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Coffee Storage Best Practices

Posted by on April 22, 2013

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Coffee Storage The Right Way

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I saw a bag of coffee the other day, made by one of Ireland’s small batch roasters, and one side of the bag was clear so that you could see the coffee inside the bag.  On one hand I thought “that’s cool” and on the other I thought “why?”.

You see light and coffee aren’t best friends.  In fact it is best to keep them as far apart as possible.  Scientifically light

is deleterious to coffee health.  It robs it of freshness and drains away the taste.

Surf the web and you’ll find all kinds of suggestions on the best way to store your coffee once you open the bag so I figured I should give you our recommendations:

1.)    As noted above, keep your coffee out of the light.  So if you’ve got a Red Rooster bag you can just shut the ziplock seal and that’ll keep the light out.  Or if not, keep it in a cupboard or the freezer—but we don’t recommend the refrigerator (see why below).

2.)    Keep your coffee in an airtight container.  Just like light, oxygen is an enemy to coffee freshness.  So if you’ve got a Red Rooster bag just close the ziplock seal and you’re keeping the air out.  Otherwise we like putting the coffee into a glass jar with a rubber seal at the top.  Obviously, put the glass jar into a light-free place.

3.)    Use the coffee within two to three weeks.  For us this is pretty simple as we go through more than a bag a week.  If you’re a slow user we recommend the freezer.

And that’s pretty much it.  No light.  No air.  Use the coffee up in a reasonable time period.

So why the freezer and not the fridge?  Odours mainly.  Most refrigerators have several smells wafting around in them – onions, peppers, last night’s stir-fry, that unidentifiable something-or-other back in the corner that is quickly becoming a science project.  So if whatever you’re storing your coffee in isn’t absolutely airtight then your coffee might taste like that science project.  Yuk!  The freezer doesn’t have those problems because – exactly! – everything is frozen.

Now one word of caution.  If you store the coffee in the freezer then be quick about getting it out of, and back into the freezer.  If you let the frozen coffee start to thaw, and condensate, then the coffee that you want to stay dry until you’re ready to brew it is going to get damp, and you don’t want that.

Ok, all for now.  Drink responsibly!

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