Posted on October 02 2010
The specialty coffee industry in general, has been placing more focus and research the last few years on green coffee transportation and storage, in hopes of extending the "fresh-crop" window of green coffee's life cycle. Traditionally, coffee has shipped and stored in natural fiber bags, such as burlap or jute. Over time (potentially less than a year) the green coffee degrades in these bags, and the green coffee loses it's fresh-crop aroma, color and overall freshness. The resulting roasted cup, loses clarity and sweetness, and can carry a "baggy" quality that is not pleasing to the palette. We have recently begun buying coffees that are shipped from origin in GrainPro SuperGrain bags.
The GrainPro bags are a multi-layer plastic bag (a vapor barrier sandwiched between two layers of polyethylene) made to prolong the storage life of dried grains and seeds. According to GrainPro, "commodities can be stored for prolonged periods without the use of chemicals and refrigeration and without the risk of moisture ingr
ess. The result is that aroma, color, freshness, germination is preserved".
I'll be honest, I was skeptical if the GrainPro bags could provide a noticeable improvement in crop freshness. After all, to me anyway, it just looked like a plastic bag lining the
inside of the traditional jute bag. When the first GrainPro stored coffee arrived, Guatemala Chichupac, and I opened the GrainPro bag - my skepticism b
egan to fade. The fresh, vegetal scent of fresh-crop coffee hit me full force. I was excited to get the coffee into the roaster, and the results did not disappoint. The resulting coffee was full of wonderful exciting dry aromas, and when cupped, full of sweetness and a clarity that is hard to duplicate without fresh-crop coffee.
We are believers in the GrainPro storage bags, and will look to source as many of our coffees as we move forward in GrainPro. All coffees stored in GrainPro will be marked as such on packing slips and invoices, so that our customers will know that this coffee has arrived in as close to fresh-crop condition as possible. We are really excited about these coffees, and will share them with you as they become available.