Coffee Bean Storage - To freeze beans or not to freeze beans?
There are many theories about the best way to store coffee beans or ground coffee to retain freshness. One of the theories is to put your beans or ground coffee in the freezer for later use. Is this method the best way to store coffee? Letís explore the idea.
Freezing seems like a universally accepted way to keep foods fresher longer. Freezing is a great way to store many of our everyday foods. Vegetables, fruits, meat, bread, and even butter can be given a life extension through freezing. In fact, freezing often retains many of the important vitamins and minerals in foods. Unfortunately, coffee may not share the same benefits from freezing.
Coffee has four main enemies against freshness: air, heat, light and moisture. At first, freezing doesnít seem to contain many of the offending enemies. However, appearances can be deceiving.
Roasting of the beans gives coffee much of its flavor. The roasted beans are porous. Unfortunately the beans can absorb other unwanted flavors besides the coffee flavor you want. Freezers often contain many odors you might not want in your coffee. Some flavors might be nice, but no one wants to drink onion or seafood flavored coffee.
Moisture can also be absorbed by the coffee beans. Moisture can cause deterioration and loss of flavor. The more often you take coffee out of the freezer and put it back in, the more moisture absorption takes place into the bean. If you absolutely need to freeze some coffee because you have a large excess youíd like to keep, only freeze it once. The more you take it in and out of the freezer, the more damage you do.
Freezing also breaks down the oils in the beans. The oils contribute to the flavor of the coffee. Breaking down the oils means taking away flavor, and letís face it, a large part of a good cup of coffee is the flavor.
Ultimately, freezing coffee is probably not the best idea. Keep coffee stored in a cool, dry, airtight container away from light. Freezing coffee is possible, and may be alright if you only freeze it once. The resulting loss of flavor and quality might not make it worth it to you. Your best bet is to buy only enough coffee that you and your family can consume within 1-2 weeks. Enjoy it at the peak of its flavor!
About the Author: You can find more articles by Cory Willins at The Coffee Site as well as more gourmet coffee information.