Before I learned as much as I know now about coffee, I was buying what I thought to be high end coffee, Starbucks. Even worse, I was buying it pre-ground which means the flavors were wasting away by the hour after they had first been ground at the factory in Seattle WA, which is where their headquarters is. Did you know that once you open that vacuum sealed bag ground coffee only lasts for 2-3 days? From that point on the grounds begin to lose their individual flavors and begin to develop bitterness, somewhat sour and burnt flavors and eventually it tastes musty and as if it's been sitting on the coffeepot's heater for 2 days straight. Yuck and what a waste. Whole beans last 2-3 weeks after you open the vacuum seal bag before they start to lose their flavors and warping into the same as the grounds do. So, whole beans are the way to go and if you won't go through a full pound of whole beans in 2-3 weeks go for the smaller single origin bags. Our beans are all custom roasted as you order them and shipped the next day so that they are as fresh as they get. You will even notice a difference when you grind them. The aroma heightens by 80% and the grounds even look different. Also, they grind much easier, quicker, and more evenly. We only carry single origin, specialty grade beans that come in vacuum sealed bags with 8.8oz of beans so that they don't have a chance to get stale.
I'm sure you're thinking, "how much different could fresh roasted beans really taste?" I thought the same thing at first. Then I got my first roaster just to play with at first and after letting the beans set for 12-24 hours, the aroma of the beans took over the entire room when I opened the zip lock bag. I can still remember the smell and the awe I was in. My mouth actually started to water. When beans come right out of the roaster they have little to no smell. That is why they have to set and develop aroma and flavors. I got our my handy grinder, ground those beans up and remember seeing what looked like tiny pieces of wood. Why, you ask? When the beans are still fresh, and aren't roasted to extra dark where they lose all flavors that make them unique, there is still a little bit of chaff inside the bean's crease and when it grinds it looks like wood. If they aren't fresh that would've dried up and fallen out or wouldn't have ground at all. So, I decided to use my French press and I watched it, as if it would be ready quicker if I stood there with eyes on it, and once I pushed the grinds down, poured that beautiful looking liquid with the most pristine smell ever, I was amazed at all of the differences I noticed already and I hadn't even tasted it yet. I decided to drink it without any milk or sweetener for the first time, which normally I wouldn't like but I really wanted experience the pure flavor of this fresh Guatemala La Esperanza. OH WOW! This wasn't just fresher coffee. This was in a whole different sport from store bought or coffee shop bought coffee. The flavors are intense and very bright; full of clarity. I could actually taste each of those flavors the coffee companies name on their bags such as chocolate, walnuts, peaches, etc. and I'd never taste any of them in their coffees but I'm sure they had those flavors when they had just been roasted and for about 3 weeks after. As I sat there drinking this blissful cup of coffee I started to think, "I don't want this to end." It was a great feeling but I also knew I couldn't drink it all day long since my nerves would be shot. One of my regular customers said it best, "I can truly tell a big difference between your fresh roasted coffee and any other, even specialty and single origin coffees and once you experience the difference there is no going back."