In recent years, there has been a trend of aging coffee. The hype goes something like, “Aged wine is great. Aged whiskey is great. So is aged coffee!”
While it sounds great, it’s not necessarily true that all coffee is going to be superior just because it’s aged (nor is it with aged wine or whiskey, for that matter). However, aging coffee isn’t exactly a novelty, either. It does deserve some credit and it can produce some impressive coffees to try.
Here’s the lowdown on aged coffee’s history, hype, and truth.
The History of Aged Coffee
When coffee first came to Europe in the 1500s, it was aged coffee. At that time, Europe’s coffee supply came from the port of Mocha in what is now Yemen. Importing coffee to Europe required a long voyage by sea around the southern tip of Africa, so it naturally had some time to age en route. This held true as coffee production spread to Indonesia and India.
With these three coffee origins, time and the salty sea air changed the coffee significantly. Europeans came to prefer it over the taste of fresh coffee. In fact, when the Suez Canal opened in 1869, Europeans largely rejected the fresher coffee that was newly available to them in favor of the aged stuff.