The Best Way to Keep Coffee Fresh
As you’re probably well aware, coffee can go stale like any other food items. The tell is when it tastes a little off. You may smell a bad odor before it reaches your lips. If you’re not paying attention, it may hit your tongue as an unpleasant taste.
This is especially aggravating if you’ve indulged in purchasing quality gourmet coffee beans or grounds. Yes, coffee beans can go stale as quickly as grounds. There are steps you can take to keep coffee beans fresh right up to the time it hits the filter.
The first step to enjoying a delicious cup of coffee is a quality grind. While you’re at it, you should be sure to enjoy your grounds by the “best by” date. Distributors know their beans and want you to be a repeat customer. It’s in their best interest to give you an accurate expiration date.
So, what could go wrong from here? Stale coffee usually happens more quickly when it isn’t properly stored. Like most other food items, the biggest threat to coffee’s freshness is oxygen.
Oxidation is the enemy of both coffee grounds and coffee beans. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all you have to do is buy the coffee and you’re all set. Taking the time to properly store the coffee is the next step and the one most often overlooked. There are four important steps to take in order to protect your purchase.
Other elements that can ruin your coffee that can ruin your coffee are moisture, light and light’s tag-team partner, heat.
Picking a Container to Keep Your Coffee Fresh
There’s a direct relationship between exposure to these threats and how quickly the coffee will turn stale. To slow down and limit exposure, you can use bags developed especially for coffee called degassing bags.
Degassing bags are basically zip seal bags that protect your beans. They come in just about any size you can imagine. They won’t allow air to get in and they let out any gas build up.
Degassing bags are considered a short-term solution for storing coffee. Another option for keeping grounds and beans fresh is to store them in a dark jar. Opaque jars are your best bet here.
Avoid using clear jars to store your coffee. While it looks beautiful, the light will have a deteriorating effect on the quality and severely impact the taste of the coffee. There are containers available that are made specifically to prevent the coffee from being harmed by light.
As you might have guessed, these containers have an airtight vacuum lid and are made of stainless steel. Whichever container you choose, it has to be airtight and capable of blocking out light.
Now that you have your coffee in the right container with no air and no light getting in, there’s still the question of the best place to store the container.
How to Store Coffee to Keep it Fresh
Does freezing ground coffee keep it fresh? In a word, no.Coffee is very sensitive to temperature changes. Extreme temperatures at both ends of the spectrum will damage the beans. Coffee beans need to be stored at room temperature.
Sunlight is a coffee killer. Keeping the container away from direct sunlight is very important. The last consideration is keeping moisture away from your coffee.
The container has to be bone dry before you add your coffee grounds or beans. Missing this step undermines every other step you took. It needs to be repeated that the container must be airtight. Moisture can get into the container via condensation if the container is stored in a humid area.
A little planning using the steps outlined here will ensure that your coffee tastes nearly as fresh as the day you bought it.