What are tips for storing my coffee?
- Buy the right amount
- Keep beans in an airtight container
- Store at room temperature
- Avoid moisture
- The “cooling” myth
So you’ve treated yourself to a bag of specialty coffee beans from Plain Sight Coffee Roasters. Now, how do you store your coffee to make sure it retains its flavors and aromas? Here we have five great tips for storing your coffee so that you can enjoy our blends and single origins for as long as possible.
Why Does Storage Matter?Coffee beans are much like other dry goods — they don’t go “bad” per se, but they lose freshness over time. In fact, they start losing it as soon as they’ve been roasted.
Roasted coffee beans go through a degassing process that releases carbon dioxide. Once they’re done releasing this gas, they start absorbing oxygen. This is what causes them to lose their freshness, and their flavors and aromas become less and less pronounced. As a result, your coffee’s taste could be affected depending on how they’ve been stored.
Aside from picking a great coffee, knowing how to store your beans correctly makes for better-tasting, longer-lasting coffee.
How Long Does Coffee Last?Your coffee’s freshness is on the clock immediately after roasting, however, their flavors go from really fresh (akin to gassiness due to excessive carbon dioxide release) to a peak of flavors around that 14 day mark, and then a gradual heading down to staleness. We believe that whole beans that are ground before brewing taste best, as getting your coffee ground gives it a much smaller window of freshness due to its higher proportion of surface area, which makes it go stale more quickly than whole beans.
Buy the Right AmountBefore loading up your cart with our coffee bean bags, we recommend considering buying in smaller batches. As we mentioned earlier, the sweet spot for coffee beans is between 2-4 weeks after roasting.
While we take great care in delivering our products close to peak freshness (not more than 10 days from the roast date), we recommend that you consume your coffee within this period.
We estimate that with a bag of 200g, you could make between 12-18 cups of coffee. So plan and make sure you have just enough coffee on hand, so you can brew and enjoy the drink as much of the time as possible.
Keep Beans in an Airtight ContainerOxygen is the main enemy of coffee freshness, so make sure you protect your coffee from it. Specialty coffee beans are often packaged using one-way valve foil bags that are an effective airtight container. If your coffee comes in this container, you can leave it in the bag — just make sure to always seal it properly after use.
If it comes in paper bags, then your coffee won’t last long. Consider transferring it to an airtight container. It’s important that you choose one made from non-reactive material, as this prevents any unwanted flavors from seeping into your coffee. We recommend using ceramic, opaque glass, or stainless steel containers with an airtight seal around the rim.
Store at Room TemperatureAnother factor that turns coffee stale is temperature. The heat from stoves, ovens, and even light can speed up the coffee's oxidation process. Room temperature (or a few degrees cooler than that) is ideal for your specialty coffee. So, make sure to choose a cool and dark place to store your coffee. Avoid spots that tend warm-up, such as areas near kitchen appliances, cooking equipment, and windows.
Avoid MoistureCoffee — especially ground coffee — is vulnerable to moisture as well. When your storage conditions are too humid, your coffee may acquire a moldy or fermented flavor. It can also cause your grounds to take on a darker color.
Dampness is a big no-no for your coffee. So make sure the place you store them at a safe distance from any water source, like a kitchen sink. Condensation can also build up within your containers if they are kept near sources of steam and cold, so avoid keeping them in air-conditioned rooms, or near stoves or kettles.
The “Cooling” MythMany people ask if they can keep their specialty coffee in the fridge, or if putting them in the freezer will make them last longer. But the truth is that storing them in these areas doesn’t help in the way you think. In fact, we recommend not doing it altogether. Water damage from condensation is the key reason we advise our customers from keeping our coffees in their fridge or freezer.
Furthermore, your fridges and freezers don’t just store coffee. It’s full of other food and beverages, which causes a problem. Roasted and ground coffee is very porous, and will easily absorb the moisture and odors from its surroundings. Meaning, if you have garlic or onions in your freezer, your coffee beans might take on some of their flavors. This is something we can all agree would be terrible for your coffee experience.