Learn How To Keep Your Coffee Fresh
One of the most important but sometimes overlooked aspects of coffee brewing is coffee freshness. Coffee freshness is essential in maximizing the quality of your brews, allowing you to properly experience the unique character that is created in the cultivation and roasting of coffee.
But what does coffee “freshness” mean exactly?
During roasting, many changes occur in the coffee bean on a physical and chemical level. Water in the bean is turned into vapor and the structure of the bean is softened and made less dense, more porous. Not only does this develops the aromas and sweetness we seek in every cup, but it also creates the solubility in coffee that allows it to be brewed in the first place.
As a result of these changes, the coffee is in a constant state of degassing after roasting, where it is slowly releasing carbon dioxide trapped inside the bean. This is associated with degradation of aroma and intensity in the coffee.
Coffee should be consumed in a period of peak freshness after roasting, which is impacted by how coffee is packaged, how it is roasted, how it is stored and much more. Controlling these variables as much as possible is a crucial step in making sure you are getting everything out of your brews. Here are some steps we recommend:
- Always make sure to store coffee in an airtight container or sealed bag, exposing it to as little oxygen as possible.
- Grind fresh! The moment you grind your coffee, oxidation increases dramatically.
- Keep your coffee in a cool, dry place. This also prevents coffee from experiencing degassing.
- To maintain freshness over longer periods of time (< 3 weeks), try storing it in the freezer. This dramatically slows down the degassing process and will preserve the aromatic compounds in the coffee.
- Do not store your coffee near pungent foods such as bananas or garlic etc. Coffee can potentially absorb some of these smells and impart them into your brews, giving off flavors.
- Avoid leaving your coffee out or in your grinder hopper unless you are consuming within a brief period (>1 week). Leaving your coffee out unprotected will accelerate the oxidation process.
In summary if you:
Keep your coffee away from:
- Consume your coffee within 3-4 weeks of opening the bag.
- Grind fresh before brewing.
You will be rewarded with the properly delicious, complex, and intense brews you deserve.