Storing Coffee for Future Enjoyment

December 19, 2010


Purchasing your coffee whole bean and fresh produces a superior cup of
coffee, regardless of your favorite brewing method. The aromas and
tastes will strike your senses and awaken you to a truly better world.
However, when the last drop is poured and you gaze over to that open
coffee bag, its seal neatly cut and beans exposed, how do you maintain
the flavor you just enjoyed for the next 39 cups? Not by wrapping it and
tossing it into the pantry.


Taking the additional time to store your coffee properly will ensure
that every penny spent on your favorite brew will be redeemed in full.
Once coffee is exposed to oxygen and moisture your flavors begin to
deteriorate as the coffee goes “stale.” It is vital to take your
remaining beans and place them in an airtight container, preferably
glass or ceramic, and place the bag away from light. Try to avoid areas
of your home that are affected by temperature fluctuations (such as near
the oven or a window). A pantry is usually the perfect place.


Once stored, the beans will remain fresh for nearly two weeks. On
average, this is more than enough time for the average coffee drinker to
enjoy a pound. However, with each opening and closing of that jar, more
oxygen and moisture flow into the jar and slowly begin chiseling away
at the beans. Though this may be a subtle change over the course of a
one pound bags life span, to further prevent your brew from losing its
potency you may store your daily ration in separate, vacuum sealed
containers and place them neatly in your pantry. This will ensure
maximum shelf life and freshness with each batch.


Despite the thought that they are safe in their original bag, you should
avoid the temptation to simply tie that bag back up and stuff it away.
The coffee may keep for a day or two but no more. We also urge you to
avoid storing the beans in grinders, plastic containers, etc. Those
large plastic containers dispensing whole beans at your mega mart are
nearly the same and just as effective. Though an excellent marketing and
eye pleasing gimmick, the beans here are some of the poorest that can
be had at the store. Why replicate the effect at your home with your
hard earned money? Leaving the beans in the grinder, covered by a
plastic top, will not suffice. Most importantly, avoid the refrigerator!
Moisture is as much of a bane to your bean as oxygen and, to create the
double edged sword, flavors can be absorbed and shared in the
refrigerator.


On the otherhand, the freezer can be utilized as a onetime only safe
deposit of larger quantities of beans. When stored in a vacuum sealed
container, the beans can keep for nearly a month. However, once removed
the beans must be transferred to conditions in the aforementioned
paragraphs or they will begin to drown in a sea of ice crystals.





If you are debating setting aside a few extra few moments preparing your
coffee for storage, please heed our advice. If further convincing is
required, we urge you to spend a weekend reconnecting with the young
scientist in you from your school days past and begin a science project.
Take some fresh beans and brew your daily cup. Enjoy and remember the
tastes and smells. Now store half of the remainder properly and the
other half by simply bagging them and putting them in your pantry. Try
them next week and note the difference. There will be one!



 



Andrew Russo is President of Minuteman Coffee & Espresso and a marketing and web development specialist at Red Barn Coffee Roasters.



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