Fresh is a commonly used adjective to describe coffee. People want to know whether the coffee they’re drinking was freshly brewed, freshly ground, and freshly roasted.
Oxygen is one of the greatest enemies of this freshness. Although we may need this gas to survive, it tends to reduce the quality of food. According to Joy Resolve, coffee’s flavors become stale when exposed to oxygen. The wonderful flavors and aromas typically associated with coffee are derived from a large number of oils and chemical compounds known collectively as “solubles.” CoffeeTec asserts that once coffee is roasted, it is a race against time to preserve these solubles. After roasting, coffee emits CO2 that is easily replaced by oxygen (according to Café Altura).
When solubles in coffee are exposed to oxygen, they begin to degrade. The longer roasted coffee is exposed to air, the fewer solubles will be present in the final cup and the weaker the flavor. However, upscale producers have learned to deal with this issue and have devised inventive methods to keep oxygen away from coffee.