Freshness of coffee beans – huge difference?

Posted under others On By xpk

Ever since I got my Breville 870XL, I’ve read numerous comments about how important it is to get fresh beans. Out of laziness, I usually go to the supermarket to get my coffee. There is a self-service counter in the store where I can pour the amount of beans I desire. The beans were prepared by Tsit Wing, a reputable coffee and tea company in Hong Kong who supplies products to many local restaurants.

Their coffee taste good, and there is about 12 different blends to choose from. I like them better than the pre-packaged ones. They taste better and they’re less expensive. There are only 3 supermarkets in Hong Kong with such a section and I was darn lucky to live around one of them.

A few weeks ago, I learned about a local coffee processing shop called Avid Coffee. They roast beans on request. It’s so nice to meet coffee enthusiast who puts quality first.

So I was able to buy some beans from them which were roasted just 2 D7K_8093days ago. It could be sooner but I had to wait a day for them to be delivered. I love the no-frill package and they are very practical as well.

Beans in jar for 2 weeks

I put this straight to test after work. I have the grinder set to 2, which is 1 click less than the finest setting. Here is a shot I made from the Tsit Wing beans, which have been stored in a jar for 2 weeks now. The pressure gauge hit the first quarter of the sweet zone.


The crema, as you can see, is slightly disappointing. It’s quite thin and I can almost see the coffee below. There is also only a single shade of brown.D7K_8098

The fresh beans

Here is another shot I made with the AvidCoffee beans. It’s a blend from Costa Rica.  The pressure gauge stopped at about 3/8 in the sweet zone.


The crema looks better too. It has more shades of brown and it’s thicker. The photo’s white balance is probably off so it looks much better on photo. In reality, the Tsit Wing shot was not as pale and the one made with the fresher beans is not as dark. The cream however has the coffee below fully covered.


I am pleased with the difference. The next day when I made my morning shot, the pressure gauge hit the 5/8 mark. That is a record high since I got this machine. Does this mean I can now use the non-pressure double porta-filter? If you own a Breville 870, you know what I’m talking about. The double ports-filter has been practically useless. It wasn’t able to hold any pressure and it produces coffee with little to no crema.


here is a double. The gauge didn’t hit the sweet zone but the result is far better than any shots I made in the past. Very drinkable as well.

Final thoughts

So yes fresher beans do make a significant difference. It’s not as convenient to get fresh beans but it’s a habit I can learn to take up.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you know a few things about making better shots out of the Breville, please leave me a note.

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