Aged coffee is held as green coffee beans in producing countries for an
extended time (usually 2-3 years) to allow natural changes to occur.
These changes typically include a muting of acidity and improved
body. Some defects can also be muted but typically due to the cost
of holding the green coffee for an extended period of time the green
selected for aging is of exceptional quality. During the aging
process the coffee bags is rotated to allow the coffee to breath and
Aging coffee is a risky proposition for the person aging the
coffee since there is not a guarantee that even with utmost care the
aged coffee will come out as hoped. The producer can end up with a
large quantity of old, bad coffee.
Aged coffee and old coffee are not the same thing. Old coffee
will taste boring and lifeless while aged coffee actually improves
(well improves is subjective if you like the flavor it is an
improvement) with age.
Aged coffee will typically start with a coffee that is high in
body and low in acidity. The idea is to bring flavor out not create
a new flavor. A high acidity coffee will in all likelihood just be
old coffee even with great processing technique.
Even good aged coffee can have some funk in the cup and rarely if
ever are aged coffees offered as anything other than as part of a
blend. In a blend aged coffees can add body of an otherwise light
bodied blend without adding undue acidity.
In roasting the coffee needs a longer rest after roasting to
fully even out and gain the best taste profile possible. Typically
aged coffees taste best at a dark roast which helps to accentuate
Historically due to coffee being shipped in wooden ships that
took almost a year to reach the United States much of the coffee
coming from outside of the Americas into the United States we either
aged or old. Mostly old. But since many of these coffees do fall
into the low acidity high body range undoubtedly some of them were
probably pretty good. This is where the term Java Old Brown comes
from. Since the trip from Java took so long importers became
accustomed to seeing brown coffee coming in and actually expected
it. Java still produces aged coffee under the old brown name but
under much more strict standards than coffee sitting in the hold of
a ship for months.