Freshness is probably the single most significant quality distinguishing a really extraordinary coffee drinking experience from what you get drinking merely good, but old, coffee. There’s a very narrow window when roasted coffee is at its peak.

Think of the difference between fresh baked bread, and day old, except the fresh period for coffee is a bit longer than for bread. This fresh period varies somewhat with the coffee, mostly relative to the degree of roast, but basically starts directly after roasting, reaches a peak a few days later, and then, roughly seven to ten days after roasting subsides into essentially stale coffee, not bad, or rancid, but missing the aromatic high notes, which are what distinguish one good coffee from another, and fresh from old.