You’ve purchased your coffee and brought it home but now what? Put in in the freezer? Pour the beans in jar? Keeping coffee fresh doesn’t have to be complicated. Knowing what depletes coffee’s freshness is the first step in knowing just what to do.
The factors that can affect a coffees taste are:
- Temperature- room temperature is ideal. Big swings in temperature should be avoided.
Light- light can speed up coffee staling. If transferring to a container, use an opaque one.
- Humidity/Moisture- Keep coffee in a dry location like a pantry. Don’t store in a refrigerator- coffee can absorb moisture and food odors.
- Oxidization: Our one-way valve package keeps air out, but once opened it coffee begins to oxidize. Seal bag between uses or transfer to another container.
Keep unopened coffee bags in your pantry, the same place you’d keep potatoes or canned goods. You can store coffee in a kitchen cupboard or on the counter, just keep it away from the oven or any place with major temperature changes. Our bags are nitrogen flushed and have a 1-way valve that keep oxygen out. We recommend keeping the bag sealed until you’re ready to use it. Once you have your coffee opened you have a few options for storage.
How you store your coffee really depends on how quickly you can drink it. We find for two people drinking a few cups per day, our retail bag lasts about a week.
Short Term –
Once opened you can roll the bag down to expel air and seal with the tab. If it takes longer than a week or two, you may want to consider transferring to another container.
Medium Term –
If it takes you more than 1-2 weeks to finish a bag, consider transferring coffee to an airtight, opaque container. There are many types of containers on the market that can help prolong coffees freshness. There are even companies that make vacuum sealed coffee containers to remove oxygen. Here’s one of our favorites: Atmos Vacuum Canister
Long Term –
Surprisingly, the freezer can be used for long term coffee storage IF you follow proper storage advice. Of course, drinking freshly roasted coffee close to roast date is the best, but long-term storage may be needed for a few different reasons.
- You receive 10 bags of coffee for your birthday and you know it will take a few months to drink them.
- You prefer to buy in bulk and get a 5lb bag, but you drink less than 1 lb a week.
In either case, you can freeze coffee and have incredibly fresh results. Freezing halts a lot of the processes that affect freshness, so the flavor is still retained. To freeze coffee, you want to follow some specific steps.
1. If the coffee is still in its sealed bag you can put it right in the freezer. To really ensure it does not absorb any flavors of what else is in your freezer, you can put the sealed bag inside another bag like a ziplock freezer bag. Once you remove the coffee and open the bag you can store it just as
you would with fresh coffee.
2. If you have a bulk bag of coffee, break it down into smaller portions- whatever you would use in one week. Then vacuum seal each portion and freeze. As you use each bag, take another one out. But do not return it to the freezer each day- remember, we want to avoid temperature swings.
Vacuum sealers are typically sold as storage tool for food, but they work great for coffee. If you don’t have access to a vacuum sealer, make can make due with freezer bags- just make sure to squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing.
Don’t overthink it!
The important thing to remember about coffee storage is not to overcomplicate it! Store in a cool dry place, once opened try to avoid contact with air and light. There’s no need to open your coffee as soon as you buy it and transfer it into another container… just keep it in the bag until you’re ready to use it! Taking a little extra time to properly store your beans can make a world of difference to your coffees flavor.
By: Christelle Black, Coffee Technician/Trainer