The world is obsessed with coffee.
Coffee gives a great jolt of energy and tastes great, which has helped make it an essential part of millions of people’s morning routines.
Cafes have sprung up all over the world offering all different types of coffee beans and drinks.
It seems like every week there is something new to try!
But drinking coffee in cafes all the time is impractical, and it can get rather expensive.
Buying your own high-quality coffee and then brewing it at home is a great alternative.
Yet when you bring the process home, you’re responsible for something you’d previously been leaving to the cafes:
Storing the coffee beans.
You can spend all the money you want on quality, freshly roasted coffee beans and specialty coffee makers, but if you don’t take care to store the coffee correctly, you’ll still be giving yourself a less-quality cup of Joe.
Here’s some information about how to store coffee beans properly so that you can make sure what you’re brewing at home is the best you can get.
Perhaps the first thing we should discuss is why you need to worry about storing coffee in the first place.
Most of the stuff you buy in grocery stores comes in vacuum-sealed tins or bags, so isn’t that enough?
The short answer is no.
And you really should avoid trying to buy coffee at the supermarket whenever possible. Mass-produced coffee is often roasted many weeks before it gets to the shelf, and this means it will taste worse and be without many of the health benefits of coffee.
Ideally you should grind and use coffee beans within 3-14 days of being roasted.
Fresh taste is the main reason you should be storing coffee beans properly, but there’s also a lot of evidence about how regular coffee drinking promotes good health. And guess what? Many of those studies were performed using fresh coffee!
For example, coffee has been shown to prevent things such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. It’s also been shown to play a role in helping you lose weight. Coffee also possesses lots of antioxidants that help remove toxins from your body, but once again, these go away when the coffee gets old.
But again, it’s mostly about the taste. After you get used to drinking the good stuff, you’ll be able to tell when your drinking coffee that’s been sitting around for a while. The flavor is less sharp.
Sometimes it even tastes like dirt.
One thing to keep in mind is that coffee will lose its freshness no matter what. In fact, most people say that coffee will lose much of its nutritional value two weeks after it’s been roasted. Proper storage habits can help to counteract this, but to a certain extent, you’re really just prolonging the inevitable.
The best solution to this would be to not buy pre-roasted coffee. You could instead get green coffee beans and roast them yourself, ensuring you’ll always have access to the freshest coffee you can possibly have.
However, this is rather impractical. Coffee roasters can be expensive, and you’ll have to be roasting constantly to make sure you have a steady supply. Your wallet will take a hit, and it will also make your house smell intensely of coffee at all times time.
That’s not necessarily the worst thing, but something you may want to avoid.
Here are a few tips for how to store coffee beans in your own home — no roasting required!
Whole bean coffee lasts longer because pre-ground coffee has a ton more surface area, which means it goes stale a lot faster.
How quickly does ground coffee begin to fade? Professionals suggest you brew your coffee within just 15 minutes of grinding!
A cheap manual coffee grinder will suffice in a pinch, but I’d really suggest a good burr grinder. They aren’t prohibitively expensive.
Freezers are a standard in preservation, and placing coffee in the freezer is probably something you’ve learned from your grandma.
Well, not to be disrespectful to your ancestors, but they were doing it wrong.
Fridges and freezers are moist, and by placing coffee inside, you are exposing it to this moisture, which can sacrifice the taste and quality of the coffee.
Instead of the fridge or freezer, you’ll want to find somewhere in your house that’s cool, dry, and away from the sunlight.
Allowing coffee to sit on the countertop where the sun beats on it will dry it out and affect the taste and quality. Storing it inside a cabinet or breadbox is a good idea. If you live in an area with a very warm climate, consider storing your coffee in a room that’s temperature controlled.
Mass-produced coffee is almost always stored in large tins that are sealed at the top and can be resealed with a plastic lid.
However, you’ve likely notice that most specialty coffees never come this way. That’s because leaving coffee in these tins will cause it to take on some of the flavor of the tin, giving it a metallic taste that makes subsequent cups quite unpleasant.
The best thing you can do is invest in an airtight glass or ceramic container. After you break the vacuum seal on the bag, dump the coffee in and seal it up. Then place it in it’s cool, dry, and dark place to help keep it as fresh as possible.
While all of these tips are certainly going to help maintain your coffee’s freshness, as we mentioned earlier, you can’t stop this process forever. The longer you keep the coffee after it’s been roasted, the worse it will be.
So one possible solution to this is to not store coffee for long.
Buy small amounts more frequently so that you can be sure you finish what you have before it has the chance to go bad.
You could sign up for a coffee subscription service, for example. This will send freshly roasted coffee to your door every two weeks, making sure you’re always drinking the best.
It’s impossible to keep coffee good forever. Mother Nature will always win. But there are some things you can be doing to make sure that it stays fresh for longer, meaning healthier and tastier pick-me-ups every morning for you and your loved ones from here on out.
This was a guest post by Caroline Black, a coffee enthusiast and writer. Since she works from home, she’s become quite the expert at brewing her own cup of coffee. Without a fresh cup by her side, her day cannot begin. She’s shamelessly addicted to coffee, and she knows she’s not alone.