Fresh Coffee

We roast fresh coffee with maximum flavour and aroma. We aim for coffee bought from this website to reach you in a timely manner. Having only a small range of coffees means we can take the time to roast our coffees with the care and attention they each deserve, ensuring they have maximum flavour.

But our commitment to fresh coffee with maximum flavour actually has three components – green beans, roasting and grinding. Each of these stages introduces an aspect of freshness:

1. Freshly Harvested Green Beans

As with any agricultural product, the freshness of the coffee crop significantly affects its taste. Coffee beans are seeds from cherries, and, like any fruit, fresh ones taste better than old ones. Once harvested, the shelf life of green coffee beans is about a year when it is stored well. Over time, green beans lose their water content and, as they dry out, they become less flavourful. They are also susceptible to outside moisture, flavours and odours, which can all influence the coffee’s flavour.

In most coffee-producing countries, the crop is harvested during one season every year. Our coffee buyers aim to select our green beans from the middle of the season, when the best quality is available. The coffee is then shipped as soon as possible after harvest because a lower relative humidity in the UK, compared to most origin countries, helps ensure less changes in moisture levels in the green beans. This also contributes to maintaining a consistent, stable quality and enables us to appreciate the delicious flavours in our cup.

2. Roasted in the past 7 to 30 days before brewing

Roasted coffee has a much shorter shelf life than green coffee. Once roasted, the coffee achieves Peak Flavour between 7 to 30 days later. The coffee needs time to rest and de-gas, which is why you don’t want to drink coffee immediately after it has been roasted. The aromatic compounds, released during roasting, give coffee its flavour and aroma. These continue to release and break down over time and, in our experience, the peak of flavour lasts for about 30 days.

3. Grind minutes before brewing

Grinding coffee further releases the aromatic compounds, which is why it should ideally be ground right before being brewed, and before the aromas dissipate. These aromatics create the flavour notes in coffee and they need to be captured in the brewing water as quickly as possible, by promptly brewing coffee right after the coffee is ground.

We appreciate some customers prefer the convenience of pre-ground coffee, which is why we make that available. However, since ground coffee has a much larger surface area than beans, the aromatic compounds in the coffee will deteriorate much more quickly than in whole beans, even when nitrogen flushed (learn more about nitrogen flushing here). This is why we only sell 250g ground bags of ground coffee via our website. Smaller bags are usually consumed well within the 30 days Peak Flavour period.

At Spiller & Tait, we follow the three rules of freshness. We buy green beans from the current crop, and dispatch our coffee so you receive it in a timely manner. Then, we always recommend to customers to buy whole beans and grind their coffee just before brewing. View our fresh coffee beans here.