We all love coffee here, and sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it’s a curse.
If you are anything like me, than you can’t resist buying a bag of coffee when you visit a new city, a new coffee roastery in your place, or just to try a new origin or blend.
And you find your coffee drawer, cupboard, or shelf, stacked with half-full (I’m being optimistic here) bags of coffee from different origins, different grounds or uses.
Well, I know how it feels when you open the bag, and you realise the coffee beans don’t smell as good as when you first opened them.
And you have two choices: to drink coffee that might taste bad, or at least not as good as in the beginning, or throw it away, which for me is very painful process to go through.
So, I decided to look more about ways to store my coffee beans the best I can, in order to preserve their flavours and aroma little bit longer.
Here is what worked best and worst for me.
Understand the biggest coffee enemies
It’s very important to know what are the things that your coffee beans hate, in order to choose the right way of storing them:
- light –
Keeping them too long, or open, leads to oxidization, which results with loss of aromas and essential oils, eventually leaving your coffee stale. Heat and moisture accelerate the process significantly, as does light, but to a lesser degree. To ensure that your coffee beans stay fresh, you need to do everything possible to guard against these 4 things.
Once I get to know all these things, it was easier for me to find the right container and place for my coffee.
You can use the original bag, in only one case
The coffee bag that the coffee came in is good in only one case, if the coffee bag is opaque, equipped with a one-way valve, and has a zip-lock closing way. These bags are usually used by the local coffee roasters, but not the store bought ones. This storage system allows for easy packing of freshly-roasted coffee while keeping as much carbon dioxide intact as possible to prevent oxidation. Plus, the one-way valve lets carbon dioxide escape as the coffee naturally degasses – rather than inflating the bag.
An airtight coffee container is the best solution
You can find many types of coffee containers on the market, but The National Coffee Association USA offers a very simple requirement for coffee storage:
The best container for your coffee beans needs to be opaque, air-tight type of container.(1)
You need to avoid transparent jars or canisters so the light won’t compromise the taste of your coffee.
Keep your beans in a dark and cool location. A cabinet near the oven is often too warm, and so is a spot on the kitchen counter that gets strong afternoon sun.
Buy the right amount of coffee beans for two weeks
Try to take notice of your average coffee consumption and buy smaller batches of freshly roasted coffee that would be enough for two weeks, because coffee begins to lose freshness almost immediately after roasting.
If you already have the right container for your coffee, it’s good idea to divide your coffee beans in portions, so you won’t expose the whole amount of coffee beans to air, but just that one small portion, which you will use fast.
This is especially important when buying pre-ground coffee, because of the increased exposure to oxygen. If you buy whole beans, grind the amount you need immediately before brewing
Should you freeze your coffee beans?
The main consideration in this question is that coffee absorb moisture, odor, and taste from the air around it.
That’s why, if you plan to freeze the coffee beans, it’s very important to use a truly airtight container that won’t allow any moisture, or freezer taste to affect the flavor of the coffee beans.
When you need to take coffee from the freezer, quickly remove as much as you need for no more than a week at a time, and return the rest to the freezer before any condensation forms on the frozen coffee.
Freezing your beans does not not change the basic brewing process.
However, this didn’t work for me. I don’t know what was the reason, but never did it again. Still, I know many friends who are doing this and works for them, without any changes in the flavor or aroma of the coffee.
Final thoughts from me
Freshness is critical to a quality cup of coffee. Experts agree that coffee should be consumed as quickly as possible after it is roasted, especially once the original packaging seal has been broken.
For me, so far, the best way to keep drinking fresh coffee is to reduce the buying of new bag of coffee too often, and buy enough for two weeks, at most.
However, it happens that I buy coffee beans from a place that I might not visit again, or soon, so dividing the coffee beans in portions works best for me.
Figuring out how to store your coffee beans to keep them fresh for as long as possible is not rocket science, and surely you will find the way that works best for you.
How do you store your coffee beans?
Tell me in the comments if you have your own, different way to store your coffee. I always love to hear from you, and learn something new, too.
Until the next time,
Enjoy your coffee!
And don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family, or on your social media, someone might have a good use of it.
- National Coffee Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ncausa.org/About-Coffee/How-to-Store-Coffee