The Basics of Coffee Storage
- To get the best from a coffee you want to use fresh roasted beans, grind immediately before brewing and use them within 2 weeks. If that's not an option for you and/or you want to store your coffee for longer than that, continue reading for more information.
- Coffee is best stored in a cool, dark and dry place such as a cupboard or pantry. Once opened for use, be sure to reseal the tin with its lid, or roll the bag down and clip it shut to minimize direct exposure to light and open air.
- To keep your beans fresher for longer periods keep them away from air, moisture, heat and light. That means storing in airtight containers in a cool, dark and dry place. Ultimately you can store your beans in whatever you have handy at home, but if you're looking for something a little more specialized in preserving your beans, a vacuum sealed storage container is a good choice.
Is It Okay to Refrigerate or Freeze My Coffee?
- Although some people do store their coffee in the fridge, it turns out it’s actually one of the worst places to put your beans. Coffee beans are actually very porous so they readily absorb odors (you can actually use coffee to deodorize). Any particularly pungent smell in your fridge has a good chance of ending up in your beans and ruining its flavor.
- What about freezing beans? Freezing is a viable method for the preservation of coffee beans roasted for espresso for a period of at least 4 months. According to extensive blind taste testing of espresso done by Ken Fox and Jim Schulman at Home-Barista.com, they found freezing coffee immediately after roasting in airtight containers in a very cold chest style freezer resulted in no taste preference over fresh unfrozen beans after 4 months of storage.
- If you do freeze beans, be sure to thaw them overnight before use and DO NOT refreeze them. Frozen beans can damage grinders - especially in super-automatic espresso machines - so once thawed do not refreeze again as condensation will draw moisture into the beans. So freeze only in sealed portions useable within a week or so.
Check out the video below for an breakdown on a 30-day experiment we conducted on how storing beans in different ways and containers changes espresso extraction time, appearance, and taste.
How to Keep Coffee Beans Fresh: A 30-Day Espresso Experiment