HOW TO STORE COFFEE AT HOME
You may have heard that it is best to keep coffee in the fridge. It is a big mistake. There are temperature drops, light, and, what is most harmful, foreign odors. The fridge will easily spoil even the most expensive and high-quality grain. In addition to the refrigerator, there is a wardrobe or freezer. Not everything is so simple with them, so let's figure it out.
After roasting, coffee rapidly loses its freshness: the taste becomes flat, unpleasant rancidity appears. We talked about this in the article about the freshness of the coffee. The reason is that roasted coffee is very hygroscopic: it quickly absorbs and gives off moisture, takes on odors and, to put it simply, is exhaled, and the essential oils in the beans react with oxygen and oxidize. For keeping coffee fresh longer, store it properly.
How long does coffee last
The shelf life depends on three factors:
In each case, oxygen, moisture, heat, sunlight, and foreign odors affect coffee differently.
How to store ground coffee
Ground coffee fizzles out many times faster than grain coffee because it has more touchpoints with the environment. It will not be possible to store it for a long time: coffee will begin to lose its freshness immediately after grinding. Even in perfect packaging, it will last 1-2 days, no more.
You should buy ground coffee only in the most extreme cases. If you do not have a coffee grinder or you planing to brew coffee very quickly. In other situations, we recommend choosing coffee beans.
How to store coffee beans
When stored properly, coffee beans will remain fresh for one to two months after roasting. Usually, it is keeping in bags, jars, or plastic containers.
Ziplock bags with a degassing valve are best for storage. They are opaque, protected from moisture and air. The valve allows removing carbon dioxide, which is emitted by freshly roasted grains.
In second place are ceramic and glass jars with sealed lids. Their plus is that they, just like bags, protect the coffee from moisture and foreign odors. The disadvantage is that there will always be air inside - this means that oxidative processes will continue. The coffee will lose its freshness.
Do not use plastic containers. They are not always airtight and let in light, and sometimes coffee tastes like plastic.
Where to store coffee
If you plan on using your coffee in less than a month, it is best to store it in a kitchen cupboard or other place free from temperature extremes and direct light. Check that the cabinet is away from the stove, as the temperature will rise during cooking and then fall again.
If you buy coffee in advance for a long time, you can store it in the freezer. However, several conditions are major to observe:
- The packaging must be opaque and completely sealed. Before placing the bag in the freezer, it is wise to remove excess air through the valve to reduce the chance of condensation occurring.
- Do not take out pieces of coffee from the freezer. If you plan to store your coffee in the freezer and sometimes take a portion from there to prepare, you should split it into part in advance. For example, so that each serving is enough for a week. The main thing is that if you took the coffee out of the freezer even for a minute, you should not put it back.
- Before preparing frozen coffee, it has to be warming up to room temperature. To do this, you cannot warm it up on purpose. It is better to leave it in the room for a while until it warms up itself. For example, take it out of the freezer in the evening and make coffee from it in the morning.
The fridge is the worst place to store coffee. The temperature inside is unstable because the refrigerator is opening and closing periodically. Because of this, condensation and excess moisture appear on the coffee. But the worst thing is the aromas of the fridge, which instantly transform into the grains.
What to remember
- Buy ground coffee only as a last resort.
- Never store coffee in the refrigerator.
- Keep coffee in an airtight, opaque bag with a valve.
- If you buy coffee for a short time, store it in a dry, dark place with no temperature extremes. For example, store it in a kitchen cabinet.
- If you buy coffee for a long time, divide it into portions, pack it well, and put it in the freezer. If you got the coffee from there, you can't put it back.
- Air, light, temperature changes, and odors are the main enemies of coffee. Try to hide it from them.