In this article, we are going to focus on how to store coffee beans. When not properly stored, coffee may not last as long as it would if it was stored the proper way. This is because coffee is made up of many different components, such as carbohydrates, amino acids, and lipids, which over time could undergo physical and chemical changes that will make the taste of the coffee different. This means that even the slightest change could have an effect on the coffee. Imagine yourself drinking coffee where the organic compounds have evaporated, or the carbs gone stale due to exposure to either too much sun, or water? It would taste stale. That is the reason why we are going to talk about how to store coffee beans.
Does Coffee Expire?
If you were to look at the terms on the shelf life of coffee, you would notice that they usually put a sell by date, but not a use by date. Coffee generally degrades over time, depending on how it is stored. As it degrades, the taste, flavor, and aroma could change, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be consumed. It just wouldn’t have that great taste that you love, the reason why you need to store it well.
Coffee Storage Locations
One of the things to look out for when storing your coffee is convenience. You want your coffee where you can quickly access it in the morning when you’re dashing to the office. You’ll also need to make sure that it is a dry and cool place that will keep the coffee fresh and full of flavor. Below are some good coffee storage tips:
· Places like kitchen cabinets, and pantries are the best, since they are cool, dark, and dry.
· Unless the containers are completely airtight, people should avoid storing their coffee in fridges and freezers, because the beans could absorb moisture.
· Places that are warm, or exposed to heat, such as near cookers, or where there is direct sunlight, should be avoided.
· In the event that the you’re storing the coffee away from direct sunlight or heat, putting the coffee beans in opaque, airtight containers, is the best.
Coffee Container Types
Despite the fact that you can always look online for coffee storage container reviews, below are some useful tips to note when choosing the storage containers:
· The moment that the coffee packaging is unsealed, the coffee is bound to lose its freshness very quickly, and should therefore be put into an airtight container as soon as possible.
· Metallic containers that are unreactive, glass, and ceramic, with airtight lids, are good containers for storing coffee.
· Clear glass containers or plastic ware work best when they are kept in cool, dark places.
· Opaque containers that are airtight work perfectly for countertop storage.
Ground Coffee vs. Whole Beans
Ground coffee is bound to lose its freshness faster than whole bean coffee because it has a larger surface area. That is the reason it would make better sense to buy whole beans and grind your own coffee just before you brew it. this would obviously take more of your time, and you might need to buy the necessary equipment, but it will be well worth it. If you really have to buy ground coffee, it would make better sense to buy it in small portions that will last a week or two. Any longer than that, and the ground coffee will lose its freshness.
Roast and Grind Your Own Green Coffee Beans
If you’re looking for the best coffee experience when it comes to taste and aroma, it would be best if you bought your own green coffee beans, roasted them, and ground them. Green beans have an advantage because they can be stored better and longer than those that are already roasted. When stored the right way, they can last for over a year without losing their freshness.
Please note that for the first few days after you have roasted the green coffee beans, they will release a lot of carbon dioxide. Place them in an airtight container, and open it once a day for a short while, so that they can release the carbon dioxide.
Grocery Stores Coffees
Most coffee connoisseur’s don’t buy their coffee at grocery stores, however, there are those that do. If you’re one of them, you would want to go for a brand that is valve sealed, and not vacuum sealed. The reason for this is because coffee that comes in vacuum sealed coffee bags allows gases out, but doesn’t let any in, meaning that as soon as it is roasted, the coffee can be packaged. Vacuum sealed, on the other hand, is allowed to release gases, in the process losing its freshness, before it is sealed.
How to Store Coffee Beans
Following the tips above, I will now explain how to store the coffee beans.
1. Keep beans airtight and cool
If you were to ask me what the biggest enemies to coffee beans, the answer would be simple, air, moisture, heat, and light. When coffee beans have been roasted, it is important to try and retain the flavor for as long as possible, and one of the best ways of doing this is placing them in an opaque container for coffee, that is airtight, and storing it at room temperature. An opaque container works best because placing them in see through containers subjects them to light, which in turn affects the taste of the coffee.
The coffee beans should never be kept in places that would subject them to heat, such as near cookers, heaters, or with access to the sun. They are best kept in dark, cool places.
2. Buy the right amount
It is important to wither buy the coffee in small batches, or to divide it into smaller portions, if you really must have them in an attractive container. The unused coffee beans can then be stored in airtight containers, while the ones being used can be placed in the attractive containers. This is because when exposed to air, they tend to lose their freshness. The coffee being used should be stocked to last at least one to two weeks. When referring to pre-ground coffee, it would be best for you to grind the needed amount just before brewing it.
3. Freezing your beans
The quality of coffee is determined by the freshness of the coffee beans, and that is the reason why it is important to brew and consume the coffee as soon as possible after roasting. The urgency is even higher when the sealing of the coffee packaging has been broken. There have been divided views on whether refrigeration is necessary for coffee, being that the coffee beans are known to absorb moisture, which can alter the taste and smell.
The trick, when putting the coffee in the fridge or freezer, is to make sure that the containers are completely airtight, not letting in even an ounce of oxygen. This will prevent freezer burn. The other thing that you should note, is that when you’re removing the coffee from the freezer, do it as fast as possible, removing whatever you need in the shortest time possible, and returning the rest before there is any form of condensation on the beans. The brewing process will remain the same even when you freeze the coffee beans.
How to store brewed coffee
Imagine waking up in the morning, only to find that you don’t have any coffee to kick start your day? Such stressful events can be avoided by storing brewed coffee that will just need to be heated, and you’re done. The first thing in this process, is to brew coffee that will go for at least a week. Black coffee is the best, because milk, cream, and sugar can deter the storage process.
The next thing that you want to do, is to store the coffee in an airtight container, preferably a glass container, since they retain the flavor of the coffee, and are easier to clean. If your container doesn’t close as tightly as you would like it to, you might want to use a plastic layer under the lid. An airtight container will prevent air, moisture, and other flavors from messing with the coffee. How long can you keep brewed coffee in the fridge? Up to a week, and even longer if you freeze it. always ensure that you clean the containers thoroughly before storing the coffee in them.
We have just gone through the process of how to store your coffee beans. Do you have any questions that need to be clarified regarding any of the points mentioned above? Remember that we are here to help, don’t keep those questions to yourself. I have a passion for drinking fresh coffee every morning, and I’m pretty sure that so do many of you. Poorly stored coffee degenerates and loses its taste, flavor, and even color, in some instances. The longer that it stays exposed, the faster it degenerates, and the poorer the quality it becomes. We wouldn’t want you to drink poor quality coffee. Feel free to send us your views and comments, and if you enjoyed the article, feel free to share with your friends and family.
Photo Credit: April Walker