There are very few things in life better than waking up every morning to the smell of freshly brewed coffee at home. Some people love coffee because of the invigorating effects of caffeine it provides while other people simply can’t resist its taste and aroma.
There are many ways to make your coffee. Some people prefer French presses to drip coffee machines. Others prefer a healthy dose of creamer, while other people drink their coffee exclusively black. Whatever is your preference, there’s one thing all of us coffee lovers should do perfectly, and that’s how to store your ground coffee properly.
To preserve maximum freshness, you should consider external factors, such as air, moisture, heat and light. This is because the conditions in which you store your coffee beans have a huge effect on your final brew’s flavour, aroma, and mouthfeel. With this in mind, it should be obvious that storing your coffee properly is not a straightforward process.
Here are three coffee storage mistakes that you should stop doing, and ways to salvage your coffee supply immediately.
1. Not using airtight containers
Your beans deteriorate easily when it is exposed to air. After getting a pack of ground coffee, it is recommended to store a small quantity separately in a container as a daily supply. This way, the number of times that the bulk of the coffee are exposed to oxygen is reduced, allowing you to extend your coffee’s shelf life by slowing the process of deterioration.
2. Keeping them in their original container
Many coffee products are stored in vacuum-sealed containers within paper bags for its rustic charm and the paper’s ability to let you smell the aromas of the coffee inside. However, once you open the container, there’s generally no way to reseal them effectively.
If your preferred coffee product comes in a paper bag, you should take them out as soon as you get home and pour its contents into a large airtight canister. This helps you control the moisture, which is ground coffee’s biggest enemy.
For your containers, the best material you can use are airtight jars made of ceramic or glass because of its neutral properties. Metal and plastic containers are made reactive materials, which may add a strange taste to the coffee. However, since you do want to keep your stock away from sunlight, you may prefer ceramic jars. If you only have a glass container, the best way to store your coffee is inside a dark cabinet or drawer, away from direct sunlight.
3. Freezing without vacuum sealing
Freezing is a good way to keep your ground coffee fresh for a long time—but only if you vacuum seal it first! Without a vacuum seal, the moisture inside your freezer will make its way to your ground coffee, crystallize, and contaminate it with various odours.
As a rule of thumb, you should store your ground coffee in an airtight plastic container, vacuum seal it, and then place it inside your freezer. Ground coffee stored this way can extend its shelf life for up to four to five times its original shelf life!
Ideally, you should only be buying the amount of coffee that you can consume within two to three weeks. This is to ensure that you are consuming the coffee in its freshest state. However, given the circumstances, it’s understandable that you may want to limit your trips to the grocery.
In this case, you should avoid doing the three things we specified above, and store your coffee in a dry, airtight, and preferably dark container. For longer-term storage, do not forget to vacuum seal your product before freezing to lock in your coffee’s invigorating aroma for later.