Community Café

How to store coffee beans

Thien Nguyen

Monday, 03 July 2023

If the scent of freshly brewed coffee is what pulls you out of bed each morning, you already know the value of fresh coffee. Nothing compares to the taste of coffee brewed from freshly roasted coffee beans. But how can you maintain this flavour over time? The answer lies in how you store your coffee beans

To ensure you’re making the most out of your Grinders Coffee Roasters single origins and blends, we’re providing a guide on how to store your coffee beans properly, so every cup you brew is as delightful as the last.  

Understanding the Coffee Bean Lifecycle 

To get the most out of your coffee, it’s important to understand the lifecycle of coffee beans, post-roasting. Freshly roasted beans will degas for approximately 5 to 7 days after roasting. This degassing period is essential, as it allows the flavours to mature and develop. 

Over time, the coffee beans will naturally start to lose their flavour, which is why it’s essential to store your beans correctly. 

Buying the Right Amount of Coffee Beans 

When it comes to buying coffee, quality over quantity should be your guiding principle. Coffee begins to lose freshness from after roasting. As a result, it’s best to buy just enough to last one or two weeks. 

Storing Coffee Beans 

To keep your coffee beans fresh and full of flavour, you’ll need to store them in a cool, dark, and oxygen free environment. Here are some tips: 

Opt for an Airtight Container 

Storing your coffee in an airtight container is critical to preserving the beans’ quality. When it comes to choosing the perfect container, go for one that’s opaque as clear containers can let in light and compromise the taste of your coffee. For ultimate freshness, it’s best to remove as much of the oxygen as possible by using a vacuum sealed container. There are now several manual vacuum containers on the market specifically for coffee that will significantly slow the process of oxidation.   

Keep it Cool 

But not in the fridge. A dark, cool place is ideal for storing coffee beans. Cupboards or pantries away from heat sources like ovens are perfect. And while it’s fairly commonplace to store beans beside or on top of coffee machines for convenience, the heat from the machine can accelerate the deterioration of the beans’ flavour.  

Freeze Your Beans 

While there has long been a consensus that you should not freeze coffee beans, it has been shown that freezing coffee beans can effectively preserve key flavour elements. There’s a bit more to it than that though and we don’t recommend freezing your coffee before fully understanding how it works. Let’s take a closer look: 

For best results, grind coffee directly from the freezer. If the coffee is allowed to thaw, it will condensate and may become soft. Frozen coffee will be hard and brittle which will allow the grind particle size to be more consistent, giving you a better extraction. You will need to take care that your grinder is suited to handle this.  

Freeze your coffee in smaller or single doses, ensuring that the container or bag is as airtight as possible.  

Acidity: In coffee, acidity is desirable. It adds that sparkle or brightness that gives coffee its complexity. Freezing coffee beans has shown to help retain this valued acidity better than leaving them in room temperature conditions. 

Intensity: The intensity, or the “punch”, of coffee is another attribute that coffee enthusiasts cherish. Interestingly, the freezer environment may aid in maintaining this intensity more efficiently than traditional storing methods. 

Sweetness and Smoothness: A well-balanced sweetness contributes to the overall delight of your coffee experience, while the smoothness refers to a pleasing mouthfeel and easy drinkability. Tests have suggested that freezing coffee beans might enhance the smoothness, and preserve the inherent sweetness of the beans. 

Decoding the Signs of Stale Coffee Beans 

Your journey to a flavourful cup doesn’t stop at buying the best beans and storing them correctly. It’s equally essential to recognise when your beans have gone stale, as they can drastically dampen the coffee flavour you’ve come to love. 

Stale coffee beans often give off a flat or bland taste, lack the robust crema on your espresso, or even have a somewhat stale smell. If your coffee beans check any of these boxes, it may be time to buy fresh Grinders Coffee beans, Although some of these can also be caused by incorrect grind size or dose. Check out our at home coffee making video guides for more tips and tricks.

Ground Coffee vs Whole Beans: The Storage Showdown 

The decision to store ground coffee or whole beans also contributes to your coffee’s lifespan and taste. Ground coffee has a larger surface area, meaning it loses flavour faster, while whole beans have a smaller surface area, helping them retain their flavour for longer. As such, if you choose to buy whole beans, grind the amount you need just before brewing to ensure maximum freshness. 

The Takeaway 

Storing coffee beans properly is a science, just like coffee brewing itself. Following these guidelines will ensure that you can enjoy your favourite Grinders Coffee brew at its peak, from the first cup to the last. Remember, your coffee is an experience, savour it.

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