Valorie King, Owner & Coffee Maven
A while back I asked for interesting coffee topics to discuss on social media. The storage of roasted coffee *bloomed* to the top. There are indeed basic guidelines to preserve the integrity of your wonderful fresh roasted specialty coffee!
Simply put, store roasted coffee away from air, heat, light and moisture.
Tip 1: Store coffee airtight containers. These can be as inexpensive as re-using glass jars or as expensive as you want in purchasing special coffee storage canisters with special valves. Air is one of the four major enemies of roasted coffee. Air causes staling. (Note: In the first 24 hours of roasting, coffee does need to “gas off.” Fresh roasted coffee releases carbon dioxide. Most of this is released in the first 24 hours. After this gasing off time, you can store coffee in any airtight container.) At home, we recycle and reuse canning jars that have been thoroughly washed and dried with a reusable lid. In the roastery, we use food grade storage bins. After the coffee has rested 8-24 hours, the lids are closed down airtight. We also match the volume of coffee to the storage container to keep the amount of air headspace to a minimum.
Tip 2: Keep coffee cool, but not cold. (See tip #4 for more on this!) Heat is another enemy of stored roasted coffee. Best stored away from the stovetops and appliances that heat up. Choose wisely. Again, at home we keep our coffee in a cupboard right above our coffee brewing station with the coffee mugs. In the roastery there can be a pretty wide range in temperature as we do not use the roastery every day. However, we keep the temperature above freezing.
Tip 3: Store coffee away from light. If you store on the countertop, be sure to choose an opaque container…that’s one you cannot see through. Many people store their coffee on the countertop in special coffee canisters. Some made of stainless steel with sealing lids. Light is yet another enemy and degrader of roasted coffee. This is another reason we store our roasted coffee in a cupboard in our personal kitchen. In the roastery, there are no windows, so we have minimal concerns of light attaching our coffee.
Tip 4: Protect coffee from moisture until you are ready to brew. Since water is used in the brewing process, it would stand to reason that water in any form would be an enemy of roasted coffee until it is being brewed. This is the primary reason we discourage people from storing coffee in the fridge and/or freezer. Occasionally we have been asked about storing coffee in the freezer, especially when someone is given several pounds. The best way to do this is to break the coffee down into smaller amounts, like quarter pound -size, and vacuum pack it. Be sure to enjoy it as quickly as possible.
A few extra tips: Store it whole bean and buy only what you can drink in 2 weeks!
Now it’s your turn to venture into coffee…