HOW TO STORE YOUR COFFEE BEANS

How to store roasted coffee beans by Iron and Fire speciality roast coffee

How to store roasted coffee beans by Iron and Fire speciality roast coffee

We often get asked about how to store roasted coffee beans so we thought we would offer a few tips. The bottom line is that it is important to store your coffee properly, whether ground or whole beans – and if you still have it kicking around after 2 months then you just need to drink more of it…

OXYGEN IS YOUR ENEMY!

The key thing to remember when storing your coffee is oxidisation of coffee beans is basically the cause of aging and eventually, if left long enough, stale beans. There are three conditions that speed up this process which are:

  • Moisture
  • Heat
  • Air (Oxygen)
How long do coffee beans stay fresh for?

This depends on many things – the bean and its origin, how it has been roasted, and storage conditions. Very broadly, coffee beans are good 3-4 days after roasting and great for up to 2- 3 weeks. After that, you can still enjoy really, really good coffee (especially if stored correctly!) for about 6 weeks. It is possible to drink beans that are 2 months old and for them still to be good. You will notice when the beans start to really age as they lose their small and flavour (particularly straight after grinding).

So what is the best way to store my beans?

We recommend the best way to store your beans is to roll up the bag it comes in tightly and wrapping in an elastic band. This keeps the air out. Then keep in a cool, dry cupboard away from light.

Can I keep my beans in an airtight container?

This isn’t actually the most ideal way of storing your coffee beans. This because there is a gap at the top of container which contains air. Any air circulating around your coffee beans will accelerate the oxidisation process. This is OK and a common method of storage if you don’t plan to store your beans for longer than a few weeks as the aging process will be quicker when stored with air. If you like to use a container, you could keep your rolled up bag of coffee in there.

Should I freeze my beans?

There is a lot of opinion on freezing coffee beans. We personally don’t recommend it because of moisture contamination but it is certainly doable. Think about a loaf of bread stored in the freezer. Take it out and toast it immediately and it is fine. leave it out it goes stale very quickly. The same applies to coffee beans. If you will freeze your coffee beans then avoid moisture contamination by freezing in small batches in zip lock bags and take out what you need as and when and grind and use immediately.

Should I keep my beans in the fridge?

People do but we wouldn’t recommend this because of the moisture levels in the fridge. When you take  your coffee out of the fridge, condensation will form which will accelerate the oxidisation process if the coffee is then left for any length of time.

What about pre-ground coffee? 

We do offer our beans ground for those who do not have a grinder. Follow the same principles – store it rolled up the bag it comes in, tightly and wrapping in an elastic band to keep the air out, in a cool, dry cupboard away from light. It won’t last as long as whole beans as pre-ground coffee exposes more of the surface area for the bean to oxygen so it starts to age much quicker. Freshly ground beans are always better than pre-ground beans and they stay fresher longer .. so if you don’t have a grinder, it is worth a small investment. We sell shop grinders and a selection of domestic hand grinders.

 

TIP   Use the best quality coffee beans in the first place, of course 🙂 Dark roasted beans have an oily, shiny appearance because they have been taken beyond ‘second crack’. This means the aging process is much, much quicker. The beans are more porous because the cellular structure has been destroyed in the roasting process.

 

There must be 100’s of articles written on how to extend the useful life of freshly roasted coffee. There are multiple approaches that people use and we are always interested in hearing what you have to say…