Coffee

Why should I buy fresh roasted coffee?

Coffee is a natural product and should be viewed as such. A freshly baked loaf of bread tastes and smells awesome, but try eating that same loaf a few weeks later. Not so nice, right? The same goes for coffee. After coffee is roasted, it begins going stale due to oxidation. Staling leads to a decrease in the quality of the coffee's flavour and aroma. Coffee maintains optimal freshness for about 2 to 3 weeks after roasting. As such, the widely available packaged coffees found on grocery shelves have more than likely already gone stale.

For this reason, fresh roasted coffee tends to have significantly better flavour compared to commercially packaged coffee as the unique flavour profiles of certain types of coffee, such as citrus, chocolate and berry, are more prominent. Additionally, freshly roasted coffee has an enhanced aroma compared to stale coffee. Stale coffee smells like, well, coffee. But take a whiff of some freshly roasted beans and the aroma is pleasantly intense. Considering that the sensation of flavour is a combination of taste and smell, a coffee's aroma plays a major role in the experience of having a cup of coffee.

Exposure to moisture and light increases the rate of staling, therefore it's best to store coffee in an airtight container away from light. While this won't stop the staling process altogether, it will slow it down.

 

What's wrong with pre-ground coffee?

Everything.

 

Seriously, what's wrong with pre-ground coffee?

It's always best to grind your coffee when you're about to brew it. When coffee is ground, it increases the surface area of the coffee, therefore more coffee is exposed to oxygen in the air which leads to staling. Ground coffee loses approximately 60% of its aroma after 15 minutes.

Coffee oils, which contribute to coffee's flavour, are water soluble. When ground coffee is exposed to moisture, these oils begin to dilute resulting in inferior flavour. These oils are also very delicate and ground coffee can be easily contaminated by nearby odours.

During the coffee roasting process, carbon dioxide gas (CO2) is produced within the bean. Some of this CO2 is released during the cooling process after roasting though some remains stored within the bean. The CO2 that remains within the bean is slowly released over a period of about 2 weeks in a process referred to as degassing. As it releases, CO2 helps preserve the quality of the coffee by forming a barrier against oxygen. When coffee is ground, the rate at which CO2 is released is greatly increased and the coffee can go stale quickly.

 

How should I grind my coffee?

Ideally, you should use a burr grinder.

 

What's the difference between a burr grinder and a regular blade grinder?

A blade grinder (like those typically used for spices) chops the coffee beans as opposed to actually grinding them. This results in an inconsistent grind with large chunks and smaller fines being produced. When brewing coffee, this inconsistency poses a problem as the smaller fines are extracted too quickly while the larger chunks are under-extracted. Over extracted coffee tastes bitter while under extracted coffee can be weak and acidic. In the end, you get an off tasting cup of coffee.

Burr grinders, on the other hand, actually grind the coffee between two burred plates set opposed to each other. One burr is stationary while the other spins, and as coffee beans fall between the burrs, they are ground in a more controlled manner. This results in more consistent grind, and therefore, a better cup of coffee.

With that said, burr grinders can be expensive and a blade grinder is still better than nothing. More importantly, you're still better off using a blade grinder than buying pre-ground coffee.

 

How should I brew my coffee?

However you like! But here are a few tips to remember:

  1. Always ensure you grind your coffee just before brewing
  2. Use good, clean water.
  3. Use enough coffee. 1 1/2 tbsp. to 2 tbsp. per 6 oz is a good starting point.
     

What's the difference between roasts?

Light roasts have a light brown colour with no visible oil on the surface of the beans. These roasts retain the characteristics of their origin more so than darker roasts. With light roasts, you are better able to taste the difference between origins, such as between a Kenyan (winey) and a Sumatran (earthy). However, light roasts are often not balanced (equal parts body, acidity and fruitiness) and can be too acidic for some. Some coffees are also not suited to light roasts and can have an undesirable grassy taste.

Medium roasts offer a compromise between light and dark roasts. They are medium brown in colour with little to no oil on the beans' surface. Medium roasts offer a balance between body and acidity where the characteristics of the origin are still retained but without the grassy tastes of light roasts.

Dark roasts are dark brown in colour (noticing a trend yet?) and have visible oil on the surface of the bean, which is also evident in the cup. At this roast level, the origin flavours are either lost or overshadowed by the flavour of full caramelization. There is substantial body when brewed and the taste can range from chocolatey to even bitter and burnt.

 

What's that smell hole?

It's a one-way degassing valve to allow CO2 to be released from the coffee bag. It's mainly used so that bags can be packed tightly for shipping and not bulge or explode from CO2 expanding the bag.

 

Ordering

How do I place an order?

Easy! Just use our handy ordering form in the Shop section. If you have any special requests, feel free to contact us at orders@noircoffeelab.com and we'll get back to you. You can also call us at (868) 349-1995.

 

Do you deliver?

We deliver directly to homes and offices. In certain cases, we may have to deliver to a fixed location instead.

 

Can I purchase larger bag sizes?

Of course! Larger quantities are available on request. 

 

Will you grind my coffee?

We try to sell whole bean coffee as much as possible, but of course we’ll grind your coffee. Just remember that every time you drink coffee that isn't from freshly ground beans, a little part of your soul dies.