When buying coffee how old is too old?

I was out today at a coffee shop and picked up at random a bag of coffee, and did a quick check of the roast date before I bought it. It was roasted on the 31st of January and for some reason I thought that was like a 10 days ago, until I thought about it as it's only the fourth. So only four days, not bad at all, I guess the change in months makes it seems a lot longer than had actually elapsed.

Anyway, it got me thinking; how long/old is too long when buying coffee and I guess in turn from buying a bag of coffee online, how quick do your expect to get the coffee post roast?

I think it should be confirmed that we all agree on that once coffee is roasted it goes through a curve of when it's best to be brewed, and all coffees tend to have a different curve. Basically, starting out being too fresh and all of the carbon dioxide released while brewing right in the beginning can have some negative effects on the cup and as it is naturally released it gets to a point where the released gas and the oils found in the coffee are at their optimal level, after that point the oils in the coffee that make it taste good are degraded to a point where they no longer tastes good.

For myself I like to get coffee either in person or from the mail 4 to 5 days post roast, but will buy and be content with getting anywhere under a week old. I actually do not like getting coffee fresh out the of the roaster because I have no patience to keep it a few days before brewing, and I typically buy coffee right before I need more so chances are I can't go without. I also believe that coffee in most cases should be consumed within two weeks of roasting so that it still tastes good. After that two week mark I find a lot of coffee tends to taste generic like everything that made that coffee good has been expelled from the bean. Since I believe that I want to get my coffee prior to week old because it typically takes me a week to go through the 12 ox to a pound bag of coffee.

So now that I have a nice 12 ox bag of Flying Goat Coffee that is only 4 days post roast, I will let you guys know how it tastes!

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