Keep it fresh (Jan 9, 2012)

James Kilbourn coffee fresh storage

This is an original blog post which I wrote towards the beginning of my coffee journey. I have left it unedited and republished it here for your reading pleasure.

So, you’ve bought your favourite blend or single origin coffee, opened the bag, released pleasant aromas into your kitchen and brewed a tasty cup. Now what? Well, to ensure that your coffee beans or grounds stay as fresh as possible, you need to ensure that you store them correctly.

No fancy equipment. No expensive storage containers. Just remember the four enemies of coffee you intend storing are:

  • Moisture
  • Heat
  • Light
  • Oxygen

Essentially you need to protect your coffee from these elements to ensure that it lasts longer. Keep your coffee in an airtight glass, ceramic or plastic container - this will keep the moisture and oxygen at bay. Storing in a cupboard away from all heat sources (ovens, direct sunlight) will also help keep its flavour and aroma.

Once you’ve opened the bag of coffee, it’s best to finish it within 14 days. Coffee has a limited shelf-life and is best consumed as fresh as possible. Coffee beans tend to lose their flavour slower than pre-ground coffee and you might consider investing in a coffee grinder which will allow you to grind as much coffee as you need when you need it. 

Some brands and websites recommend storing coffee in the fridge or freezer to keep it fresh. There are a number of opinions on the matter but I believe it is not advisable. Removing coffee stored in the fridge or freezer causes condensation on the beans or grounds and as moisture is something you are trying to protect coffee from while storing it, this is exactly what you don’t need.

To summarise, here is my advice:

Keep your coffee fresher for longer - store in an airtight container and in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Use within 14 days after opening.

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