Take Care of Your Beans for Better Coffee
- Tips and How To's
The best way to enjoy your coffee is highly subjective - one coffee geek's dream cup could be another's nightmare. There's not nearly as much debate over how coffee beans should be stored, but there's still plenty of room for personal preference. When it comes down to it, the best quality beans come straight from the roaster to your coffee maker, but that's not an option for most people. Instead, consider the following tips to get the most out of your morning coffee:
Follow Your Nose
Aroma is one of the best way to gauge your coffee's freshness, according to The Atlantic. If you open a container of coffee beans and aren't hit with the familiar heavenly smell, there's a good chance that they won't taste great once they make it into the cup, either. Exposure to oxygen will quickly rob your coffee of its aroma, so it's best to keep the beans in an airtight container to limit your beans' contact with the element.
The Atlantic recommended a decidedly low-tech approach of storing beans in an aluminum or Mylar bag, such as those roasters use, and simply squeezing as much air as possible out before sealing it. However, beans could also be vacuum-sealed or, as the National Coffee Association USA recommended, stored in an airtight canister made of glass or ceramic. The container that your coffee came in isn't likely to cut it, according to the NCA, so you should spend a little extra on a jar with a tighter seal. Whatever container you use, make sure to keep it in a cool, dry and dark spot for the best chance that your beans will make it to the cup unscathed.
You've probably heard the saying that good things don't last forever, and that's certainly true of coffee. Beans begin to lose their freshness as soon as they're roasted, according to the NCA, and even the best container won't change that. Aim to use your coffee beans within two weeks of purchasing them and you'll be drinking the best brew you can get.
However, if you stumble upon a rare roast that you want to stock up on, then and only then should you store coffee beans in the freezer. Repeatedly freezing and heating coffee beans can do massive damage to them, so once you've removed beans from the freezer, don't put them back. If you have to use the freezer, separate your beans into weekly batches, seal them in airtight bags and then freeze them, removing only one week's supply at a time.