April 28, 2020
How To Store Your Craft Coffee Beans For Optimal Freshness: Avoid These 4 Freshness Killers
The storage of your craft coffee beans is everything when it comes to maintaining optimal freshness and flavor for the longest amount of time after purchase. There are four enemies of coffee beans that will quickly reduce the amount of time your coffee beans remain fresh.
4 Freshness Enemies
Air contains oxygen. And oxygen is arguably the biggest killer of coffee bean freshness. If roasted coffee beans are consistently exposed to oxygen, beans can lose freshness in just a couple of days - or even less! This is even more reason not to purchase coffee in amounts of 30 oz (as in our Folger example from the last article on how to choose your coffee beans). We recommend purchasing amounts no greater than what you can consume in 1 week, which is why we sell our coffee beans in 12 oz airtight bags. If you insist on buying beans in larger quantities make sure they’re stored in an air-tight, cool, dark place.
Exposing coffee beans to moisture is another huge no-no. If a coffee bean is exposed to a humid environment, the coffee bean can go bad almost immediately.
Contrary to popular belief, the absolute last place to store your coffee is in the freezer or refrigerator. If you store your beans in the freezer, every time you remove the container and open the lid, a wave of humidity will quickly swarm the beans. This satures the coffee beans with moisture, and eliminates more flavor and freshness each time this happens. Mold is caused by a consistent buildup of moisture, and condensation is likely to build up inside the canister when you open the container while its cold. Remember, mold is the killer of all energy and essentially makes drinking coffee pointless if you’re looking for a quick energy boost.
Pre-ground coffee is much harder to keep fresh as it’s easier for moisture to absorb into the already fine grounds. This is why we recommend purchasing your coffee beans as “whole bean” and grinding before each use. (We’ll dive into how to grind your coffee beans in a later article.) If you don’t have access to a coffee grinder, or simply you just don’t want to spend the money - don’t worry! You can still keep your pre-ground beans fresh for up to 1 week, especially if you keep them in an airtight container.
We’re huge fans of the MiiR coffee container as they’re BPA free and ensure a tight seal so air and moisture can’t penetrate.
The environment the coffee bean is stored also has a major impact on the freshness of the coffee bean. Just like in the freezer example above, condensation can form on the coffee bean if the bean is exposed to drastic changes in temperature. Beans stored in an environment too warm can cause sweating inside the container. Don’t store your coffee beans near the oven or in a cabinet near a window with afternoon sun. Instead, find a cabinet that maintains a similar temperature throughout the day. Ideally a cabinet that’s not exposed to any direct sunlight. Storing the beans in a cool, dark place will ensure that the coffee beans maintain optimal freshness for the longest amount of time possible.
Even though coffee beans are a beautiful work of art and are enjoyable to look at, avoid clear containers! Direct sunlight and/or artificial light will cause your coffee beans to go stale very quickly. Purchasing an air tight, dark, container like this one will ensure that your coffee beans are protected from all of the elements. Even though this container would be fine to sit on top of the countertop, make sure to go the extra mile by placing a container like this inside a cabinet as we mentioned above.
It’s time to do a quick recap and review the list of important steps to remember when planning to store your craft coffee beans.
- Locate the ideal coffee storage cabinet in your kitchen. Remember to identify a cabinet far away from your oven and also one that gets as little sunlight exposure as possible
- Purchase a dark, air-tight container (avoid clear containers)
- Avoid placing your beans in the freezer/refrigerator
- Store your beans as “whole bean” whenever possible