We’ve all been there.
We’ve purchased our lovely bag of speciality coffee, enjoyed that first delicious aroma only a newly opened bag can exude and made our favourite barista flat white/espresso in the comfort of our own home.
But what do we do now? How do we preserve that rich and unique flavour – the very reason we spent the time and effort (and that little bit more money) in getting our coffee in the first place.
We might ask our friends, family and probably google but all too often this advice is conflicting and confusing and you can never really be sure what is fact and what is fiction.
Of course, the people who you should really trust are the Barista’s themselves.
So here, taken from the community of coffee professionals, is a definitive list of answers to your coffee storing questions.
1). Should I store my coffee in the fridge?
NO, whatever you do DON’T store your coffee in the fridge. It might possibly be the WORST place you could!
WHY? For some reason a lot of people think this is the best place for your coffee, probably because a fridge normally keeps things fresh so it’s a logical and natural assumption. But, whilst this makes total sense for your milk and cheese, it’s actually pretty bad for your coffee. Pact Coffee say this is because the changing temperature when taking it in and out of the fridge builds up condensation, exposing it to moisture and if there is one thing that coffee hates more than anything it’s that.
2). But what about the freezer? Surely that will preserve my coffee for longer.
If you want that same great flavour you’d expect from the coffee shop itself, you shouldn’t really do this either, for exactly the same reason.
3). So, where is the best place to store it?
The best place is the boring but true, room temperature away from moisture and oxygen – so wrap your coffee bag up tightly and place it in an airtight container for extra protection in a cupboard (away from kettles and anything that might make things a little warm).
4). I have a special fancy coffee tin – can I use that?
Yes, BUT don’t empty your ground coffee into it! Keep it in the bag instead and place this in the tin.
WHY? Your coffee’s nemesis lives in this tin – OXYGEN. To minimise exposure to this it’s much better to keep your coffee in its’ original packaging and wrap it tightly shut. IKEA pegs are super handy here.
5). How long will it stay fresh for?
Hope and Glory say an unopened bag can last up to six months but suggest for maximum flavour to use within one month. I don’t know about you, but my bag of coffee definitely wouldn’t last that long in the cupboard. A new bag of coffee is way too exciting!
6). Coffee beans or ground coffee?
There might be some snobbery in the world of coffee over buying beans or the already ground version. Some say that beans are best because grinding them at home, just moments before brewing will give you the freshest coffee. Unfortunately, despite being coffee aficionados, I don’t think most of us have that equipment at home and I definitely don’t have room in my tiny basement flat.
However, Hope and Glory argue that ground coffee can just as good with the right packaging method. They use nitrogen flushing which takes out almost all of the oxygen when their ground coffee is packaged. Leaving you with essentially what looks like a vacuum packed (coffee) bag, with a valve.
So look out for this on coffee packaging to make sure you are getting the freshest coffee you can.
7). Apart from this, is there anything else I can do to keep it fresh?
For all your efforts of trying to preserve that first satisfying sip, really, the best option is always going to be buying your coffee little and often. Just a great excuse really to make a regular stop in your favourite coffee shop and mine is just around the corner!
So there you have it, the coffee storing answers once and all for all. And it’s surprisingly simple.
Just remember, stay away from oxygen, moisture, sunlight and heat. The more you can avoid this the better.
And please whatever you do, DON’T put it in the fridge.
Happy home brewing!
Coffee Roasters mentioned: