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How Should I Store My Coffee Beans?

How Should I Storecoffee beans My Coffee Beans?

As with any ingredient, it is very important that you know how to store your coffee beans correctly to protect their freshness and flavour. However, whereas most people seem to know that you should keep milk in the fridge, or keep wine in a cellar people seem far more unsure as to how to store coffee beans. In fact it’s a question we are asked on a regular basis on our courses and people seem not to have any clue, so here it is:

Fresh Coffee Beans

Coffee beans are best fresh, in fact the fresher the better. From the moment the beans are roasted they are losing freshness and is probably at its peak within the first few days after roasting. However do not start worrying that any coffee you buy will be past its best. For example our Jessie’s Café blends go on our shelves fresh and you would have from 3 weeks to a month to drink it. This should be true of any of the boutique roasters but feel free to ask. All the staff should know when the particular batch was roasted and how long it has been on the shelves.

So you know you need to keep the freshness of your beans, but how do you do it?

Air

Well oxygen to be more specific. The more your coffee is exposed to oxygen the more the coffee is oxidised and the more the flavour is lost. There are many oils and aromatics in coffee beans that, when they come into contact with air, can evaporate leaving the beans dry and tasteless. To avoid too much flavour is lost through this process be sure to keep your beans sealed as much as possible, this means not leaving the pack open on the side, not leaving them in the grinder for too long if it does not have a perfect seal.

Moisture

Coffee beans absorb and hold water from their surrounding environment very easily. This moisture will suck out a lot of the aroma and flavour of your coffee and could even contain aromas of their own that will become part of the coffee, thereby ruining the taste. This draws through the myth that coffee should be stored in the fridge. Fridges are very moist and full of odours and flavours that can and will be absorbed by your coffee.

Heat

Here in Perth heat is a serious problem when storing any of your ingredients, and the same is true for your coffee. The roasting process is a very delicate one, all the heats and flavours are carefully balanced to ensure the right amount of the right flavours are in your coffee but when the your beans are not stored in a cool place these precious oils and flavours will start to ooze out and be lost.

Can I Freeze My Coffee Beans?

The question of freezing coffee beans is actually a hotly debated topic amongst coffee experts. However this debate is about the benefits of snap freezing coffee beans in a commercial setting and the slow freezing of a domestic freezer can have negative effects on the taste.

So How Should I Store My Coffee Beans?

Our recommendation is that you keep your beans stored somewhere that is between 20-25 degrees and away from a window. This can be as simple as simple as keeping them in a low dark cupboard to avoid the rising hot air and sunlight. Also ensure that your bag is sealed as well as possible, most coffee bean bags are designed to maintain freshness and have some form of re-sealable zip lock system.
When using the coffee make sure you get the beans or grounds out and in the grinder and put them away rather than leaving them out on the side, minimise their exposure to the elements as much as possible.

Our best recommendation is to store your beans for as little time as possible. This may mean buying a smaller bag more often rather than keeping 4kg of beans for months on end. Just work out how quickly you are getting though your coffee beans and try to buy them accordingly. Remember you don’t want to keep it for much more than a month for beans and 2 weeks for pre-ground coffee.

Hopefully this answers a lot of your questions, but if you have any more then get in touch either on the comments below, on Facebook, Twitter or even Email.

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