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1 hour ago, Kevin K said:

Recommendations from an actual coffee professional, in case of interest. 

http://eatinglocalatlakeside.blogspot.com/2012/06/buying-brewing-good-coffee-at-lake.html

Yes....this is my favourite .

Labeled "medium roast" but actually a bit darker is the whole bean Mexican coffee from Costco, which at around 200 pesos for an entire kilo of expertly-sourced, freshly-roasted beans is without a doubt the best value too for those who venture into Guadalajara regularly and have enough room in their freezers to store the excess beans once the valve bag is opened.

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On 11/23/2018 at 11:07 AM, Alpha1 said:

Yes....this is my favourite .

Labeled "medium roast" but actually a bit darker is the whole bean Mexican coffee from Costco, which at around 200 pesos for an entire kilo of expertly-sourced, freshly-roasted beans is without a doubt the best value too for those who venture into Guadalajara regularly and have enough room in their freezers to store the excess beans once the valve bag is opened.

i would suggest, as a professional coffee roaster, that you do not freeze the coffee. this is my opinion based on my years of experience, others may disagree.  up to 6 to 8 weeks from roast date (which is placed on every one of our bags) coffee (in bean form, packaged air tight, no light) will retain practically all of its freshness. i suggest if you have coffee older than that you should purchase smaller quantities. i also believe that the quality of the Mexican bean has greatly increased in the last ten years and this is supported by other professionals i interact with and not just my own opinion. interestingly enough, the Veracruz is often a key element in many espresso blends that various cafes and restaurants purchase from me.  i agree with the article regarding french roasts and yet i sell way more french roast than any other type. go figure. i disagree that medium roasts have more caffeine as this has been debunked for a number of years now. i must say the articles publication date probably explains this error. i also agree whole heartedly that the chiapas medium is an excellent coffee, and i have numerous customers that only buy that.  ultimately its a personal choice. cheers to all drinkers of the grand bean.

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I am a coffee lover who knows nothing about where good coffee comes from. Thank you very much for your input, Cyril. It helped me a lot to better understand how much more I have to learn. :) 

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On 11/23/2018 at 11:07 AM, Alpha1 said:

Yes....this is my favourite .

Labeled "medium roast" but actually a bit darker is the whole bean Mexican coffee from Costco, which at around 200 pesos for an entire kilo of expertly-sourced, freshly-roasted beans is without a doubt the best value too for those who venture into Guadalajara regularly and have enough room in their freezers to store the excess beans once the valve bag is opened.

Storing coffee in the freezer isn't optimal. The freezer dries out the natural oils. You can see this yourself- the beans are shiny when fresh, after storing in the freezer, they will be dull. Affects the flavor. 

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On 11/24/2018 at 12:15 PM, cyril said:

i would suggest, as a professional coffee roaster, that you do not freeze the coffee. this is my opinion based on my years of experience, others may disagree.  up to 6 to 8 weeks from roast date (which is placed on every one of our bags) coffee (in bean form, packaged air tight, no light) will retain practically all of its freshness. i suggest if you have coffee older than that you should purchase smaller quantities. i also believe that the quality of the Mexican bean has greatly increased in the last ten years and this is supported by other professionals i interact with and not just my own opinion. interestingly enough, the Veracruz is often a key element in many espresso blends that various cafes and restaurants purchase from me.  i agree with the article regarding french roasts and yet i sell way more french roast than any other type. go figure. i disagree that medium roasts have more caffeine as this has been debunked for a number of years now. i must say the articles publication date probably explains this error. i also agree whole heartedly that the chiapas medium is an excellent coffee, and i have numerous customers that only buy that.  ultimately its a personal choice. cheers to all drinkers of the grand bean.

As not just a coffee roaster but a buyer and taster who's worked at the highest levels of the specialty coffee industry for 30 years (and as author of a highly-regarded book on coffee, "Coffee Basics:) I do feel obliged to correct some of the well-intentioned misinformation here. 

Coffee in whole bean form stays fresh for up to 2 weeks from roast at room temperature. That freshness can be extended by packaging the coffee in special multilayer bags (foil must be among the layers) with one-way valves on them to allow CO2 to escape, drawing a full vacuum on the coffee, back-flushing the bag with nitrogen to get residual oxygen down to below 2% and heat sealing the bag. The roaster has to do ALL of the above steps to extend shelf life to up to 3 months from roast date. Starbucks and other large roasters do this, local roasters at Lake Chapala do not have anything like the capital required for the equipment and at best just heat-seal their coffee in bags with either a small pinprick hole to let the gas out or a valve. In such cases the shelf life is two weeks from roast date. It is uncommon to see a roast date on supermarket coffees at Lakeside, but the 6 to 8 weeks from roast standard is incorect and is basically just pawning off stale coffee on consumers. 

If you do have access to truly fresh-roasted beans (which at Lake Chapala means buying them directly from Cafe Grano Cafe or El Arbol de Café/The Coffee Tree in Chapala AND you don't go through those beans in a week then freezing them in airtight containers will extend their shelf life to a month or two. This is not just my opinion, it is scientific fact, as detailed in Michael Sivetz's "Coffee Technology" and numerous subsequent studies, including a recent one on freshness conducted by the Specialty Coffee Association. 

It is also not true that the general quality of Mexican coffee has improved dramatically in recent years. There are hopeful signs in a few areas, with some good innovations in Oaxaca in particular as well as the Cup of Excellence competitions coming to Mexico but overall Mexico is far behind the top Central American producers. I continue to taste the best lots from Chiapas, Veracruz and Oaxaca imported by my peers in the trade here  and definitely stand by my ranking of the three growing regions (My coffee  article whcih I provided the link to above is updated annually). 

As for caffeine content, it's a complex topic but what really matters at the consumer level is that most people (including your manyVeracruz French Roast fans) conflate strong (bitter) TASTING coffee with strong (high-caffeine) coffee and the two things are not the same. Darkly-roasted coffee is all about the burnt taste of the roast, not the coffee that's been torched. French Roasts are bitter but actually quite light-bodied and (by volume) lower in caffeine since so much soluble coffee material has literally gone up the smoke stack. And yes - French Roast is wildly popular despite professional coffee buyers and tasters hating the stuff. 

One of the basic tastings I do in consumer classes is to brew a bright, lightly-roasted Kenya that tastes as acidic as orange juice, a medium-roasted Sumatra that is low-acid but syrupy smooth and heavy bodied, and a French Roast that is, of course, bitter and thin. That tasting is called "the three ways coffee can taste strong" but most consumers only know about the dark roast version. Between the extremes of acidic light roasts and burnt French lies a wonderful world of balanced coffee flavor and good Mexican coffee, with its mild chocolate and nut flavor notes and excellent balance, is optimally suited for such roasts. 

Regardless of your preferred roast or vendor, you're very fortunate indeed to be able to drink good locally--roasted coffee at Lakeside for a fraction of the price of the same beans in the U.S., and to be able to support wonderful local businesses in the process. 

 

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I have seen the guy from Cafe Grano at Superlake putting his own coffees on the shelf. Maybe that is how it is done here by salesmen who want their goods out on the shelves.

 

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21 hours ago, Kevin K said:

As not just a coffee roaster but a buyer and taster who's worked at the highest levels of the specialty coffee industry for 30 years (and as author of a highly-regarded book on coffee, "Coffee Basics:) I do feel obliged to correct some of the well-intentioned misinformation here. 

Coffee in whole bean form stays fresh for up to 2 weeks from roast at room temperature. That freshness can be extended by packaging the coffee in special multilayer bags (foil must be among the layers) with one-way valves on them to allow CO2 to escape, drawing a full vacuum on the coffee, back-flushing the bag with nitrogen to get residual oxygen down to below 2% and heat sealing the bag. The roaster has to do ALL of the above steps to extend shelf life to up to 3 months from roast date. Starbucks and other large roasters do this, local roasters at Lake Chapala do not have anything like the capital required for the equipment and at best just heat-seal their coffee in bags with either a small pinprick hole to let the gas out or a valve. In such cases the shelf life is two weeks from roast date. It is uncommon to see a roast date on supermarket coffees at Lakeside, but the 6 to 8 weeks from roast standard is incorect and is basically just pawning off stale coffee on consumers. 

If you do have access to truly fresh-roasted beans (which at Lake Chapala means buying them directly from Cafe Grano Cafe or El Arbol de Café/The Coffee Tree in Chapala AND you don't go through those beans in a week then freezing them in airtight containers will extend their shelf life to a month or two. This is not just my opinion, it is scientific fact, as detailed in Michael Sivetz's "Coffee Technology" and numerous subsequent studies, including a recent one on freshness conducted by the Specialty Coffee Association. 

It is also not true that the general quality of Mexican coffee has improved dramatically in recent years. There are hopeful signs in a few areas, with some good innovations in Oaxaca in particular as well as the Cup of Excellence competitions coming to Mexico but overall Mexico is far behind the top Central American producers. I continue to taste the best lots from Chiapas, Veracruz and Oaxaca imported by my peers in the trade here  and definitely stand by my ranking of the three growing regions (My coffee  article whcih I provided the link to above is updated annually). 

As for caffeine content, it's a complex topic but what really matters at the consumer level is that most people (including your manyVeracruz French Roast fans) conflate strong (bitter) TASTING coffee with strong (high-caffeine) coffee and the two things are not the same. Darkly-roasted coffee is all about the burnt taste of the roast, not the coffee that's been torched. French Roasts are bitter but actually quite light-bodied and (by volume) lower in caffeine since so much soluble coffee material has literally gone up the smoke stack. And yes - French Roast is wildly popular despite professional coffee buyers and tasters hating the stuff. 

One of the basic tastings I do in consumer classes is to brew a bright, lightly-roasted Kenya that tastes as acidic as orange juice, a medium-roasted Sumatra that is low-acid but syrupy smooth and heavy bodied, and a French Roast that is, of course, bitter and thin. That tasting is called "the three ways coffee can taste strong" but most consumers only know about the dark roast version. Between the extremes of acidic light roasts and burnt French lies a wonderful world of balanced coffee flavor and good Mexican coffee, with its mild chocolate and nut flavor notes and excellent balance, is optimally suited for such roasts. 

Regardless of your preferred roast or vendor, you're very fortunate indeed to be able to drink good locally--roasted coffee at Lakeside for a fraction of the price of the same beans in the U.S., and to be able to support wonderful local businesses in the process. 

 

great info kevin. i would love to be able to ship the perfect amount of coffee  to super lake, but i live in la manzanilla and rely on someone telling me when they are out at superlake as they are  not interested in checking my stock nor contacting me when they are out.. fair enough im sure they are busy .  true , mexican coffee isnt considered as good as many central american countries but still is a good coffee. and i only said that up to 6 weeks the coffee will retain "most" of its freshness, obviously a week or two would be ideal. but to claim it is stale is misleading. For a connoisseur like yourself, that may be an appropriate term  but for the masses of coffee drinkers i think its a bit strong. an aside, scientific facts are provisional, many change with further study.  anyways,  im still working on the right balance with superlake regarding type, quantity and delivery, in order to maximize the freshness. i have been sending a package every two months give or take (whenever they are out.)im busy enough here and hadnt thought of halving my shipments but certainly will entertain the idea next time around.  as johanson implied we are always learning, so thanks a latte.

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