How to Store Coffee
It's important to store coffee in a container where it is free from:
This means that coffee should be stored in a cool, dry, dark location. A stainless steel container with a degassing valve, on a cupboard shelf with other dry goods, away from appliances is ideal.
Do not use air tight containers
Fresh roasted coffee off-gasses as it ages, producing CO2 that can become trapped in containers without a degassing valve.
All coffee container should use a 1-way degassing valve, which allows the CO2 to escape, without allowing oxygen to enter.
Oxygen and moisture are coffee's principle enemies, but sunlight can also cause the chlorogenic acids to degrade.
Glass is acceptable because it doesn't retain the odors of the beans or the oils, which could contaminate future beans stored in the same container. A mason jar with a good lid with a 1-way degassing valve works well.
Buy only what coffee can be consumed in 2-4 weeks from the time it was roasted. This is the only way to have truly fresh coffee.
My advice to you would be try to buy the freshest beans you can find (preferably roasted within a day or two of your purchase date) in smaller quantities that can be used in a week or less.
If there is not a roaster convenient to you you should consider taking up home roasting as a hobby. It's not at all difficult and can save you a few dollars while improving the coffee you drink. When you are replacing your coffee every few days with coffee fresh out of the roaster then storage becomes less of an issue.
You can freeze coffee, but it isn't ideal. There are two key problems here. One, the freezing will damage some of subtle tastes in the coffee and two, when the coffee is taken out the container will sweat, exposing your coffee to moisture.
For long term storage freezing is better than storage at room temperature. Freeze coffee only when you have too much on-hand, and the loss of flavor from freezing will be less than the loss of flavor from sitting too long at room temperature. Generally, you should freeze coffee if it won't be used for at least 4 weeks.
You can freeze coffee for up to 6 months, after which point you're better off buying new coffee.
If you must store coffee for an extended period of time divide it into small portions that you can use in a week or less. Take out one week of coffee at a time. This will help to reduce the damage to the coffee. One last item to be aware of when freezing coffee is to make sure that is stays dry in the freezer. Remove beans from the freezer the day that your old stash runs out so that they will be completely thawed when you need them the next day.
This will help to keep moisture problems caused by moving the beans in and out of the freezer to a minimum.
How to store espresso
Espresso beans are simply coffee beans. While they'll often be roasted dark (and called an "espresso roast" or "espresso bean"), they're actually no different from regular coffee beans. You can even use regular coffee beans in an espresso machine!
One thing to note is that espresso machines warn against beans with oil on the surface. There is actually no problem with oily beans being used in an espresso machine, what's actually important is that the beans are not old and stale. As the oils age, they begin to oxidize and gum up, and this stale oil is more likely to clog a grinder.
Coffee canisters help slow the process of the oils oxidizing by limiting the amount of oxygen they're in contact with.
Generally, oils will migrate to the surface of a bean as it ages, but this does not in itself indicate that the beans are old and stale.
The best thing to do is buy fresh roasted coffee, every 2-4 weeks, and keep them in a coffee storage container.
Friis Coffee Vault
The Friis Coffee Vault is the most popular coffee storage container on the market today, feature an elegant stainless steel container and spring-latch lid. It has a replaceable 1-way valve in the lid, and a dial for your to set the date you put the coffee into, so that you always know how old the coffee inside is.
You can store it in a jar, but this isn't an optimal solution. Coffee should be stored in containers that have a 1-way degassing valve, which allows the off-gassing from the coffee beans to escape, but doesn't let oxygen in. You could modify the mason jar lid to install a coffee degassing valve, if you're feeling particularly crafty. This doesn't solve the issue that mason jars are transparent, and sunlight can cause expedited degradation of roasted coffee beans.
To optimally preserve the natural flavors and aromas, a premium gourmet coffee should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place in a sealed container that limits exposure to open air. When stored properly, coffee will stay fresh for weeks or even months.
Yes! You can, and should freeze coffee that isn't going to be used for more than 4 weeks. Coffee can stay frozen for up to 6 months. There's a little degradation of the coffee when freezing, but it protects them much better than having it sit at room temperature for extended periods of time. You should break the coffee into 2 or 4 weeks worth of packets, so that you only have to unfreeze what you immediately need. You don't want to continually freeze and unfreeze a single large bag. Simply take the coffee out of the freezer 24 hours before you need to use it, to allow it time to thaw.
Whole bean or ground?
Ideally coffee should be stored as whole bean coffee because ground coffee loses its freshness and flavor quicker than whole bean coffee.
Coffee and Espresso Brewing Tips
For tips on brewing the most outstanding cup of coffee and enjoying all of its fine flavors and aromas see our section on coffee brewing. You can also read detailed coffee flavor profiles of gourmet coffee and instructions on preparing Espresso Drink Recipes.
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