Storage is a very crucial part of the longevity of a food product. When storing coffee beans, you must keep them meticulously to prevent mistakenly hastening their spoilage. Like all food types, freshness is essential to enjoying coffee. Still, what happens when you have more than enough? This article talks about how to store beans in a freezer and other delicate matters revolving around it. Read on.
Why you Need to Store Coffee Beans
Usually, all leftover perishable food is stored to keep it fresh and prevent staleness. The same applies to coffee beans. Coffee beans are perishable and lose quality when exposed to certain conditions. After roasting coffee beans, the freshness starts to decline. Four major coffee killers make proper storage of coffee beans a must—oxygen, moisture, light, and heat.
Exposure of coffee beans to oxygen brings about a reaction called oxidation. Various natural oils, acids and chemical compounds present in the beans are called “solubles”. When exposed to oxygen, these solubles responsible for the coffee flavour and smell begin to oxidise. As a result, the beans become stale. You’ll notice that coffee brands package their products to be sealed and air-tight. The reason is to avoid oxidation.
Moisture refers to the water or humidity levels present on the beans. High moisture levels stimulate the growth of mould and mildew. These unwanted growths negatively impact the flavour and quality of the coffee. Moisture also affects the aroma of coffee beans by inviting foreign scents from different parts of the kitchen.
Lighting negatively affects coffee beans’ freshness. Direct sunlight, for instance, degrades coffee’s flavour and aroma compounds. This is why it’s essential to store your coffee beans in a place without natural lighting or in an opaque container. A glass jar isn’t the best idea long term.
Heat is another coffee killed to avoid. Keep coffee beans away from heat until they’re ready to be brewed, even after roasting—unfavourable heat speeds up the chemical reactions responsible for coffee destruction. Every ten-degree increase doubles the degrading response.
What to Do Before Storing
Before you consider storing your leftover coffee beans, you should note some things.
- Buy the Right Amount
To avoid storing more coffee beans than you need, buy the amount you can consume within a week. Since coffee beans begin to lose their freshness once roasted, you should have only as much as you’d need. Try buying smaller batches of fresh coffee.
- Use Air-Tight Containers
While you plan to freeze your coffee beans, you still need air-tight containers to put your coffee beans in. Some home storage containers will allow little oxygen, causing long-term stored food to get freezer burns. To avoid this, you’ll need a genuinely foolproof air-tight container.
How to Properly Store Coffee Beans In Freezers
Here are the steps you’ll need to store your coffee beans in the freezer properly.
- Get Some Air-Tight Containers
Procuring air-tight containers is the first step to properly freezing. Get some, and then secure your coffee beans into said containers. An air-tight container would work even better if it were vacuum sealed.
- Share the Coffee Beans in Smaller Batches
The reason for doing this is to get enough coffee when you need it without risking others. Smaller frozen batches mean that during the week, you don’t have to worry about opening and closing one big container with all the beans or the repercussions that come with it. For instance, condensation could form on the frozen coffee beans while taking some out, leaving moisture and a potential for mildew and mould growth.
- Next is to Place All Smaller Batches Into the Freezer
- Don’t open the Container Hastily
This next part is when you wish to take some coffee beans to brew. Don’t open an air-tight container immediately after taking out the freezer’s coffee. Allow the container to thaw back to room temperature first. Otherwise, there will be a gush of air and moisture into the container, thereby ruining the entire freezing process.
How Not to Freeze Coffee Beans
When freezing, there are some rookie mistakes a lot of people make. A coffee bean is a relatively dry good. It’s hygroscopic, which means it can absorb water. The freezer is one place with a lot of moisture, so you can imagine what the beans’ reaction would be.
The humidity allows breakdowns in the coffee beans causing several slow chemical reactions. As a result, the flavour becomes terrible, and the coffee becomes stale. This is why an air-tight container is necessary. Not only is moisture absorbed, but also the aromas of other foodstuffs in the freezer. You can imagine how adulterated the aroma and flavour will be.
Another error is when all the coffee beans are stored in one big container, and you take out the container to take some beans before returning. While foreign aroma absorption from other foodstuffs is prevented, you still lose the battle to moisture. The immediate difference in temperature and pressure causes condensation on the beans and then a potential mould growth.
Why You Might Want to Freeze Coffee Beans
- When you Have Leftover Coffee Beans
Freezing might be a good idea to preserve it for later use.
- When you Purchase an Expensive Coffee to Savour
Freeze your high-quality, expensive coffee to savour and enjoy it better when you’re ready. There’s no need to forcefully consume it all at once when you can prolong the shelf life. You can have some anytime you want by freezing in several batches while preserving the rest.
- When you Want to Keep the Flavour Better
Freezing coffee beans is an effective way to keep their taste. Freezing locks the coffee beans’ flavours and maintains the state. The flavour remains good after thawing and brewing.
Things to do and Avoid When Freezing Coffee Beans
Here is the overall brief of what to do and what not to do
- You can store new coffee beans in the freezer for up to two or three months.
- Divide the coffee beans into batches. Aim for separating into weekly portions. Separation ensures the beans are frozen and defrosted just once.
- Make use of an opaque, freezer-safe bag. Deflate and remove as much air as possible from the pack.
- Allow the frozen coffee beans to defrost before grinding. Wait at least an hour to defrost.
- After defrosting, use the coffee beans within a time frame of seven to ten days.
- Don’t return defrosted coffee beans into the freezer to avoid ruining the flavour.
- Coffee grounds easily and quickly absorb scents more than whole coffee beans. It’s advisable not to freeze pre-ground coffee.
These are all essential things you should know when it comes to freezing as the chosen method of storing coffee beans. There’s a difference between a freezer and a refrigerator. Some make the mistake of refrigerating coffee beans. While both are cooling storage appliances, the freezer’s core temperature is zero degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius). A fridge or refrigerator is thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).
The coolant or refrigerant takes more time to circulate through the fridge than the freezer. Relatively to coffee beans, this means even in an air-tight container, a refrigerator isn’t an effective place to store coffee. The fridge isn’t cold enough to maintain the coffee beans’ freshness. Hopefully, this article has enlightened you better about what you need to know about adequately freezing coffee beans.