How to store coffee beans

So you have just received the most amazing coffee beans, they’re fresh and smell incredible, but how do you keep them that way? In this post we will look at the environmental factors that affect the bean and how to counteract that in the most cost-effective manner.

OXYGEN

The number one culprit in destroying the flavour of a great roasted coffee, is oxygen. Oxidisation greatly degrades the beans and causes them to go stale, really quickly.

Light

The rate of staling is the coupling of thermal energy and its distribution across the bean. Light increases the thermal energy which in turn causes the beans to go stale. The more direct the sunlight the more thermal energy there is and the faster the flavour compounds in the bean will break down.

Freezing them (and cold storage)

When I first started buying fresh coffee beans, I was doing so in bulk and storing them in the freezer. I was surprised at how quickly the beans degraded over the course of a few weeks. I was expecting them to retain their freshness, but this wasn’t the case. The culprit? Moisture. Coffee is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture as well as odours and flavours that surround them. The freezer will also let in oxygen in order to avoid freezer burn, which as discussed degrades the beans further. Not an ideal storage method.

Vacuum container

By far the best method of storage, given the degrading factors above is to store the fresh beans in an air tight container, in a cool and preferably dark place. We suggest the Vacuum Coffee Saver 500 gr. / 1,3 L/44 fl. oz (incl. Pump) a fantastic and well loved storage container in the coffee community.

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