How do you enjoy your delicious morning cup of coffee? It seems like there can be so much to consider when buying your favourite blend, ranging from the style of coffee, to geographical location of where your beans are sourced. It can seem overwhelming to those who aren't caffeine aficionados to say the least. Though, we are going to explain the right method of coffee bean storage and how it is one of the most essential processes in order to nail your perfect brew. Store your coffee beans the right way to ensure they keep their maximum flavour and aroma in your deliciously brewed cup. Firstly, there are three essential factors that will determine how your coffee will stay at its optimum potential and avoid staling. These are heat, moisture and air.
Unfortunately for those living in a toasty climate like Australia, heat is a major player in the storage of your coffee. If your beans are exposed to large levels of heat, the oils containing the major source of flavour, will sweat out to the beans surface. The oils are quite volatile and are susceptible to quick evaporation which decreases the flavour and aroma. We recommend to always store your beans in a cool, dark place, at around 20-25 degrees. I love storing my beans in the Jimmy Grindz Storage Container. This one is an airtight coffee bean canister with an air release valve that will ensure you always have the freshest beans in every cup.
As coffee is hygroscopic, it will absorb its moisture from surrounding environments extremely well. In this way, you should never store your coffee in the fridge or freezer, as these are moist environments that will damage your coffee. Storing coffee in the freezer to keep it fresh is a popular misconception. It is not uncommon to assume coffee beans can be stored in the freezer due to it being a cold and dark environment. Your coffee beans should not be stored in the freezer because coffee beans are very porous. This will allow other flavours and moisture from the freezer, into the beans and ultimately altering its flavour. As well, storing them in the freezer will slowly decrease the flavour over time, giving a more bland taste to your cup.
Though, there can be an exception to this rule. Fresh roasted coffee will generally stay at its best for approximately two weeks. If you have more than this, then there are ways to freeze them, while following the below steps. If you choose to freeze your beans then ensure you only freeze them once. If you do this more than once, these temperature changes will destroy the oils and most importantly your delicious bean. To avoid excess moisture when freezing beans, it is best to portion them up by weekly uses. Use a freezer bag and plastic wrap, and draw out all of the air if possible. When removing them from the freezer, store your beans in your favourite air-tight container and away in a dry place like your pantry. Lastly, do not put it back in the freezer!!!
If your coffee turns stale then do not throw it out either. Older coffee is perfect for making cold brew, as you won’t taste the difference at all! This is the most forgiving way to save your old coffee beans. This is because of the lower temperature you are extracting the coffee, which avoids the coffee oils with high amounts of acidic compounds. Studies have shown that an average cup of cold brew coffee made with fresh beans will have sixty-seven percent less acidity than coffee that is hot-brewed.
The last factor is air, which will cause your coffee beans to oxidise when exposed to too much of it. This degrades the flavour of the beans because the air evaporates them. While airtight containers are best suited for freshly roasted coffee beans, valve bags are also good because they will allow carbon dioxide to escape. It is better to store the coffee either in a container or in a foil bag, but both are acceptable.
Proper storage of coffee requires careful attention, and hopefully these hacks will help you maximize the life of your coffee beans so that you can enjoy fresh coffee at all times. All in all, even an inexperienced coffee drinker should have a coffee storage device that keeps coffee beans fresh, even if they can be ground and kept whole later.
When it comes to keeping your coffee beans in good condition for as long as possible, you need to consider where to store your beans and the quality of the container in which they are stored. These are the two main considerations. I like to store my beans in a container with a good quality lid, good ventilation and high humidity. If you do not have a proper coffee storage container, then there are also household items that you can use as a last resort. We recommend these by keeping in mind some extra factors.
A fully airtight container prevents your fresh beans from being affected by the elements. With this, an opaque container is best. If your container is clear, then this will allow light to penetrate into your beans, and will cause them to oxidise, and thus speeding up the spoiling process. If you do decide to keep your coffee beans in a glass container, keep them away from light, heat, & moisture to ensure they stay fresh for as long as possible. Always check that you are closing the container as tight as possible to extend shelf life. Another tip is to avoid storing ground coffee. You should aim to grind your beans just before you are about to brew it, to always make sure you have the best tasting coffee.
You’re probably wondering what will happen to your coffee beans if you don’t store them like this. Yes, coffee does go off, and freshness does matter. Coffee is made up of thousands of compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids, which undertake changes both physically and chemically. This alters the taste and aroma of its raw form and finished product. Even the smallest of changes in this makeup will change the overall flavour of your coffee. Of course, we always recommend enjoying your coffee closer to its roasting date than expiration date. If you’re unsure of when you will use your new coffee beans, then it is best to keep the package sealed until you are. Most of the coffee bean packages are also filled with nitrogen to slow down the spoiling process, but of course once this is broken then oxygen will speed up its expiration.
Getting the best cup of morning coffee can be confusing, but to keep it simple for you, my overall recommendation is to buy a small amount of fresh roasted beans from a local roaster. Ensure you have a valve sealed, not vacuum sealed bag, or airtight container. Store them in a dark place at room temperature. Lastly, only just before you’re ready to brew your delicious cup, is when you should grind your beans.