Roasting coffee is an essential step in coffee processing. It involves putting coffee beans in a roaster at high temperatures to get them to preferred roast levels.
A coffee roast determines the flavor and aroma of the coffee beverage you brew. You can roast coffee beans to light, medium, or dark roast levels, depending on your preference.
Some critical factors in the coffee roasting process are the length of time it takes to roast the coffee beans and the resting period.
The resting period is a time after coffee roasting when the beans are set aside to release trapped gases. This process is also referred to as degassing.
Why Is It Important to Rest Coffee after Roasting?
Although you should consume coffee as close to the roast date as possible, brewing it immediately after it is roasted is not recommended. Why is this?
Well, roasting green coffee beans to the light to dark brown color you see involves exposing them to immense heat.
During roasting, the beans release moisture and gases as compounds like amino acids and sugars break down in the heat. These gases are usually trapped inside the beans and released slowly.
It would be best if you gave roasted coffee beans enough time to degas after roasting. Otherwise, if these gases are left in the beans, they will reduce the flavor of your coffee.
That’s why roasted coffee beans are packed in coffee bags with degassing valves to allow the trapped gases to seep out slowly.
What Determines the Length of the Resting Process?
You can determine how long to rest coffee beans depending on the type of coffee roast you are making.
Light roasts have less CO2 trapped in them than dark roast coffee beans. This is because they have not been exposed to heat long enough to release much gas.
However, light roasts are denser than dark roasts, which are more porous due to the lengthy roasting process they go through. Therefore, they hold on fast to any gas released during roasting, making it hard to release it.
So light roasts need to degas longer than dark roast coffees to get rid of the trapped gases in them.
The way you store coffee as it rests will also determine how fast it degasses. Freshly roasted coffee releases gas more quickly in warm temperatures.
Although some people rest freshly roasted coffee in a freezer to shorten the cooling process, it lengthens the degassing time.
Therefore, if you decide to degas your coffee in the freezer to preserve its freshness, let it rest for longer to sufficiently get trapped gas out.
Otherwise, if you inadequately rest your coffee beans, they will brew an acidic or sour brew.
How to Rest Coffee after Roasting
Roasted coffee beans should rest for 5 – 14 days, depending on the roast and type of coffee beans.
Experts suggest that roasted coffee beans are generally at their best 2 weeks after roasting because that’s when they have released enough carbon dioxide.
Doing this improves the flavor of the coffee beans, ensuring you can clearly taste their flavor notes and appreciate their individual characteristics, such as acidity and sweetness.
However, the time you degass coffee beans won’t matter if you store them improperly. Therefore, you should store freshly roasted coffee beans away from humidity, extreme temperatures, acidic substances, oxygen, and light.
Some people rest their roasted coffee in a fridge to speed up the cooling process as it releases carbon dioxide.
While this seems like a good idea, it is not recommended because condensation will occur and destroy the coffee beans.
Keeping freshly roasted coffee beans in the freezer will also hasten the oxidation process and dehydrate them, reducing their quality.
Therefore, always store roasted coffee at 68 degrees fahrenheit during degassing in a cool, dry space to prevent oxidation and loss of flavor. Ensure you keep the coffee in bags with one-way valves to prevent oxidation during this time.
If you rest your coffee in this way, you are assured the gas in them will be released entirely. It will also open up the flavors in the beans, ensuring your brew great-tasting coffee.
Now you know something about resting coffee. This is one of the many things you must do to ensure you make great-tasting coffee.
It is also quite an essential step to master if you roast your coffee beans at home or in your coffee shop.
Otherwise, if you purchase your coffee beans from the store, always go for beans that are at least 7 days beyond the roasting date.
These beans should be packed in bags with one-way valves to facilitate adequate degassing and prevent oxidation. Then you are assured they will brew amazing coffee.