I was walking through the grocery store aisle this past weekend and couldn’t help notice a large can of ground coffee sitting on the shelf. I thought to myself how great it would be to pick up a large can so that I wouldn’t need to purchase coffee for a while. As I was about to pick up the can a question came to my mind – how long will this coffee keep its freshness? This question lead me to do some research and I must say I was quite surprised at what I was able to find out.
Factors Affecting the Freshness of Coffee Beans
There are four major factors that affect the freshness of your coffee beans:
Exposure to any of the above can spoil the freshness of your beans. It is for that reason experts suggest that how to store coffee beans should be in an air-tight container. The container should not allow any light to pass through it as this can affect the taste of your coffee. The coffee should be stored in a cool and dark location.
How Much Coffee Should be Purchased at a Time?
Most experts say that coffee beans reach their maximum freshness within 72 hours of being roasted. Some even argue that coffee begins to lose freshness right after the roasting process.
It is recommended to not store ground coffee beans. Coffee oxidizes quickly after it has been ground which can affect the flavour. If you do need to have pre-ground coffee, the general rule of thumb is to store it for no longer than one week.
In order to have the freshest coffee , it is best to grind the beans just before you brew your drink. Since coffee beans do start losing their freshness soon after roasting it’s best to buy smaller amounts of freshly roasted coffee beans regularly that can be stored for one to two weeks at a time.
If you do need to store coffee for longer than a a few weeks one option is to store the coffee beans in your freezer. Not everyone agrees on the subject of freezing coffee beans but if this is something that you would like to do then here are some pointers:
- make sure you use an air-tight container
- when you are removing coffee from the freezer only take as much as you need quickly and return the rest of the frozen coffee beans back to the freezer before they can be affected by any air, moisture, heat and light.
Initially it seemed as though stocking up on a bigger supply of coffee would be more time-efficient. With everyone so busy nowadays, it makes sense to reduce the number of trips to the grocery store. In researching this article, the exact opposite is true. That is, if you want to have a great tasting cup of java.
Some final thoughts to remember are to treat coffee just as you would treat buying any kind of fresh produce. The best way is to buy smaller amounts and to buy more frequently. Storing coffee is also very important. Always store in an air-tight or vaccuum-sealed container in a dark, cool location.
Do you have any experiences with storing coffee whether good or bad? Please feel free to leave a comment – I would love to hear about them.