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Does it really make sense to spend money on gourmet coffee?

Recently, I'm sure you have seen many ads on Facebook or other social media sites encouraging you to take advantage of a coffee subscription service. You may wonder, does it make sense to go to the trouble of ordering coffee online? It's probably too expensive. After all, what's wrong with the coffee I get at the grocery store, and why should I order gourmet coffee online?

Well, consider this, imagine baking some brownies or other treats for your neighbor down the street. There is nothing quite so satisfying as biting into some homemade brownies and savoring their rich, fudgy flavor. Usually, you can't stop at eating just one. (At least I know I can't!) After they have cooled, you bag them up, intending to deliver them to your friend the next day. Then life happens, you get distracted by the kids, and a month later, you realize they are still sitting on the back seat in your car.

You finally remember the brownies and think to yourself; they don't look bad. Let's taste one to see if I can salvage this batch I worked so hard at baking. The first bite is fantastic; they are still soft, moist, and delicious…NOT! Let's be honest; they are hard as bricks, dry, and taste like chocolate-flavored sand. So, if you would never think of eating baked goods that had been left sitting for a month, why would you select a coffee that has been sitting on the grocery store shelf for who knows how long?

Other than being vacuum sealed, coffee beans, organic coffee beans, and beans that have been processed in a coffee mill grinder have no preservatives added to extend their shelf life. Most coffee has a two-week timeframe from the day it is roasted to be enjoyed before going bad. You heard me only two weeks. To make things even worse, most coffees on the shelf at big-box retailers have been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for months. Who knows how old it is once it finally makes its way to the display at your local store. When beans go from the coffee bean roaster to the bag, most manufacturers put a "Best by" date on the bag. Few put an exact date on the label to indicate precisely when the coffee was processed. So how can you as a consumer determine if the coffee is old or not?

Technically, coffee that has been on the shelf for months is not "bad" to drink. After all, it’s a shelf-stable product. However, remember how those brownies tasted? Instead, coffee should ideally be roasted once or twice per week and shipped fresh. That's how we do it! Remember that oxygen begins to break down the coffee once roasted, causing it to go stale. At the same time, carbon dioxide begins leaving those freshly roasted beans. To combat this process, we place whole beans or ground coffee in a bag with a valve that allows carbon dioxide to escape while keeping oxygen from entering the bag.

After reading this, you probably have decided I want to purchase coffee that is freshly roasted and brew it the next day. In theory, that is true, but there is one thing you are forgetting. To get the best flavor from your coffee beans, they need to have time to "off-gas." It's essential to make sure enough time has passed for the carbon dioxide to leave the coffee. Allowing the coffee to rest for a few days after it's roasted creates optimized brewing conditions for the perfect cup of coffee.

Become part of today's coffee republic and try a bag of fresh roasted Black Dog Coffee. You'll wonder why you didn't start brewing freshly roasted coffee years ago. And remember, a portion of the profits from each bag of coffee we sell go to help local charitable organizations. Visit our website to find out who we are helping each month. It's our way of giving back to the community. (This month we are supporting Rockstar Cheer Atlanta and their CheerAbilities team called the Supremes.)

You can purchase Black Dog Coffee by visiting Purchase an individual bag or join one of the best coffee subscription services around. You will get discounts and first choice of our new and limited edition coffees. (Cancel any time with no issues.) We also have sample packs available so you can select your favorite coffees.

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