After roasting, coffee rapidly loses its freshness: the taste becomes flat and there is an unpleasant rancidity. The reason is that roasted coffee is very hygroscopic: it quickly absorbs and gives up moisture, takes in foreign odors and, simply put, is exhaled, and the essential oils in the bean react with oxygen and oxidize. To keep coffee fresher for longer, it needs to be stored properly.
How long does a coffee keep?
Three factors affect how long a coffee can be stored:
- Storage location.
In each case, coffee is affected differently by oxygen, moisture, heat, sunlight, and offensive odors.
How to store ground coffee
Ground coffee is evaporated many times faster than ground coffee, because it has more points of contact with environment. It is not possible to store it for a long time: coffee begins to lose its freshness immediately after grinding and even in a good packaging will last 1-2 days, no more.
You should buy ground coffee only in the most extreme cases: if you don’t have a grinder, if it’s bad, or if you plan to drink coffee very quickly. In other situations, we recommend choosing coffee in beans.
How to store bean coffee
If stored properly, bean coffee keeps fresh for one to two months after roasting. It is most often stored in bags, cans, or plastic containers.
Ziploc bags with a degassing valve are best for storage. They are opaque, protected from moisture and air, and the valve allows the carbon dioxide released by freshly roasted beans to escape.
In second place are ceramic and glass jars with airtight lids. Their advantage is that just like bags, they protect coffee from moisture and foreign odors. The disadvantage is that there will always be air inside, which means that oxidation processes will continue in the jar and the coffee will lose its freshness.
Where to Store Coffee
If you plan to use your coffee sooner than a month in advance, it’s best to store it in a kitchen cabinet or other place where there are no temperature fluctuations or direct light. Make sure the cupboard is away from the kitchen stove, because the temperature will rise and then fall again while it’s cooking.
If you’re buying coffee in advance for a long time, you can store it in the freezer. However, there are a few conditions that are important to observe:
- The packaging must be opaque and completely airtight. Before putting the bag in the freezer, it makes sense to remove excess air through the valve to reduce the chance of condensation.
- You shouldn’t take coffee out of the freezer piece by piece. If you plan to store coffee in the freezer and occasionally take some out to make, you need to portion it out beforehand. For example, so that each portion is enough for a week. The main thing is that if you take coffee out of the freezer even for a minute, you can’t put it back in.
- Before making frozen coffee, you need to warm it up to room temperature. To do this, you should not heat it up on purpose, but leave it in the room for a while until it warms up on its own. For example, take it out of the freezer in the evening, and make coffee from it in the morning.
The refrigerator is the worst place to store coffee. The temperature inside is inconsistent because the refrigerator is periodically opened and closed. This causes condensation and excess moisture on the coffee. But the worst part is the refrigerator’s aromas, which instantly transfer to the beans.