The number one most important quality of your coffee beans is: freshness.
If the beans aren't fresh you aren't going to get the best flavor out of them. It is that simple.
Most of the coffee from the grocery stores or from the big roasters (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc) was roasted many months before it is brewed and consumed. Sometimes it will sit in the warehouse for six months or more!
Coffee beans are at their peak freshness and flavor 5 days to 4 weeks after roasting. Any time that transpires beyond that period is sapping flavor from the bean.
Coffee that has been ground needs to be brewed as quickly as possible. Buying ground coffee (as in a can or a vacuum sealed bag) will yield a stale cup of coffee every time.
Flying High Coffee is roasted as close to shipping to your door as possible. If it sits around too long our roaster will donate it to the food shelf rather than sell it.
While we prefer to ship your coffee to you whole bean so that you can experience the most wonderful cup of coffee possible, we will grind it at your request. Our bags will keep ground coffee relatively fresh for a couple of weeks. Transferring to an airtight container will preserve freshness for perhaps a month or so.
TIP: To experience the freshness difference first hand, order a bag of our coffee and set aside enough to make a pot. When the rest of the bag has run out (but you've still got the coffee set aside) place another order for the same kind of coffee.
When your fresh coffee arrives, compare the beans side-by-side. Before grinding you may notice that the older beans seem a little drier and that the smell of the new beans is much more pronounced and rich than the old ones.
Brew up 2 batches for a side-by-side comparison. For maximum impact, sample your coffee "cowboy style", that is black with no cream or sugar. You should be able to tell a differences which will be more noticable as the coffee ages.