Coffee is the lifeblood of most people’s morning routines. Without a fresh pot of gourmet coffee most people would feel sluggish, unmotivated, and easily irritable. To avoid this, we recommend everyone keep a constant supply of properly stored gourmet coffee beans in their kitchen at all times. But how should said coffee be stored? What can be done to ensure every cup is perfect? Well, we’re going to dive deep into everything you need to know about storing coffee beans and how to prepare the perfect cup.
Gourmet coffee beans are one of the most perishable food products. The three enemies of coffee are air, humidity and heat. You should always store your coffee in an airtight container to keep out air, and you should also keep it in a dark cupboard or pantry so that the light doesn’t destroy the flavor. You should keep your coffee away from the stove or other sources of heat, because heat and humidity are the enemies of coffee. And of course, you should keep your coffee beans somewhere cool and dry.
It’s best to start with the basics of how to store gourmet coffee beans. Then we can expand on each point and explain why it’s important for the proper storage of your coffee beans.
Tips for how to store gourmet coffee beans:
- Do NOT Freeze or Refrigerate
- Purchase only freshly roasted beans
- Purchase only high-quality beans
- Store in a shady environment
- Store at room temperature
- Store in a opaque airtight container
There are four main elements that have a direct impact on the freshness and quality of coffee beans, a) light, b) air, c) heat, d) moisture. Identifying these four main elements are the starting point for understanding how to properly store your coffee beans. At every step of the storage process ask yourself, “how does this affect the light, air, heat, and moisture of the coffee beans?”. If at any step of the journey you think the beans will be negatively affected consider an alternative option to reduce the risk of exposing your beans to any of these elements.
If you correctly followed the tips above you will have drastically improved the freshness of your gourmet coffee beans. But if you’re a real coffee connoisseur, like we are, then you’re probably looking for a more detailed explanation of how to ensure you have the perfect cup of coffee every time. Don’t worry. We have you covered!
Can you freeze coffee beans?
This has been a very contentious debate for years. Some coffee experts swear by it. So our team did some original research on the topic and froze gourmet coffee beans for an entire week.. And the results might not surprise you..
The first thing to know about storing gourmet coffee beans is that you should never freeze them. Freezing actually changes the bean’s physical structure and breaks down the oils that give the coffee its flavor. Instead, you should store your coffee in an air-tight container in a cool, dark, and dry place.
Do NOT freeze your coffee beans!
That’s right… do not freeze your coffee beans. The flavor and aroma of the beans are noticeably less then a freshly roasted and properly stored bean. The only reason a coffee bean should be frozen is if you know you will not be able to use them all within 1-2 weeks of the purchase date. Frozen beans will help during the storing process if you plan store them for longer periods of time, but no longer then 1-2 months.
If you’re in pursuit of having the “perfect” coffee every morning then freezing your beans will not get you there. The best tip for fresh coffee is to buy enough beans for 5-10 days at a time.
Can you refrigerate coffee beans?
Absolutely, NOT! You should never never refrigerate coffee beans. Coffee beans have some oils that will evaporate if you expose it to air. The best way of keeping coffee fresh is by storing it in an airtight container in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.Gourmet coffee beans are a deoderizer, which is a fancy word for, your coffee will absorb the aromas and flavors of its surroundings. So if you put coffee beans in your fridge it will inevitably start absorbing the flavors of cheese, milk, vegetables, and whatever else you store in there.
Every time the fridge door opens the internal light bulb switches on and your delectable beans will be exposed to a bright light. Remember, light is a one of the four major elements that have a direct affect on the quality of a cup of coffee. How many times do you open the fridge a day? The average american household opens their fridge 20-40 times a day. That means your coffee beans are being exposed to a bright light approximately 140 – 280 times over the course of a week.
Purchase freshly roasted coffee beans for the best results
Most people purchase their coffee beans from their local grocery store. And we get it, it’s super convenient! But, if you’re in pursuit of the best cup of joe then you need to start purchasing your coffee online from a retailer who specializes in freshly roasted coffee. Most coffee found in the grocery store aisles have been warehoused, shipped, and stored for way to long. The best estimates suggest that grocery store coffee is poorly stored for 3-6 months before its every bought. That is far to long considering coffee beans should be consumed within 15 days of roasting for optimal flavor.
A lot of grocery stores offer the big brand names that appeal to the price sensitive buyers. In an effort to keep pricing low these big brands will source low quality beans, large batches, and poor roasting methodologies. Not to mention most of these products are not organic, nor are they ethically sourced. At That’s Coffee, we source only the finest beans, provide small-batch roasting, and use state of the art equipment. Our products are roasted and shipped the same day for maximum freshness.
Never purchase your coffee beans from a grocery store, again.
Where should coffee beans be stored?
Light and temperature are two of the most important elements of storing coffee beans. The best place to store your coffee is in dark and room temperature environment. The obvious place would be to store your coffee beans in the pantry. And while that is sensible, it is not necessarily the best place either.
Remember how storing your coffee in the fridge was a bad idea because of the absorption and light issues? Well, the pantry has a similar problem. There are dozens, if not hundreds of different products that all give off an odor. We do not want the coffee exposed to these environments. Additionally, every time you open the pantry door the coffee will be exposed to bright lights.
The best place to store coffee beans is in a drawer or cabinet that you do not use often. This sacred place should not have any other odor producing products and have a constant temperature. It’s best that it is at least 4-6 feet away from a fridge, oven, or window.
What temperature should coffee beans be stored at?
Studies show that coffee maintains its flavor best at room temperature. Room temperature is approximately 15 to 20 °C. With an optimal temperature of 18°C. Any temperature above this will cause the beans to lose freshness very quickly.
Many coffee connoisseurs argue that every decrease in temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, the life of the coffee increases by 50%. The average freezer is capable of temperatures of -18°C which is sufficient enough to store coffee beans for 1-3 months without serious degradation. Although we don’t recommend freezing beans, if you know you won’t be able to consume them within a week or two then this is the recommended practice.
Store coffee beans at the optimal temperature of 18°C
What type of container should coffee beans be stored in?
The best container to store coffee beans in is an glass or ceramic opaque container that can be easily vacuum-sealed or is airtight. These containers will prevent unnecessary light and air from reducing the freshness.
These are the best products we have found for the storage of coffee beans:
The Tightpac America Coffeevac is perfect for storing 1lb of coffee. It is a BPA free and FDA approved vacuum sealed container at a reasonable price. For obvious reasons we recommend the black one so that less light hits the beans.
The Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Container provides the best solution for coffee connoisseurs. While, it may seem pricey, the products are very high quality and will last a lifetime if cared for properly. These containers are made with military grade products to ensure a high-quality cup every time.
As you can see there is a lot to consider when storing your gourmet coffee beans. We feel like many coffee drinkers neglect the proper storage tips and as a result have a less than optimal cup of joe every morning. It’s a tragedy. And one that we wanted to rectify immediately.
So while you might think it’s okay to store your coffee in the fridge, or next to the oven, we’re here to advise you that it is not. We’re your coffee experts advising you to be more responsible – take care of your coffee – just like it takes care of you every morning!
At this point, you’ve probably realized, we’re a bunch of coffee-crazy, caffeine-addicted individuals that pride ourselves on a good cup of Joe. That’s exactly why we started That’s Coffee 10+ years ago. We’re on a mission to improve the coffee drinking experience for everyone. Swing by our online shop and discover all of the amazing products we have in-store for you!