it popping under the pressure as the coffee de-gases.

Would it not help to store the vacuum-sealed bag in the freezer?  This should dramatically slow down the de-gassing.  

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5 minutes ago, gweilgi said:

Using nitrogen in a domestic setting would be prohibitive and would take us way, way down the rabbit hole of obsessive behaviour.... ? 

But they do use it for all manner of fruit to preserve them, sometimes for years, until they can be sent to market.  The big fruit growers in the Alto Adige (South Tyrol, Italy), for instance, use huge nitrogen-filled warehouses to store their apple harvest.  

 

Would it not help to store the vacuum-sealed bag in the freezer?  This should dramatically slow down the de-gassing.  

The temperature of the freezer kills all the flavor in roasted coffee. It actually changes the cell structure of the coffee itself. 

I have found that storing coffee in their original bags with the 1-way valves, and I put that in an airtight aluminum canister with 1-way valve keeps coffee freshest. If anyone has a better idea, let me know!

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on a similar note,I tried putting some green beans in my smoker, after 3 hours of intense applewood smoking, I roasted them.

I could not detect any smoke at all.

oh well............

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