IKAWA Blog | Post-Roast: When to Brew Your Coffee

brewing

#1

freda-ikawa-post-roast

We were all wondering: what’s the ideal amount of time to rest the coffee after roasting on the IKAWA? We had 2x UK Cup Tasters Champion, Freda Yuan, investigate.

Read more here: https://www.ikawacoffee.com/post-roast-when-to-brew-your-coffee/


#2

Thank you Geoff - that’s an interesting post, particularly the contrast with the postscript. Given the two differing experiences, perhaps it’s a personal tasting response and one we all need to try for ourselves.


#3

Thats for sure - it needs to be tried. But I think there is more than personal preferences in play here. From my experience its very different for different beans and roasts. And also a lot dependent on what one finds interesting.
I am able to brew like 30minutes after roast, without the nitro flush, and find it extremely interesting with some coffees - finding notes and tastes that are not present the second day after roast. In the same time it can be quite messy, spiky and disorganized, not a “rounded” experiece, so it might feel interesting to me and undrinkable to someone else :slight_smile: though we only interpret differently what we percieve. And, at the same time, there are beans that tasted really “ugly” right after roast and were the best like few weeks after (though - for me this happens only infrequently, that I would prefere a month old over day old) :smiley:

My approach is, that I try to start drinking the coffee just before its peak (usually day after roast) looking for the peak quality and finishing drinking it just after that moment, having it spread over usually 6-10 days. For me, most of the roasts seem to drop in quality after 4 - 6 days.

A very interesting insight can be also achieved by using the nitro flush and brewing right after roast … having the CO2 not obscuring the rest of what is there to taste. I think using this method one can see quite a lot more of what is lost in the first day or two after roast.


#4

Agreed, if it suits your tastes then that’s a success in some respect. It’s really interesting because people are after different tastes and experiences. For myself, it’s not cut and dry but it’s great to know that really GOOD results are available early. I think a few things will factor into how a coffee performs throughout it’s lifetime. The type of roaster you’re using, the coffee you’re using and how it’s roasted (I find that darker roasts peak earlier than lighter ones on average. I have been drinking coffees the same day I roasted them on the IKAWA more often than I expected, it’s great actually haha. I do find that, like you pavel, the day or two after is slightly better.


#5

Welcome, glad you enjoyed!


#6

I’ve always got the best filter brews the day after roasting, so somewhere around 18 hours post roast. With commercial roasters coffee, I most often get best results on first opening. Sometimes there is another peak maybe a week later.
With the Ikawa beans again I’m finding first brew generally to be the best. 3 days is the longest I’ve still had enough beans from a roast for a brew so far.
I guess it might be instructive to make several batches and open on successive days.


#7

I think it’s still preliminary to decide a length yet, I’ve only achieved one roast that I was really satisfied with and those flavors dissipated after 1 day. Im not saying it’s bad that you can drink a good cup after a day. It just leaves the question of why is there such a small window. Is it the profile? The roaster? Experience will tell…


#8

I’ve sent out blind samples that have been opened several days post roast and have only had good to great feedback. I’m not sure if these were all brewed on the same day as opening or not.

Every batch I’ve made has moved in flavour balance day to day, generally favouring day 1.

I’m currently drinking the Burundi on a slightly modified Shakiso profile. Yesterday it was underwhelming, lacking sweetness. Today it is fantastic, sweet and balanced. So it is hard to draw conclusions…


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So I finished roasting what was left of my Ethiopian (almost a lb) in an hour sitting on Jan 29th, trying to tweak and find where all the blueberries had gone. During the roasting I would get a hint or a waft of the elusive scent. The beans would taste close but not like that one, perfect roast, I had off of the first roast, first profile, I tried with this 5lb bag, what luck that was. A couple days later as I’ve been roasting other coffee’s the DP Ethiopian has been sitting in the storage container, at first hints on about blueberries with a juicy body and some chocolate back. Now a little over a week the blueberries are amassing, shouting to be drunk and the fervor working itself into a frenzy of blueberries. I don’t know what happened but dear god, I am glad, I am glad I did not compost or toss in the bag of “grinder seasonings”. These failed batches that I thought were going to just be juicy and then die off.


#13

I have also found it to be highly dependent on roast profile. My goal is to be similar to the best light specialty roasts I’ve found. I’ve been getting closer in color, aroma and flavor. A distinguishing characteristic is the smell. It’s hard to describe, but essentially it has no negative qualities. Although the positive aroma notes tend to be mellow at first, they grow in intensity for a minimum of two days, often as much as five.

Conversely I’ve found endless defects that also change the scent with time. Often I don’t pick up on the “baked” defect for a day or two if it’s mild. Stalling out also becomes more apparent after a few days. Then there are all kinds of over-shooting and under. A deceptive quality of all these defects is initial volatile formation. You’ll get a whiff or two of something glorious that will be gone the next time you look. Sometimes I get an amazing aroma that lasts for days but terrible flavor (super baked natural roasts).

If a roast tastes okay but the flavor peaks on day 1 and steadily fades, I tend to think something is wrong. Since an early flavor peak doesn’t matter for home roasters as much, and in the pursuit of perfection, I’ve always thought that I might be able to sacrifice some long-term stability for a more intensely flavorful brew with a shorter shelf life. Basically going closer to medium than light, that is. In the rare cases when it comes out well, the flavor will peak earlier. Rarely have I thought day 1 was the peak, however. Even for dark roasts I prefer day 2.

Average about 4 days to peak anyways.