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Coffee Freshness Test

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2009

Stale beans do nothing for your morning cup of joe; however, with our easy freshness test, you can count on perfect coffee day after day.

To check if your beans are fresh, scoop ½ cup into a zipper-lock bag and press out all the air, then seal the bag and leave it overnight. If the beans are within seven to 10 days of roasting, they will make the bag puff up from the carbon dioxide that they release. If the bag remains flat, then the beans are not producing gas—a sign they’ve passed the point of peak freshness.

PUFFED = STILL FRESH

FLAT = PAST THEIR TIME