Once you become a regular coffee drinker, brewing coffee from home becomes a habit. You learn all the tricks you can use to make excellent coffee, such as using fresh grounds for every pot.
But if you want to use fresh coffee grounds to brew your coffee, you must buy freshly roasted coffee beans. You should also store them in a way that will preserve their freshness until you use them to brew coffee. So why do we always end up with stale bags of coffee?
Importance of Storing Coffee Correctly
The coffee beans we buy go stale because many of us don’t know the importance of keeping coffee beans fresh.
You buy a bag of beans and keep them on the shelf, only scooping the beans you need for every brew. That leaves the beans open to deterioration, giving you an inferior brew. The coffee you brew doesn’t have a pleasant aroma, and neither is the flavor exciting.
Once this happens to you once or twice, you learn that coffee beans lose their flavor and aroma quite fast when stored improperly. They absorb moisture and odors from the atmosphere around them easily.
Therefore, if you store an open bag of coffee grounds on your kitchen shelf, you can expect it to pick up unpleasant odors and even develop mold in severe cases. That will give them a strange taste and smell, making any cup of coffee you brew using them a waste.
Coffee beans also lose their freshness when exposed to light or heat. So, you must find ways to store them away from your cooker and other heat sources. That space next to your kitchen window is also not the best place for coffee beans due to too much light exposure.
That may be why some people refrigerate or freeze their coffee beans. Is that the right way to store coffee? Let’s find out.
Can You Store Coffee Beans in The Fridge?
Although it may seem like a good idea to store coffee beans in the fridge or freezer, it only spoils their quality. The first reason is all the foods you have in the fridge.
Coffee beans absorb all the foul odors in a fridge, spoiling their flavor and aroma. That’s because of the nitrogen in coffee beans which aids in the neutralization of odors.
Therefore, don’t store your coffee beans in the fridge if you plan to use them for coffee brewing. Otherwise, you may end up with a brew characterized by the aromas of any strong-smelling foods in the fridge.
The temperature changes in a refrigerator may also spoil some compounds in coffee. That usually happens when you store coffee beans in the freezer, where the extreme cold temperatures can cause freezer burn.
Coffee beans also crack when the moisture in them freezes, leading to the formation of hairline fractures. Some experts also say that coffee beans absorb the moisture in a fridge, interfering with their natural moisture content.
Therefore, we can safely say that storing coffee in your fridge is not the best way to keep them.
The best way to store coffee is in an opaque, airtight container at room temperature. That will prevent light, moisture, air, and foul odors from spoiling the composition of your coffee beans.
However, you need to start by buying fresh coffee beans before you can think of storing them properly. Here’s how.
How to Choose Fresh Coffee Beans
When you buy coffee beans from the grocery store, do you know how to pick the fresh ones?
If you’ve been grabbing coffee beans from the shelf without a care, hoping they will keep well and produce a great brew when you get home, you need to adopt new coffee purchasing habits.
Always aim to buy coffee beans that will give you great-tasting coffee and stay fresh for long.
Start by looking at the roast date on the coffee bag. Coffee beans usually go bad 3 to 4 weeks after the roasting process. Therefore, buy coffee with a roast date that’s as close to the day you purchase them as possible.
Also, insist on purchasing whole coffee beans because coffee oxidizes once you grind it. That destroys the flavor compounds that make your coffee taste amazing.
You should also buy coffee beans in small quantities. Calculate your daily consumption and only buy coffee beans that will last you for 2 or 3 weeks. Do this with the roast date in mind.
Therefore, if the coffee beans you buy have been roasted in the past week, only purchase enough to last 2 weeks. That will ensure you enjoy a fresh brew every morning.
If going to the coffee store is too much of a hassle, don’t opt for a bulk bag of coffee beans. Try subscribing to a coffee delivery service from a reputable roaster.
Coffee delivery services can send a small fresh bag of coffee beans to your doorstep every 2 weeks. That way, you’ll have fresh coffee beans for your coffee brewing every day.
Now you know the best way to store coffee beans. Although you can keep them in the fridge, that will not preserve their flavor.
Buy an opaque, airtight container for your coffee beans and store them in a cool, dark place. If you keep small batches of fresh coffee beans in this way, you will find they stay fresher for longer.
Also, stick to coffee beans instead of coffee grounds to ensure you always enjoy fresh coffee. Although using pre-ground coffee shortens the coffee brewing process, store-bought coffee grounds get stale fast.
Therefore, buy a coffee grinder, and you’ll be able to grind your coffee beans every time you need to make coffee. It will also allow you to use any grind size when making coffee.
Once you start using a grinder, you’ll appreciate the value of grinding fresh coffee beans every time you make a pot of coffee. The resulting brew will always be aromatic and flavourful. And you’ll keep your bag of beans fresh for longer.