It is hard to find a drink that is as popular as that of coffee. Love it or hate it, coffee has become a morning (and 2 p.m.) routine for half of the country; roughly 150 million American citizens drink an average of 3.1 cups a day. Coffee is big business, reportedly raking in $18 billion last year in the U.S. alone ($80 billion worldwide). The point being, coffee is a part of nearly every household in the country, but finding a great cup can be difficult. When you look past all the fancy packages, catchy jingles and mass-marketed brand names, you will often find a ground coffee months past its peak freshness date. Time is of the essence when it comes to the coffee bean, post-roast.
Despite popular misconception, coffee does have a shelf life. Regardless of the vacuum/freshness sealed contraption the coffee is packaged in, once a coffee bean is roasted flavor depreciates, and quickly, much like buying a new car. Depending on the bean and roast level, coffee is freshest within one to three months of roasting. Now, if it has been ground, then all bets are off—you have seven days before it starts to lose freshness. So the simple truth remains, there is no telling how long that bag of coffee you just picked up from the supermarket shelf has been sitting there, losing its flavor profile and becoming stale. And there is nothing worse than a stale cup of coffee (except maybe a cold cup of coffee) while struggling with the daily commute.
So finding the freshest cup possible became a mission, with dumb luck intervening and leading me to the light in boutique coffee bean roaster Oceana Coffee. Located in Jupiter, Oceana imports hand-harvested coffee beans from all over the world and roasts them on the premises, ensuring the freshest coffee bean you can find. “We source our beans green from all over the world’s best growing regions,” says roast master Scotty Angelo. “We roast small batches of coffee to order for our customers so they are the freshest possible quality. Everything is hand-roasted, packed, labeled, and in most cases delivered locally.”
Importing green beans from Latin America, the South Pacific and Africa, each variety and bean first goes through a rigorous screening before being passed on to the customer. “We try samples of beans from various places all over and see if we like it first,” says Angelo. “We roast each bean to the perfect level for that specific variety, and if we like the coffee, then we will bring in larger quantities for our customers.”
The quality assurance is noted in Oceana Coffee’s taste. Using beans from small farms and co-ops, which range from certified organic, rainforest alliance, shade-grown, bird-friendly, and even a Swiss water-processed bean (decaffeination without chemicals), Oceana roasts six different flavors and levels so that even the most discriminative coffee connoisseur will find a favorite. “We got into roasting our own coffee purely because we were looking for a great cup of coffee,” says Angelo, who hails from Australia, where the coffee culture rivals that of even Italy. “It was very hard to find enjoyable coffee beans locally here.”
Not anymore. Oceana’s specialty, Il’Liscio, a personal favorite, is great ground fine for an espresso. Though all of Oceana’s coffees are great when using a drip filter, French press or espresso machine, they can be ground before delivery for those without a grinder.
Sales have grown for the small roaster, with orders coming in from all over the country and even Australia. But the online boutique has not forgotten their Palm Beach County roots, offering free delivery to the county. www.oceanacoffee.com