It’s always one of the issues that make coffee lovers distressed and arguing.
Should we store coffee in the freezer/ fridge or at room temperature?
- Is a valve on a coffee bag necessarily?
- If we want to store coffee in containers, which kind of containers should we choose, airtight or vacuum-sealed?
All these questions are about prolonged storage that keeps coffee fresh. First, we should know what factors affect the freshness of coffee, then we find out the best way that suits your needs.
Why does coffee lose flavor?
The definition that we discuss the freshness of coffee is to compare it with its original qualities, which means the coffee that has just been roasted.
The temperature, air, moisture, and light are the key elements that we should consider while storing coffee. The chemical reaction between the gasses emitted by roasted coffee beans and the interaction of these elements affect the loss of coffee aroma, such as "oxidation".
To keep coffee fresh as long as possible, we don’t only consider storage methods, but also the package during transportation.
Why?Coffee starts to release CO2 after roasting, if it hadn’t been properly packaged, it lost aroma fast before arriving. Therefore, we have some coffee purchase tips for you.
1. The roast date is more important than the expiration date
No, dry ground coffee and whole coffee beans don’t expire, they won’t go bad but do lose flavor and intensity. Since we know that, we should notice that the date of coffee has just been freshly roasted, instead of its expiration date.
2. Ground coffee or Coffee beans
Want to enjoy a cup of fresh coffee, grind your own coffee beans every time.
3. Valve-sealed package or Vacuum-sealed package
4. Small bag or bulky bag
How to store coffee to keep it fresh longer?
1. Coffee storage Locations
Since we know the temperature, air, moisture, and light are the key elements of storing coffee. First, we go with what temperature is best for storing coffee. It depends on the roast level of the coffee.
Compared to storing in the freezer and at room temperature of the dark roast coffee, the result shows the aroma with higher losses at room temperature than in the freezer. But the light roast coffee seems to differ to a smaller degree among the storage conditions. (Cotter and Hopfer, 2018)
Store coffee in an opaque container or bag, to avoid light compromising the taste of your coffee. Putting it into a cabinet would be a good idea.
2. Coffee subpackage
The best way of storing large amounts of coffee is to subpackage. Put the bulk of the coffee in a cool dark place, keep a small quantity in a container for daily use, you only open the larger container while refilling the smaller one. This can reduce air exposure for a large amount of coffee.
If you have a big amount of dark roast coffee and want to store it in the freezer, coffee will get moisture every time you get it out of the freezer and refreeze it, which not only causes the loss of aroma, but also the possibility of going bad. So you proportion it into several bags, only get one bag of the amount that you need, and prevent refreezing it.
3. Coffee container types
Limiting the access of oxygen to the product is of key importance for guaranteeing freshness and quality of specialty coffee - an area in which the packaging has a key role to play. (Folmer, 2017)
- Coffee Bags
If you buy a small quantity of coffee, the coffee bag will just suit you. Choose a valve bag with a zip-seal that can avoid air exposure. If you are doing proportion for long-term storage in the freezer, vacuum-sealed bags will be the better choice.
It’s always recommended to have an airtight container to store coffee. You can find different designs that suit your home decoration and make your counterbar clean and tidy.
But without a valve, storing ground coffee or coffee beans that don’t release much CO2 would be a great idea.
Combined with the advantages of coffee bags and airtight containers. The vacuum-sealed container has a valve that allows gasses to escape from the container and don’t let air in. It still keeps the airtight mode, you can easily twist the top to get the rest of the gasses out and make it vacuum again.
Once you open coffee bags, the coffee starts absorbing oxygen, this causes the coffee to oxidize. But using vacuum-sealed containers, since it gets vacuum, there’s no more oxygen provided to oxidize.
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- Cotter, A. and Hopfer, H., 2018. The Effects of Storage Temperature on the Aroma of Whole Bean Arabica Coffee Evaluated by Coffee Consumers and HS-SPME-GC-MS. [online] MDPI. Available at: <https://www.mdpi.com/2306-5710/4/3/68/htm>
- Folmer, B., 2017. The craft and science of coffee. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp.329-350.