What is the benefit of aging coffee beans? Would aging them in a Bourbon barrel have any additional effect?

What is the benefit of aging coffee beans? Would aging them in a Bourbon barrel have any additional effect?

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  1. So they’re a nut, and are perishable. So aging them for long periods isnt like aging a steak or anything
    When you age bourbon the flavor comes from the barrel, the change in temperature over the seasons, draws the alcohol in and out of the wood, and the alcohol carries the flavor back into the mix
    A dry bean wont really take on these flavors well
    You can soak the bean in bourbon, but then need to dry it again, before roasting

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  2. A great deal of the unique or at least interesting flavors you get from a coffee bean have to do with how it is processed after picking. Some places ferment the coffee for a while while still in the cherry. Some extract the beans from the cherries, but let them ferment and then dry with the bits of pulp still stuck to them. Some extract the bean and thoroughly clean the beans before drying them. Different fermenting and drying methods lead to some interesting flavors.
    Now, after the coffee has been (de)pulped, washed, dried and the parchment removed, it is typically ready for packing for shipping. In some cases in the past, some coffee that failed to get shipped was left in warehouses until the next season. Some of this coffee, depending on how it responded to the climate over the year it sat in warehouse, picked up bad flavors—like the taste of damp burlap bags or molds that grew on the beans. Other coffees in places where after having been wetter by seasonal rains, dried quickly and took on interesting characteristics. These coffees were then marketed as desirable rather than as being “last year’s overstock.”
    Today, these coffees are aged on purpose to get this flavor effect. One type of aging is called “monsooning” name after the season in which it is exposed to wet weather and then dried thoroughly by dry heat. Monsooned Malabar coffee (from India) is a funky coffee that some (like me) find is a rare treat. After being aged, the “green” beans are no longer green, but rather are the color of parchment or what a coffee bean looks like after the first couple minutes of roasting.
    Aging is not always good for a coffee bean. In fact, it’s usually a bad thing. However, there are a few beans of certain origins that because of their initial processing and the way they are stored gain interesting flavors when aged a bit.
    Aging in a bourbon barrel is something you might do with liquids, because the liquid then extracts flavor elements (tannins and vanillins) from the oak wood and, in new barrels, the charcoal of the charred interior adsorbs certain organic impurities in distilled alcohol liquids like it does with whiskey/bourbon. Putting BREWED coffee in such barrels might make a difference, though you’d lose some of the character that makes good coffee “good,” but simply putting dry coffee beans in a bourbon barrel would give you, well, dried coffee beans that were stored in a barrel for a while instead of a bag. You wouldn’t notice anything particularly different.

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  3. Dried beans, the way they come from the farm, I don’t think they benefit from aging. I’ve never heard of them being aged.
    But after coffee is roasted, they outgas, they give off CO2. If you grind and brew the coffee immediately it has a little bit of harshness. You want to let it sit anywhere from 10 hrs to 2 days, depending on what kind of coffee it is. I used to roast my own coffee and I learned this for myself. If you put freshly roasted beans in a ziploc bag, the next day it will be blown up like a balloon!
    In some roasting plants, they package the coffee beans as soon as they’re cooled from roasting. The bag they put them in is sealed but it as a little plastic ‘button’ that’s actually a one-way valve. They allow the coffee to outgas and for the gas to escape, but keep air from outside from coming in.
    I think roasted beans might pick up some flavors from the bourbon barrel. It would depend on a lot of things. You’d probably do better to just put a little bourbon in the coffee!

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  4. It sounds like a cool marketing technique & might impart a bourbon scent, but as to whether it would accentuate flavor, who knows? You’d have to try it out to determine that.

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