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Do Coffee Beans Need To Breathe?

Coffee making is an art. Many factors come together to make the excellent coffee we get from stores. One of these processes is coffee roasting.

This is a process where green coffee beans are exposed to high heat to make light, medium, or dark roast coffee beans.

coffee beans breathe

Roasting coffee is necessary to enhance the flavor of the beans and produce an excellent-tasting brew.

However, you can only preserve the flavor and aroma of roasted beans by packaging them properly.

This is because roasted coffee beans are pretty fragile, and they should breathe after roasting to make excellent coffee.


How Do Coffee Beans Breathe?

The coffee breathing process, also known as degassing, begins right after roasting is complete.

This is when compounds in coffee beans that are activated during roasting release carbon dioxide and other gases.

These gases should be expelled to ensure the coffee beans retain their flavor and aroma.

Otherwise, freshly roasted coffee is quite unstable. It can lose its taste and appealing smell when exposed to humidity, light, high temperatures, and oxygen.

Therefore, these beans should be packaged in a way that will allow them to breathe to expel the carbon dioxide gas trapped in them during roasting.


What Happens If Coffee Beans Are Not Allowed To Breathe?

Some home coffee roasters prefer to skip the degassing process because they think it is unnecessary. This is the wrong action to take because it destroys the coffee beans.

Too much carbon dioxide affects the texture and flavor of coffee, resulting in a poor-tasting brew. This coffee also has no appealing aroma due to oxidation.

Therefore the process of degassing coffee beans is necessary, and it should begin immediately after the roasting process.

The freshly roasted coffee should be left out to degas for 48 hours in open containers before packaging it in bags.

Otherwise, if these coffee beans are sealed into storage bags immediately after roasting, the release of carbon dioxide from them will likely rupture the packaging.


How to Rest or Degas Coffee Beans

The process of allowing coffee beans to breathe starts at the roastery and continues when the coffee beans are packaged.

During this time, the degassing process is relatively high as the coffee beans release the CO2 in them that has built up during the roasting process.

Using roasted coffee beans to brew coffee at this time will produce a brew with a funny aroma. This is a grainy smell akin to popcorn you can taste when you drink the coffee. It comes from the excess CO2 bubbling into the coffee during brewing, resulting in uneven extraction.

The resting or breathing period will depend on the roaster’s preference. Most roasters determine the resting period depending on the type of roast.

Dark roasts degas faster than light roasts because of their porosity which is occasioned by the lengthy roasting process.

However, regardless of the type of roast, the coffee beans start to develop a pleasant flavor and aroma three days after roasting. This is when many roasters start to package their roasted coffee beans.

Therefore, always ensure the coffee beans you buy have exceeded the roast date for a week to ten days.

If you buy such coffee beans, you are assured they will make richly-flavored coffee with a bold, appealing aroma that brings out their individual characteristics.


How To Store Rested Coffee Beans

A major factor that can destroy the freshness of roasted coffee even after degassing them is air. It eliminates the flavor in coffee through oxidation.

Therefore, roasted coffee beans should be stored in packages with one-way degassing valves 48 hours after the roasting process.

These bags allow excess gases to escape the bag while preventing oxygen from entering it. They also allow the coffee to breathe without destroying its flavor or aroma.

Therefore, you should not store large batches of freshly roasted coffee in one container. Otherwise, they will not have enough room to rest and develop their flavors.

And although it seems like a good idea to freeze coffee beans, this prevents them from breathing, interfering with the degassing process. The condensation that occurs in the fridge can also destroy their overall quality.

These coffee beans may also absorb odors from the refrigerator, giving the coffee they brew a terrible taste or aroma.

Therefore always buy small batches of coffee at a time and store them in breathable one-way valve packages to accommodate the degassing process and keep them fresh.



Now you know that coffee beans need to breathe to attain amazing flavor and aroma.

Therefore, if you buy coffee beans, ensure they are adequately rested to extract the best coffee from them.

Also, store your coffee roast in breathable, airtight containers in a cool, dry place away from light. This will preserve their freshness for longer, allowing you to enjoy fantastic coffee.



Related article:

How to Degas Coffee Beans?