29 March 2013

How to Keep Your Coffee Beans Fresh

Whether you use ground coffee or whole beans, to make a fresh cup of coffee each morning, it tastes better when it is fresh. If you drink coffee daily, you probably have too much of a supply not to be concerned about how you store it. Keep reading to find out how to store ground coffee as well as whole coffee beans.

There is something about the smell of coffee that awakens the senses. Early in the morning it is like a pick-me-up. Ground coffee in a bowl on the stove can help eliminate unpleasant odors in your kitchen. But it is far better to drink it and savour the taste as well as the smell.

Some Facts about Coffee

Here are a few things that may interest you to know about your coffee. One, when you open the coffee bag, you hear this burst of freshness. If it is vacuum sealed or valve sealed, then it is the air rushing in. Coffee will begin to lose its freshness from that point.

Two, it is not good to buy coffee in large quantities. Every time you open the container to get more coffee, you are exposing the remainder to air, moisture and light. Keeping only a two week supply on hand is ideal. If you want to buy in bulk, store larger quantities in airtight containers, only opening to refill your smaller supply container every two weeks.

The best coffee is that which is freshly ground whether you purchase it from the store that way or you grind it yourself at home. 

Storing your ground coffee and coffee beans

There are four enemies of good coffee: moisture, light, heat and air. All can render your coffee unpalatable. Moisture is a particular enemy as it can lead to moulding (yes, coffee can go mouldy). So, when considering storage locations for your coffee, find a place that is dry, cool and dark. The freezer and/or the refrigerator may seem like good choices because they are cold but they are also full of unwanted moisture. If you choose to keep your coffee in the fridge or freezer, an air- and moisture-tight container is essential.

For fresh ground coffee, store it in a clear plastic or glass canister. Make sure they have airtight gaskets under the lids (recycled Moccona jars are ideal, as are Tupperware containers). Keep them in a cool, dark area. If you plan on keeping the coffee on the bench, use an opaque container to keep light out.

Some people like to grind their own beans for brewed coffee. You can store your whole beans in the same way as ground coffee. Since the beans have less surface area, they do not go bad as fast as ground.

I buy the beans and grind them fresh myself. I usually do enough for two or three days at a time, keeping the ground coffee in an air-tight Tupperware canister. The beans are kept in an air-tight container in the fridge. Optimally, grind the beans as you need them each day, but every two or three days works for me.

Maintaining coffee’s goodness is a delicate balance. To get the very best from your coffee, short-term storage is the most favourable.

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