After buying your favourite coffee or being excited about trying a new one, those flavour notes causing excitement… the last thing you want is lifeless, stale beans after just a few days. Don’t worry, follow some simple steps to store coffee beans will help you enjoy every cup from the first to the last.
The enemy of coffee
Air, moisture and direct sunlight all encourage coffee to lose its freshness quickly, something no coffee lover wants. As coffee beans are a natural product, they need to be stored in a way which protects them.
Do you buy your coffee as whole beans or ground?
As soon as coffee is ground it starts to lose its flavour, which means if you are buying ground coffee there is a shorter window of optimal taste. Following the next steps will help, but if you want to enjoy the best cup possible, your own grinder will be an investment you won’t regret.
Improve your coffee with an elastic band
Squeezing as much air out of the coffee bag as possible, pushing all the coffee into the bottom of the bag, folding the remaining bag over and then wrapping with an elastic band will do the simple job of squeezing out as much air as possible therefore preserving flavour.
What about a fancy container?
There are many containers for sale which are made to specifically store coffee beans. Their main features are keeping the coffee protected from light and expelling as much air as possible. While these specific coffee containers are a worthwhile investment, it is important to note that every time the container is opened, more air comes in, so choosing one with some method of expelling the air is ideal. These can be simple vacuum pumps or plungers within the containers.
Test Tube Coffee
There are some lovely, premium, single tube coffee storage containers which look like test tubes with a discrete one way valve in the lid. They allow a bag of coffee to be split into single servings and then only opened as needed, solving the issue of more air rushing into the container every time you open it. The one way value allows any gas to escape as the beans rest, but no fresh air to enter.
Experimenting internally, a quick search on eBay revealed plastic centrifuge tubes, which although not premium in design or feel and without valve, at a fraction of the price do a great job of storing an 18g dose of coffee ready to be ground.
Are you ready for the deep freeze?
A growing trend of freezing coffee beans involves splitting beans into smaller packs, vacuum sealing and then dropping them in the freezer. The results have been very positive, with flavour being maintained for much longer periods of time. Something to look into and a follow up article for sure.
But please, please, please don’t leave coffee beans in your machine for weeks
The fastest way to lose peak quality of a coffee is to leave beans in the machine or grinder hopper for weeks, or some might even say days. If this is the case, try putting smaller amounts into the grinder or machine, keeping the rest fresh with a method we mentioned above.