Fresh beans are the best beans, so keeping your beans fresh is an essential part of making excellent quality coffee from home.
How do you keep your beans at their best?
Keep them out of the sun! This is a given, but a crucial one to remember: keep your beans away from heat and sunlight as this will cause the beans to sweat and lose their oils quickly.
Don’t put your beans around moisture; such as wet areas like sinks as you may find the water reaches the beans. Likewise, avoid humid areas as this will also cause moisture to reach the beans.
Don’t store your beans in a fridge or freezer unless you absolutely have to. Coffee attracts moisture so, as soon as you pull them out of the cold, they condensate and start to sweat. Also, beans absorb what’s around them so aromas from other items in your fridge will likely impede on the final flavour of your coffee.
So where is the best place to keep your freshly-roasted beans?
So, you’ve got your coffee beans… you know where NOT to put them. So where’s left?
Simple, just like any other perishable, keep your beans in a nice cool place such as a cupboard or pantry.
Make sure you store your beans in an airtight container. The reason you need a sealed container is that oxygen causes the beans to undergo oxidisation, which ages them and turns them stale.
Try not to store them for too long as peak taste usually is around 25 days after roasting but can vary depending on the season (hotter vs cooler weather).
However, we’ve done experiments with coffee storage and if stored in 2 x airtight containers (one container inside the other) at 18-23 degrees, in a dark cupboard, you’ll experience only ~20% flavour loss over 6 months!
How to Store Ground Beans
If possible, try to grind your coffee beans as you need and just before you brew it. However, if you don’t have access to a grinder and you buy your beans already ground try to consume them as quickly as possible. Ground beans immediately release gases (which contain flavour) into the air, so the longer they remain exposed to elements the quicker they lose their flavour.
As with beans, make sure your coffee grounds are in a room-temperature, airtight container. Avoid placing your ground coffee beans in a wet area, or a humid environment as like freshly-ground beans this will cause a dramatic loss of flavour.
Checklist To Keeping Your Beans Fresh
- Keep away from moisture, heat, light and oxygen and cold.
- Store in an airtight container
- Consume within 40 days of being roasted (espresso coffee peaks around 25 days, plunger/filter coffee peaks around 10 days)
- Grind immediately before brewing (where possible)
- Keep in the freezer only if you plan on storing it for more than six months (once it’s out, it stays out!)
Now you know the ins and outs of keeping coffee fresh, let us know if you find any other good ways of storing coffee.