SCAA Member-Driven Research: Coffee Staling Report
In food science, coffee is known as a shelf stable product. This is because unlike many other food
products, it does not spoil due to enzymatic or microbial processes. The specialty coffee industry recognizes the importance of chemical reactions and physical changes that occur after roasting, and are aware that some of these changes are responsible for staling. However, capturing the exact nature, quantity, and rate of staling is inherently challenging due to both the diversity of flavors possible in the bean itself and to the volatility of delicious flavor and aroma compounds that contribute to the ephemeral nature of roasted coffee. This research, led by Coffee Science Manager Emma Bladyka and partners Dillanos Roasters and Cabelvey Conveyors explores the following research questions:
1) Can we taste the staling of coffee, and if so, what is the rate of staling?
2) How does packaging type affect staling?
3) Do different coffees (grown in different regions, of different varieties, processed and distributed by different methods) stale differently?
4) Does resting time influence the rate of staling, as measured by taste?