I usually roast my coffee in the evening, grind it and brew it in the morning, to drink multiple hours later. I do notice that I do not have the same experience drinking coffee multiple hours after it has been brewed and kept in a thermos, despite me pouring it into a mug as usual.

I've been wondering recently if I should get a french press mug, which will keep the coffee grounds, and when I want to drink, I could add hot water to brew it on the spot.

I know, however, that ground coffee loses its flavour very quickly (I've heard people say that 15 minutes is enough for a tastable change in flavour). So this makes me wonder, is there a difference in how well flavour can be conserved in either ground coffee or brewed coffee? Does sealing either one in a thermos change this outcome?

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    Good question, I think this will be a cause for some experimentation and science! :D – Shiri Aug 11 '17 at 9:30
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In the scenario given, you don't have the prefect solution to drink fresh coffee. However, I would opt for carrying a brewing solution (French-press in your case) with me. Let's discuss the two cases separately.

1. Early-brewing

In that case, you can grind fresh beans and prepare your coffee optimally with the brewing method of your preference. However, you cannot protect the brewed cup of coffee to go 'bad'. The reason is, whatever you do, you leave tiny coffee grounds in the water and they continue the extraction process. By time, your coffee gets bitter as a result of over-extraction.

Actually, this is a problem even in our daily routine. Pour-over brewing methods are invented for that. We mostly use paper filters to filter out most of the tiny grounds and have a clean cup to get rid of continuing extraction. Thus, we can have a stable cup while we drink in the next five minutes.

If you follow your taste buds, you can clearly feel this in a Turkish coffee cup or French-press, as most of the tiny grounds are still in the final cup in a French-press (and all of them are still there in a Turkish fincan) you should be quick to drink it. Otherwise, the cup goes crap. (By the way, inverted French-press is can also be used to minimize the effect of tiny grounds. But not effective enough.)

2. Late-brewing

Everybody on this board could admit that after grinding coffee goes stale in a few minutes. (See How quickly does coffee get stale?)

When you grind the beans, the surface area increases so the delicious aromatics evaporate more easily. You probably will end up with a duller coffee experience at the end. However, I feel like over-extraction is a far worse problem in your case.

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    I know this may come down to method, or even opinion, but your two cents gave me some insight into something I might not have otherwise tried. Thanks! – Maxime Franchot Aug 13 '17 at 9:52
  • :) Sharing is the whole idea behind the Internet. – MT San Aug 13 '17 at 11:16

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