How should I store my coffee?
Air and moisture are the enemies of coffee, and coffee that is exposed for long periods to either one will start to stale and lose that “fresh roasted” flavor and aroma very quickly. We recommend that you store any coffee that you plan to consume immediately (within one to two weeks) in a tightly sealed, air tight container (such as the AirScape by Planetary Design – available for sale in our shop in Murphys) at room temperature. It should not be refrigerated. It is OK to freeze coffee for longer term storage as long as it is wrapped very well in air and moisture proof packaging. However, once you remove it from the freezer and let it thaw, it should not be refrozen.
How long will my coffee stay fresh?
It depends on the packaging, storage method and whether you buy whole beans or ground! Paper bags with tin-tie closures are NOT airtight, and coffee will only stay fresh for a couple of weeks in this type of packaging. It will still be drinkable beyond that time, but you may start to notice some degradation in flavor and freshness as time goes by. If you typically buy your coffee in this sort of packaging, we recommend you transfer it to a tightly sealed, air tight container when you get it home. This will extend the “shelf life” of the coffee considerably.
Coffee packaged in heat-sealed bags with “one way” gas valves will stay fresh for much longer, up to 3 months as long as the package has not been opened. Once you open the package, the coffee should be transferred to a tightly sealed air-tight container and stored at room temperature.
And whole beans will ALWAYS stay fresher longer than ground coffee, which starts to stale as soon as you grind it. So try to buy your fresh roasted coffee as whole beans and grind fresh just before brewing, to ensure optimum flavor!
What is the best brewing method?
How you brew your coffee is highly personal, and depends on what sort of flavor profile you prefer in your coffee, how much time you like to take with your morning coffee preparation ritual, and how much money you want to spend on your coffee brewing equipment. There is no method that is “best” for every person under every circumstance. Each method, from automatic drip brewers to manual “pour-over” methods to French presses to stove top or electric espresso makers produces a very different flavor profile, and varies in cost and ease of use. Here at GCR, we think that French presses or single-cup pour-overs make the best, richest, fullest flavored brews, but we also love the amazing Aerobie Aeropress hand-held espresso makers. Best to experiment with some different brew methods and find the one that works for you! We carry a lot of different coffee makers in the shop, and our knowledgeable staff is always available to explain how they work, and the pros and cons of each one.
But no matter which method you choose, we recommend that you invest in a good quality burr coffee grinder and grind your beans fresh before every brew! It really does make a world of difference in the taste of the coffee!
How should I grind my coffee?
For optimal freshness, we recommend purchasing and storing your coffee as whole beans, and grinding it fresh just before brewing. We also recommend that you invest in a high quality “burr” grinder rather than a “spinning blade” style of grinder, in order to achieve the best, most consistent grind each time. The burr grinder will have settings that you can dial in and then leave once you find your optimum grind, and also achieves a very uniform particle size that does not vary from grind to grind, thereby optimizing the extraction of coffee flavors. The spinning blade style of grinder can be very inconsistent from grind to grind, and creates particle sizes of varying sizes and shapes, which can adversely affect the extraction process and make it difficult to achieve consistency from cup to cup.
In general, the longer the grounds will be in contact with your water, the coarser the grind should be; the faster the brewing method, the finer the grind. However, there are no “absolutes” and what matters most are your personal taste preferences. Here are some general guidelines:
Espresso: Extra Fine
How much coffee should I use in my brewer?
Again, it depends – on the style of brewer, the grind of the coffee, and on your personal taste preferences! A general “rule of thumb” is to use 2 tablespoons of coffee (one standard coffee measure) per 6 oz of water to start, and then make adjustments from there until you achieve your ideal flavor profile. However, some specialty equipment manufacturers (such as Aerobie Aeropress or Toddy) have their own very specific guidelines – so also be sure to check any instructions that come with your equipment.
Do you ship coffee?
Yes, we can ship coffee anywhere within the continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska! We do not ship internationally. You can order coffee from our online store, or call us at (209) 728-8634 to place your order by phone.
Smaller orders (generally under 15 pounds) are general shipped via the USPS. Larger orders ship via UPS. We always use the most economical shipping method available based on the quantity and destination address. If ordering larger quantities, best to call in your order over the phone rather than order via our online store, so that we can ensure that you get the most economical shipping rates.
Do you provide coffee for special events and private parties?
Yes we do! We offer several different options depending on the type of event and the number of people to be served, including pre-brewed coffee in “Coffee-to-go” boxes, airpots or large capacity insulated containers; percolator rentals; and on-site coffee and espresso bar catering. Please contact us or call 209-728-8634 for further information and pricing.
Do you sell gift cards?
Yes we do! We sell both traditional “paper” gift certificates (printed on high quality card stock) as well as reusable plastic gift cards. Both can be issued in any amount you choose. Both are available for purchase in our shop, but we would also be happy to mail one to anyone you choose. Please call the shop at (209) 728-8634 for further information or to make a gift card purchase by phone.
Do you have any customer loyalty programs or frequent purchaser discounts?
We offer two different “customer loyalty” programs. The first is our “Coffee Bean Club,” for frequent buyers – when you buy 12 pounds of beans, you get your 13th pound for free! Right now, the program is available only to customers who purchase beans in person in our shop. However, we are working on expanding the program to include online bean purchases as well. Stay tuned!
We also offer GCR StoreCards, which earn an instant 5% cash back reward on all purchases made with the card, loaded right back onto your card balance at the time of sale. Cards may be purchased in any amount, and may be endlessly reloaded as you use up the balance. Plus, there are never any transaction fees to use or reload your card, so all the money you put on your card is yours to spend.
And, if you bring in your own reusable mug or travel tumbler, we offer a .15 discount on the cost of your drink!
Do you carry any organic coffees? Why aren’t they labeled “Organic?”
Yes, we do carry a number of organically grown coffees. However, the USDA requires that any coffees labeled as USDA Certified Organic be handled in strict accordance with federal organic program rules and regulations throughout all phases of the supply chain, from growing, to processing, to shipping, to storing, to roasting, to packaging, to serving. Because our small roastery has not yet been inspected and certified by an independent USDA-approved third party certification organization (a long, arduous and expensive process) our coffees cannot be labeled as USDA Organic, even if they have been grown in accordance with USDA organic standards. Therefore, we use the term “organically grown” to describe coffees that were produced organically at the source, as a way of letting our customers know that these coffees were in fact responsibly and sustainably grown, even if not explicitly labeled as such. We also carry some SMBC-certified Bird Friendly coffees, which require USDA organic certification of the farm as a prerequisite to obtaining the the Bird Friendly designation. We are committed to sourcing sustainably and organically grown coffees wherever possible because we believe they are better for the environment and better for people.
If you have a question not covered here, please contact us!