Time for a little More feedback.
I roasted a Guatemala Finca Isabel on Monday 11th Feb 2008 and then vacuum packed the coffee. I didn't do anything else to the coffee, didn't re-vacuum the bag…nothing. On Friday the 15th Feb 2008 I cracked the seal to the bag..
My objectives for this initial rough test were:
The medium bags…are they large enough to hold a roast and all the CO2 that's produced, without becoming unduly pressurised
Does the valve stay closed and not allow Oxygen in once the Vacuum is broken down by the outgassing beans?
Emphatically Yes, as the initial vacuum seems to seat the sealing valve so tightly, that it takes a reasonable amount of suction to open it again and squeezing the bag even fairly hard, doesn't open the valve. I am totally reassured that no air can flow bag into the bag (even with the vacuum gone).
How did the coffee smell when the seal was broken?
The smell was incredible and slightly different to normal…incredibly fresh with no hints of "oldness" (there is a certain smell I associate with "oldness" and all coffees seem to have it to varying degrees as they age. This had not a trace of it. The richness of smell, may have been because of the trapped gasses as well.
How did it taste?
I only tried it as an Americano, but so far….wow and I will certainly have yummed it all up before I see Paul and Martin, unless they come round on Saturday night?
Did you notice anything else?
Interestingly, I noticed the coffee had to be ground at least 1 maybe 2 notches coarser than usual!
Any bad news?
Unfortunately yes….. I bought the whole sealing system for 24.99 plus 4.95 for 7 extra medium bags, giving me 10 bags in total. Tonight I tried simply sucking the air out of the bag (via the valve) with my mouth and found I could achieve a vacuum almost as good as the machine was capable of. Certainly even mouth suction, produces a solid brick of coffee.
So whats bad news about that you may ask?….well I think I possibly only needed to buy the special bags and probably didn't need the unit at £24.99
I guess this means that anyone who was thinking of trying it (and I hope some of you are), all you need to do is buy a pack of 7 medium sized bags for £4.95. They are fully reusable and washable in the dish washer or sink (I will simply wipe mine out though. The bags are a bit special as they have a channeling pattern on the inside that allows you to suck all the air out.
I wait and hope that some of you will try this (it will only cost you £4.95), so far for me the results mean that I will pack all of my coffee in this way now.
Update: Although vacuum sealing coffee did work (as long as you didn't try and create a strong vacuum), the bags themselves were not very durable and I think results just as good can be obtained from 1 way Valve bags. The current crop of Ziplock 1 way valve bags are a great way of storing home roasts, especially if they use a high quality Wico valve. They can also be reused many times before they finally give out.