As true coffee enthusiasts, we know the perfect cup is more than just a drink. It's a sensory experience that starts with the aroma and ends with the taste. But did you know that the way you store your coffee beans (and grounds) has a massive impact on the overall quality and flavour of your favourite brew?
In this guide, we'll dive into:
- Why storing your coffee the right way matters
- The differences between storing whole beans and grounds
- How long coffee can stay fresh.
Why you should care about coffee storage
You know that amazing smell that fills the room when you open a fresh bag of coffee? Well… proper storage is key to making sure that keeps happening.
Coffee beans are packed with delicate aromatic compounds and oils that create that rich flavor we all love. The problem is these compounds are sensitive to air, light, moisture, and heat. Exposing your coffee to any of these things can wreak havoc on your beans and leave you with a lackluster cup of joe. The good news is, when stored correctly, coffee beans can maintain their freshness for about 3 to 4 weeks after roasting.
Why oxygen is coffee’s enemy
Before we dive into how to store your beans and grounds, it’s worth talking a bit more about why oxygen and coffee don’t get along. Oxygen has a knack for causing oxidation, a chemical reaction that happens when it interacts with coffee oils and aromatic compounds.
This reaction breaks down flavors and smells, leaving your coffee tasting flat and dull. To keep oxygen as far away from your coffee as possible, it’s important to understand and use proper coffee-storage containers like the ones below.
Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister
This airtight coffee canister features a simple twist mechanism to remove air and prevent oxidation, which means your coffee lasts up to 50% longer.
Storing Whole Beans
Investing in a high-quality airtight container like this Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister will help minimize the beans' exposure to oxygen, which is crucial for slowing down the oxidation process. Store your beans in a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight and heat sources - like a pantry or a cupboard. Remember to avoid the fridge or freezer since they can introduce unwanted moisture.
Another great tip is to buy coffee beans in smaller quantities that you can use within 3 to 4 weeks so you always have fresh beans on hand. A great option is a coffee bean subscription program like ours. So you can get fresh coffee delivered to your door as often as you’d like.
Storing Ground Coffee
Once coffee beans are ground, the surface area increases dramatically, exposing more of the beans to oxygen and other environmental factors. This means ground coffee loses its freshness much faster than whole beans. Even properly stored grounds will only last 1-2 weeks before they start to lose flavor and aroma.
The solution? Other than only grinding the amount you’ll be using right away, choosing a proper container will also help. This Hario Skerton one will grind and store your coffee at the same time. It’s compact, lightweight, easy to use, and even easier to clean.
Time for a cup!
By now, you should have a good understanding of why proper coffee storage is essential for maintaining the flavour and aroma of your favourite brew.
Remember to invest in high-quality airtight containers, store your beans or grounds in a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight and heat sources, and buy in smaller quantities to ensure freshness.
With these tips, you'll be able to enjoy a consistently delicious cup of coffee every time.