Coffee FAQ


What's the best way to store my coffee?

The best way to store coffee is at room temperature in a dry, dark environment in an airtight container. Exposure to heat, light and oxygen causes coffee to age so it’s best to keep it in its original OQ bag with the zipper completely closed. Alternatively you can keep it in any air tight container or a container with a fancy degassing valve. They are really good. Just remember to also keep it off the window sill or next to the toaster/oven! We recommend trying the pantry ;)


How long do coffee beans last?

We recommend drinking your coffee while it is less than 4 weeks from roast date - maximum 6 weeks! During this window of time you’ll get the most flavour out of your coffee. After 4-6 weeks the coffee is not unsafe to consume, it just won't taste as good!


Can coffee be too fresh?

Yep, we recommend waiting a minimum of 2-3 days from roast date with 4-5 days being generally optimal to start drinking most coffees. It does vary for different coffees but this is a general guide. The volatile gases that are being released in the first few days will cause the coffee to taste different and extraction can be trickier with foamy crema.

Can I use my ground coffee for any brewing method?

Umm no, you really shouldn’t. Please don’t friend. Particle size plays a big role in extraction and each brew method and device needs a different grind size to get the best out of it. So don’t use those plunger beans for your espresso machine or your taste buds will be sad. If, for example, you like to mix it up and drink stovetop one day and plunger the next, we recommend buying a home grinder and learning how to change the grind. It’s worth it. Promise.

If I want to buy a gift for someone but I don’t know how they make their coffee at home, what grind size should I buy?


Let’s be honest, most people have a plunger in their cupboard so you could get away with plunger grind. But the best option is to use your stealth detective skills  and find out how they brew before you buy. Otherwise, you risk buying them coffee that they can’t (shouldn’t) use. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all when it comes to grind type! If you know they have a grinder you should purchase them whole beans. If you don’t know how they make their coffee then your best bet is a gift voucher HYPER LINK. That’s risk free gifting right there.


Can I use plunger coffee in my espresso machine?


Nope, definitely not. Plunger uses a  very coarse grind while espresso machines use a very fine grind. This would be a very bad combination. However, if you buy a grinder and grind fresh, you can change the grind size depending on how you brew!

How does altitude affect the taste of coffee?


Simply speaking, the higher the altitude, the more delicate the flavour. At higher altitudes coffee fruit grows more slowly with less pests around to eat the fruit. The side effect of this is sweeter, fruitier, more floral coffee beans, and generally more flavour. Higher altitude coffees may not end up being your favourite, it just means that great care and time has been taken in the growing process.


Typically, most arabica beans do best at a minimum of 800m above sea level no matter the latitude, but usually you’ll see arabica coffee planted anywhere between 1000 and 2200m above sea level. Robusta (a much hardier coffee species) can be seen at much lower altitudes.

Why do you list the varieties on your coffee labels?


We list the varieties on our coffee labels because the variety (and where it’s grown) influences cup quality and we reckon that’s insanely interesting!

 As with fine wine producers, coffee farmers around the world are experimenting by growing different varieties at different aspects, altitudes and with different processing methods to produce unique flavours. And gosh, we love them for it.

 The coffee variety is just one of the many factors including processing, altitude, roast profile etc that leads to the way the coffee tastes in the cup.

What's the difference between espresso and filter roasts ?


Coffee roasters determine how best to roast and serve each unique batch of green beans based on its unique characteristics. Typically, different beans will do better at different roast levels and with different brew methods.

Filter roasts are coffee beans roasted to be slightly lighter in colour. This translates to a little more acidity and floral notes which are highlighted by brewing with a pourover. Espresso roasts on the other hand are roasted a little darker which brings out more body and chocolatey notes. Both roast styles can be enjoyed brewed with any method, but we recommend to use the brew method it is roasted for.

I can't find the coffee I bought last time


If you’re looking for a coffee and you can’t see it on our website it might be because we’ve sold out. Coffee is seasonal so our offering does change. If you would like to buy something similar to what you had in the past or have any other queries you can email us at and we can recommend something for you.

If you’ve forgotten the name of the coffee you loved, you will find the details of your recent purchases  in your order confirmation email. Head to your inbox and search Old Quarter Coffee.

What is your strongest coffee?


Head to our Question and Answer to get your personalised recommendation! “What coffee would you recommend work flow”

Are your coffees organic?


Yes, all of our coffees are organically grown! However, many are not certified because the price of certification is not feasible for the small farmers we work with. And because the majority of our organic coffees are not certified, it’s not reasonable for us as a business to register for organic certification. Hence, you won't see any certifications on our website. What you will see are a range of very tasty coffees which are 100% grown organically!

What do the tasting notes for each coffee mean? Are you adding flavours?


No flavours are added!

It’s best to think of coffee like a fine wine. Chemically, coffee is very complex with thousands of unique compounds that contribute to its flavour. The region where it’s grown, the variety of the coffee plant, the processing that happens after harvest and eventually the roasting and brewing process all affect the flavour profile of your coffee. 

The taste notes are a high level way of explaining the characteristics of the coffee including sweetness, acidity, aftertaste, mouthfeel and aromas that are distinctive about that particular coffee.

Do you have a recipe I can follow?

Of course! A recipe is a simple formula created to get the best extraction and flavour out of your beans….Similar to how we use recipes for cooking, you don't want to use too much of an ingredient or burn anything!. Coffee recipes are always written in the format of: DOSE, YIELD, TIME.

i.e. we start by weighing the amount of ground coffee we are using (the dose), then we weigh the amount of brewed coffee we get out (the yield) and we measure how long the whole process takes (time).

 Espresso recipe example: 21g of coffee in – 42g of espresso out, over 28-30 seconds. Another helpful way to think about dose and yield is in ratio format. This recipe is a simple 1:2 brew ratio.

 V60 Pour over example: 20g of coffee in – 320g of brewed coffee out with a brew time of 2.30. This ratio would be 1:16.

 There are some other variables that can be included in a recipe e.g. water temperature, grind size etc.

 Different beans may need different recipes and taste better as a particular brew method.

Why do you recommend grinding coffee fresh?

It tastes WAY better. Having your coffee ground fresh means it will have the most amount of aroma, sweetness, and flavour. There’s nothing wrong with pre-ground if that’s more practical for you, but over time ground coffee will oxidise and go stale much faster than beans. An adjustable burr grinder is the way to go to get the most of your beans, as grind size DOES matter!

Is there a decaf option? 

No, why bother. JOKES! Yep, there is! And even better, Decaf no longer has to taste unpleasant and be full of nasty chemicals.

Our decaf is produced using spring water and sugarcane without compromising the flavour and sweetness of the coffee.


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