Coffee is one of the most widely available beverages in the world, from coffee shops to store bought instant coffee and awesome fresh coffee beans, there is always a convenient way to get a great coffee fix. While there is always availability, not all coffee is the same.
When on holiday and finding an amazing coffee that you would like to bring home, there are some challenges in storing large amounts of coffee. It may not be common knowledge with the great availability today, but coffee beans don’t last forever.
What Ruins Coffee?
Freshly ground coffee is one of the best pleasures in life but keeping coffee around for too long isn’t always the best idea. There are a few things that can shorten the life span of your coffee.
- Air – Key flavour and aroma components, the soluble aspects, will start to oxidize when in contact with oxygen or air for too long. Just like metal oxidizes, which we know as rust, coffee can oxidize as well.
- Moisture – Moisture breaks down the coffee beans, promoting oxidation and general degradation of flavour.
- Heat – Heat is the main catalyst which allows the chemical changes to take place in coffee, releasing the flavours and aromas we all love. While the heat from roasting is required, exposure to heat after roasting, especially for longer periods of time, will start these chemical reactions. The reactions taking place while not in your brewer will cause a general degradation of flavour and a staleness to the coffee.
- Light – Direct contact with light has the same effects as excessive heating. The coffee breaks down, causing it to lose flavour and go “stale”.
There are two contrary common myths when it comes to keeping your coffee in cold storage.
- Frozen beans last longer
- Freezing coffee damages the coffee
The fact of the matter is that neither of these are entirely true. Freezing coffee beans is perfectly fine and will increase the shelf life of coffee beans, on the other hand, the additional moisture in a cool environment like a freezer stands to damage the coffee beans and force them to take on the flavour and aroma of surrounding items. Freezing coffee beans is perfectly fine, provided they are not frozen in the original or none sealed packaging. For the best experience when freezing coffee beans, vacuum pack them for less air and moisture exposure and keep them towards the bottom/back of the freezer to avoid unnecessary light exposure when opening the freezer.
The Right Way To Store Beans
The best way to store your ground coffee or coffee beans so your cup of java tastes great when you enjoy Caulfield Cup betting is in a cool, dark place and in an airtight container. This storage method will allow for the least degradation of the beans while still being easy to access and use.
Remember that no matter how you store your coffee, the shelf life is not infinite. Coffee beans stored in a cool dry place in an airtight container will have a shelf life of 5 months, while properly frozen beans can be good for up to 3 years.