Keep your Coffee Beans Fresh
Fresh Coffee Tips
Want to start enjoying quality coffee at home when you don't have the time to make it over to CRAFT Donuts + Coffee? In this week's post, we'll go over some simple steps you can take to make sure those coffee beans you buy for home start fresh and stay fresh for your morning cup of joe.
First and foremost, no matter how well you store your coffee beans, if you're buying old beans they won't magically become new and fresh again. Grocery stores are notorious for stocking many bags of stale coffee, so you'll always want to check for a recent roast date on the bag.
Darker Roast vs. Lighter Roast
Darker roasts tend to be less forgiving than lighter roasts, and you'll want it to ideally be no more than 2 weeks old. Lighter roasts can still be pretty good for as long as 3 or 4 weeks. However, if you are making cold brew with either roast, you can use older coffee without too much flavor change.
Whole Bean vs. Pre-Ground Coffee
If you don't have a coffee bean grinder at home, we definitely recommend you pick one up, as pre-ground coffee will go stale at a much faster rate than whole beans due to the larger surface area. If you prefer not to purchase a grinder, buying smaller amounts of pre-ground coffee more frequently is a safe way to make sure your coffee isn't going stale.
5 Kryptonites For Fresh Coffee
We know many people believe it helps to preserve the beans, but contrary to popular belief, storing coffee in the refrigerator or freezer tops the list of what not to do because of the humidity found there. Not only is this a moist environment, but whatever food you have stored in the fridge can produce odors that are then absorbed by the coffee.
Like other perishable food items, coffee begins to lose its flavor potential as soon as it is exposed to oxygen. It's essential to keep your coffee sealed tightly in its bag or container to maximize the lifespan of your coffee.
Heat can also destroy the flavor of your coffee beans. To extend its freshness, be sure to keep your coffee away from all heat sources in the kitchen, and try to avoid other hot places like the trunk of your car. Room temperature or below is best.
Lighting is another factor here, as direct sunlight can have a significant impact on the freshness of the beans. Coffee always prefers darkness. Do not store your coffee in clear containers, if you can help it.
Depth of Roast
Regardless of storage, darker roasted coffees will usually go stale quicker than lighter roasted coffees. So what’s a dark-roast lover to do? Well, you could just let us brew you a fresh cup at CRAFT each morning! :) Or, make more frequent smaller purchases of your coffee beans and shift to a medium-dark roast.
So now that you know our coffee buying tips and coffee freshness kryptonites, what are your options for storage?
The simplest solution to keeping your coffee beans fresh is to seal the original bag back up as best you can and place it in your kitchen cabinet, where it will be away from moisture, light, and heat.
The next level of storage is to take your coffee beans out of the bag and store them in a jar or well-sealed container, then in a dark cabinet away from heat sources. Be sure to label the container if you have multiple types of coffee beans stored there.
The ultimate level of storage is the vacuum-sealed container. Coffee almost never goes stale in these! The first cup usually tastes identical to the last. You can easily find vacuum-sealed containers on Amazon.
Putting it All Together
To summarize, buy your coffee beans as close to the roasting date as possible, and try to choose whole beans so that you can do the grinding yourself at home. More frequent purchases of smaller quantities is always best, as it reduces the amount of time you will be sitting on the same package of beans. Ultimately, a vacuum sealed solution is the best choice to maximize coffee bean freshness and longevity. Happy Sunday and happy brewing!