In an earlier post, Roast-to-Order: Why it's Important, I talked about how the quality of your coffee can be affected by sitting on store shelves for long periods of time. So today, I stopped in at a grocer that prides themselves in fresh foods, organic, vegan, gluten-free, yada yada yada. This particular grocer is generally pretty good about following through with their promises, so I figured I'd grab some whole bean coffee that came from a local roaster. In fact, I grabbed two bags from the same roaster. I returned home and prepared to brew a cup... surprisingly, I realized I didn't look at the "Roasted On" date before purchasing it. To my surprise, one bag was roasted over two months ago, and the other was roasted yesterday! Both of which are from the same roaster, the same grocer, and bought on the same day.
Anyway, my only point is that even your most niche markets that pride themselves in fresh (famers markets excluded), end up having products that sit on the shelves for months. Thereby, no longer being fresh. This brings me back to Roast-to-Order, when you're buying coffee from our partner roasters, you're buying fresh. Typically they only roast a couple days a week and immediately ship the following day; nothing sits on a shelf or in a store room. You won't receive a bag that has a "Roasted On" date two months old.
As a side note, I'm very familiar with this particular roaster's product and can vouch for their superb quality. It's not the roasters fault their product sat on the shelf for so long, it simply can't be helped in the grocery/retail arena. Yet another reason SipLocal is so awesome, we'll make sure you get the freshest coffee around!