Stale coffee beans

by Elaina
(Overland Park, Kansas, USA)


How do I make stale roasted coffee beans taste fresh again? I bought columbian supremo whole coffee beans from my local grocer about 6 months ago and they have been in the same bag that they came in.

I know that the whole beans have got to be stale but I don't want to just throw them out if there is a way for me to make them fresh again. How can I make my stale whole coffee beans taste fresh again?


Elaina, hi

The short answer to your question is that you can’t make stale roasted coffee beans fresh again. No more than you can you can make stale cookies fresh again, or stale bread fresh again.

If they were green coffee beans, unroasted, that would be a whole other story. Green beans are bagged in sacks after processing and then make their way around the globe to wholesalers, and then to individual roasters.

Through this long journey the green beans are stable and don’t become stale.

It’s the roasting process that changes everything. From the moment coffee beans come out of the roaster, they begin to lose flavor. That’s because the volatile oils in coffee begin to evaporate, and it is in those oils that much of the flavor can be found.

This is why small and artisan coffee roasters often make a point of letting their customers know that the coffee beans they sell were roasted on that same day, or the day before. It lets people know that very little of the flavor will have been lost.

As for your stale beans, I am afraid there is nothing you can do to bring them back to their original, fresh state.

Sorry about that!

Further reading:

Finding and making the most of gourmet coffee…

Comments for Stale coffee beans

Click here to add your own comments

I will buy old beans
by: Danielle

I am willing to buy old coffee beans from anyone looking to sell! Please let me know - 212-692-1376. Thanks

...nearly stale
by: the KIng

Try re-roasting for a short while (then cool!); it won't make them new but the stale taste goes away somewhat. Combine with (ie bulk out) with fresh 'every-day' blend for quite passable usage - 'won't win awards but will use up not too old beans

How To Tell Freshly Roasted ?
by: Anonymous

How can one be certain a lot of coffee beans have been freshly roasted by the seller ? I don't meal a lot but a lot like industry produces a pallet of whatever in a single run.

The eternal freshness paradox and conundrum
by: Parker Gabriel

This is a question that has bothered coffee suppliers and drinkers for centuries--freshness.

It has long been a paradox, and a conundrum, that as roasting coffee beans brings out their flavor, it also sets that flavor up to destroy itself without some sort of means of sealing away any exposure to air.

And it has neither been solved nor been answered to anyone's satisfaction as yet.

stale and gone forever..........
by: pistachio

.........unless of course you can raise the dead...

if you can raise the dead,,, then I would guess that you can heal the coffee beans.... Hallellulah ! !

I have have some blue mountain coffee,, it was a long time in the closet,,,

made a pot / the oils had turned rancid! ! ! !


sorry,, in the trash

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions about Coffee.

Before you go, sign up to receive the Coffee Detective Newsletter...

Sign up for occasional newsletters about the best coffees and brewing equipment. Plus special updates from the Coffee Detective Coffee Store…