Paper or plastic? It’s no longer just a question you hear at the supermarket – now you have the same choice when you buy espresso from us.
Some of you may recall that when we launched this business in late 2007, we bagged coffee in red plastic valve bags. That didn’t last long, based on feedback from customers. It was clear that people wanted a more environmentally sensitive option, so we switched to PLA (corn film) lined kraft tin-tie bags. We were proud to be the first coffee company in the South to offer biodegradable packaging, and we use those bags to this day.
But we don’t love everything about them. In particular, they are not good for long-term storage of coffee. We recommend you transfer your beans to a reusable, airtight container and store them in the freezer. That works well in the vast majority of situations.
So what’s up with the choice for espresso? The holy grail of espresso pours is 1 oz of 200F water (plus/minus 5F), at 9 bar pressure, through 7 grams coffee, in 25-30 seconds. But it’s more complicated than that, even. You want a few deep reddish brown drops to fall into the heated porcelin cup a second or two after the preinfusion, yielding to a lushious stream that resembles the tail of a mouse, and persists with that color without blonding out toward the end of the pour. And the resulting cup will be mostly emulsified oils, initially, demonstrating the “Guiness effect” until finally coming to rest after 15 seconds or so with a crema head that is half the volume of the cup. With that beautiful deep amber hue, and without tiger striping. Whew. If Roast Magazine had the equivalent of the Penthouse Forum, I would write for them, don’t you think?
You hard core coffee geeks (like me) know that espresso beans are hyper-sensitive to aging. Old beans just don’t behave the way I describe above, no matter how much you tweak the grind, the temp, the tamp, etc. But what is too old? Well, sadly, the answer is that a brewed coffee may be wonderful at 10 days in the kraft bag, or even two weeks. But that’s unlikely with espresso. The clock starts ticking at about day 4. And runs out by about day 10 or 12.
The problem is, if you live far from us, you may tick off four or five of your days waiting for the FedEx man. So for these customers (or those who want to extend their enjoyment as long as possible), we are now offering a choice of the red polymer valve bags. They are the Cadillac of coffee bags, for sure. The downside is, your grandchildren will be able to retrieve them intact from the landfill. So we encourage you to think about whether you really need this level of packaging, and encourage you to rinse and reuse them around the house. But customers have spoken, and choice is what they want.
We do have a small upcharge for thes bags. Fact is, they are more expensive. Quite a bit more, actually. Sorry about that, but you’ll have to take that subject up with the bag company.
We hope you appreciate having a choice, and choose according to your needs.