Do you know the best way to store coffee? What about how to make coffee taste better? You might think you’ve got all the answers when it comes to java, but chances are if you’re anything like us, there’s a lot more that we need to know. You may have heard that you shouldn’t store coffee in the freezer or fridge or that you should keep your beans in the freezer. Or maybe you’ve heard that pre-ground beans are already stale, so they should never be used.
So what’s true? And what’s not? We take a look at some of the most common myths about coffee storage and offer a more accurate picture of how your favorite brew is best preserved. Let’s start with the freezer…
The Freezing Myth
Some people believe that putting coffee in the freezer will preserve it longer and make it taste fresher. They also believe that freezing grinds preserves their flavor without losing the essential oils in the beans. However, grinding your coffee will cause the beans to lose many essential oils, leaving you with a weaker, less flavorful cup.
Coffee starts losing flavor within minutes of grinding, so freezing coffee grinds is a bad idea. Coffee is porous. It can absorb moisture from the air, which is why we recommend storing your coffee in an airtight container after grinding. Also, freezing grinds or even putting them in the freezer for more than a day will cause them to absorb moisture from the air and change their water content. The problem is that water changes make coffee taste bad, so freezing will also make it taste bad. You’re better off keeping your ground coffee in an airtight bag or container with a close-fitting lid and storing it in a cool, dry location.
The Refrigerator Myth
Some people believe that storing coffee in the refrigerator will mold it, which obviously isn’t true. But a more widespread myth about keeping coffee in the fridge is that cold temperatures will damage the delicate oils, robbing your coffee of its true taste and aroma.
Coffee keeps best at room temperature. The oils in the beans dissipate very quickly at room temperature, so storing coffee beans in the fridge or freezer will not only reduce your morning cup of gourmet goodness but also destroy those cup’s aroma and taste. You will never find coffee beans in the frozen section in the supermarkets. Coffee is best stored in an airtight container or bag at room temperature.
The Grinding coffee beans before storing Myth
Some people say that you must grind all the beans when you buy them to maintain their freshness.
Grinding coffee breaks the beans and their oils, exposes the beans to air, and causes the coffee to get stale faster, regardless of how it is stored. This is especially true of flavored coffees! If you grind the beans, you will lose most of their original flavor. Never grind your coffee until you are ready to brew it. Instead, buy whole bean coffee and choose a way to store it that best suits your needs. If you have a high-quality grinder at home, buy a large quantity of whole beans and store it in an airtight container or bag. If you don’t have a grinder, consider buying pre-ground coffee rather than grinding beans yourself.
The Vaccum sealed packaging coffee beans are fresh Myth
Some people think those vacuum packaging coffee beans keep them fresh.
It’s tempting to think that packaging coffee in a sealed bag will make it last longer, but the real problem is allowing air and moisture to get in contact with your beans. This exposure causes moisture to change the expansion of the beans. The beans will then swell and shrink as they absorb and release humidity.
Though it can slow the oxidation process, Vacuum packaging does not preserve beans and store them in an airtight environment. Vacuum packaging also traps all the carbon dioxide produced by the beans.
This atmosphere is not ideal for long-term storage and can actually accelerate the spoiling process instead of slowing it down. Choose an environment for your coffee that protects it from both light and air, and you will have the freshest coffee for much longer.
The Whole bean coffee lasts longer than ground coffee Myth
Some people believe that whole bean coffee has a longer shelf life than ground coffee.
The truth is that both whole bean coffee and ground coffee will eventually go stale. However, the difference between the two is that ground coffee has exposure to air and light. So both whole bean coffee and ground coffee will lose their flavor in time, but whole bean coffee may last a little longer because it’s less exposed to air. Also, because there are fewer exposed beans, you have more surface area exposed to oxygen. And because the whole bean coffee is exposed to heat, the temperature of the beans naturally rises while they are ground. This can accelerate their oxidation.
The Quality of coffee matters when storing the beans Myth
Some people believe that the quality of the beans is a key factor in how they taste and how long they last.
It is true! The freshest and most flavorful coffee beans have been roasted recently. These coffees, however, are also the most susceptible to change due to oxygen and light. The longer the coffee beans have been roasted and the more exposure to oxygen, the shorter they will last. The quality of the coffee also affects how fast a coffees taste and fades. So, the better the quality of the beans, the fresher and more flavorful while storing them.
So, What should you store coffee in?
You can store coffee beans in any container. You can choose from:
– Valve sealed bags
– Stainless steel containers
– Coffee canisters
How do you store coffee beans?
You should store coffee in a cool, dry, dark place. The refrigerator is not the best option unless it’s a very small container with little air inside. The freezer is not the best option since the beans will absorb too much moisture. A cabinet, shelf, or pantry that is regularly cool and dry is perfect for storing coffee in an airtight container or bag. You can also place a bag of beans right beside your coffee maker, so you always have some on hand.
The myths of coffee storage are surely confusing, so listen to your instincts. If the coffee beans are old, stale and smell unusual, then it is probably time to buy fresh beans or grind the old ones before you store them again. Remember to keep your coffee away from sunlight and heat.
The best coffee storage is probably an airtight container or valve bag at room temperature. Just make sure to keep the container or bag sealed so moisture can’t get in, and coffee will stay fresh for a long time!
We hope this overview of common coffee storage myths and facts helps you brew a delicious cup of coffee.
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