Storing Beans for Fresh Coffee

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If you are even only somewhat familiar with coffee brewing, you know that one of the most crucial aspects is the quality of your beans or grounds. This comes from many factors, including their origin and their grind type, but one factor that might be unexpected, but definitely has an impact on your final cup is how you store the coffee before you start brewing it.

The greatest enemies

The things that will most likely compromise your beans are air, moisture, light, and heat. To keep these away, make sure that you keep them in an air-tight, most preferably opaque container in a place where the room temperature is cool and steady. We know those clear containers are quite attractive due to the fact that you can admire your beautiful beans in all their glory, but it would be such a shame to ruin their quality by letting light in. Another option is for the place to be dark.

You would think that the packaging they come in can be good enough for storage, as they stay that way on the shelf for who knows how much time. Sadly, that is not the case, especially after you break the seal, so if you want to make the best out of your beans, invest a little in an appropriate container.

Buy responsibly

Speaking of the shelf, another trick that will help you maintain freshness for as long as possible is to buy in small batches. Approximately, only how much you would use for one or two weeks at a time. This is because beans start to lose freshness almost as soon as they are roasted. Also, as we mentioned before, the air is an accelerating factor in this whole process, so if you wish to keep your coffee in an accessible container, try to divide it into batches. Put some in your desired container and the rest in an air-tight one. 

If you usually buy whole beans and you grind them after, try to do so only with the amount you will use in that brewing session only, as beans are highly exposed to oxygen once they are ground.

Beans? In the freezer?

You might have heard that one of the popular storage options is in the freezer. Well, yes, while it might maintain the freshness better, it doesn’t change the way you brew coffee. There are quite a few things to keep in mind when doing so if you don’t want to do more harm than good.

First of all, beans are hygroscopic. In translation, they absorb moisture, even odors, and tastes, from the area they are placed in. This is where it is pretty important to know that most air-tight conditioners you might have at home do a good job, but not that best, as they still let a bit of air in. You see the problem, right? So, if you do decide to keep them in the freezer, you might want to make sure your container does its job perfectly. 

Another thing you need to consider is that you quickly need to remove the quantity you need for one week from the container and then pop it back in before any condensation shows up to ruin the beans. Also, you shouldn’t keep your beans in the freezer for more than a month.

Does the roast date matter?

To answer quickly, yes. The best way is for the roast date to be as recent as possible, but not too recent. After they are roasted, the beans need approximately one or two days to rest, as they let out a lot of CO2 that can affect the taste if it is trapped. 

 Of course, this time depends a little on the type of coffee you want to make too. If you are looking forward to an espresso, for example, the beans should be left to rest for up to five days. This is because otherwise you risk having a salty coffee, because of the carbon dioxide being released. Or, even worse, if you are an art enthusiast, you will notice small bubbles that will ruin the design you worked so hard for.

Stale beans, not that tragic

If you failed any of these steps, well, first of all, we hope that you learned your lesson. Second, don’t be so quick to throw them away. Surprisingly, they are still salvageable. This is if you are a fan of cold brew. You can make a mean cup out of them that way, so you will not feel so bad about wasting some good beans.

We hope that we gave you some good advice on this matter and that now your already good coffee will be even fresher and tastier. Drink up!