We send our beans all over Australia, to major cities and remote towns. One of the most common questions we get is how best to store coffee in this sub-tropical, humid country!
In places like Arnhem Land where humidity often sits around 80%, coffee can absorb the moisture from the air and sweat out their natural oils. This leads to moldy beans, clumpy grinds, meaning extraction can be slower and more difficult to regulate, and stale beans!
But do not fret, there are some ways to store beans in these difficult climates that help keep the beans fresher for longer and slow the staling oxidation process.
- Invest in an air vacuum canister (like this one from Delonghi). While 70 bucks may seem like a lot for a container, these are pretty high tech, automatically removing the oxygen from the canister every time you close it.
- Store the canister in a cool, dark place like the bottom of a pantry. Keeping the beans in a spot where the temperature remains mostly the same, and prevents any light from hitting the beans, will slow the oxidation process. Keep it away from brewing stations, or stove tops, where steam and heat are close by.
- In especially humid places, consider keeping central air conditioning at a stable temperature to reduce the humidity inside the house. So even when you’re opening the canister, the humidity in the air isn’t at 80%.
And to dispel the common myth about putting coffee in the fridge or freezer, we generally recommend not to. While it’s true that coffee can stay “fresher” longer in a cooler environment (by a factor of 2 when the temp is reduced by 10 degrees F from room temperature). However, when removing it from a cold environment to a warm one, you’ll get condensation and that spoils coffee. So you actually end up causing more harm than good, unless you figure out a way to brew the coffee from inside the fridge!
We would love to know what methods you use to keep your coffee fresh! Leave a comment below if you have any special tricks.