Coffee Storage Basics

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

Possibly the single most important consideration for the sake of freshness and the pursuit of ‘the perfect cup’ is buying your coffee in small quantities, as needed, preferably in whole bean format and grinding it yourself just before brewing.  Proper coffee storage for pre-ground coffee is a tricky affair because the act of storing pre-ground coffee greatly accelerates the staling process. When you grind coffee the entire surface area of the bean’s cellular structure is now exposed to oxygen. So, always buy it in small quantities or individualized packs, and once opened store it in a specialty vacuum canister in a cool dry spot out of direct light and heat.

Certain conditions harm the freshness of your coffee. Below is a list of elements you don’t wish to expose your coffee to.

1. Moisture

2. Oxygen

3. Heat

4. Direct Light

To freeze or not to freeze?

The answer will be a resounding no. It can’t get cold enough to keep your coffee fresh, so what happens is that your coffee will deodorize and dehumidify your refrigerator–just like baking soda, especially if its ground.

Also freezing isn’t recommended because exposure to moisture in the freezer will destroy the precious flavor and aromatic oils within the coffee. Keep in mind, if coffee is penetrated by moisture the essential oils are dissolved, then hot water will not be able to release the coffee flavors in the oils and will yield a weaker flavored cup of coffee.

Recommendations for proper coffee storage

Coffee packaged in our quality bags can be stored in a cool dry place.  Once the bag has been opened, the remaining whole bean coffee can be stored until used up in any of the following ways:

  1. Re-seal the bag by tightly folding the bag several turns, then folding over the wire-tie or sealing the top by other means. Gently squeeze out the air that was allowed to enter the bag when it was opened, taking care not to crush the one-way valve or to force out the air too quickly and damaging the valve.
    • If your coffee was fresh, you will notice the bag will seem to re-fill with air over time. This is actually not air, but CO2 being emitted from the freshly roasted coffee. The valve operates only when adequate back pressure needed to open the valve is reached, the CO2 buildup should not be expelled, as CO2 is somewhat inert, and will keep the beans fresher longer, compared to oxygen.
  2. Using a vacuum storage container with a built-in pump will probably be one of your best options for keeping your fresh roasted coffee as fresh as possible. The vacuum pump removes nearly all of the air from the canister so that flavor and aroma isn’t spoiled by the presence of oxygen.  Most of these containers are also slightly opaque further protecting the coffee from harmful effects of light.