Storing Your Coffee - By Ed Wilkins
As I sit staring into the abyss having finished yet another podcast while pacing the confines of my flat, I begin to reminisce about my life before The Event. Going to the pub, meeting up with good friends, long moonlit walks on the beach, mindless rampant consumerism – Things we took for granted until very recently. For me, talking in person is something I really miss, being able to communicate with customers is a great asset when selling coffee. One of the most frequent questions I would be asked was: ‘How do I store the coffee?’
This is a really important question, as properly kept coffee can be the difference between experiencing a fresh, delicious cup first thing in the morning and suffering with a stale coffee that isn’t worth the time and effort put in. Everyone has a different answer on how to store coffee, but I’m writing this as a definitive answer, without myths or jargon, so that you can be confident that your coffee is in safe hands.
Keep those beans away from air! The biggest killers of coffee are air and moisture – These are going to accelerate the degradation of the beans, so the best practice is as soon as you’ve purchased that coffee, put it into an airtight, preferably dark container. Put that container in the cupboard, a cool and dark area is the best atmosphere for the beans to rest in.
There’s no need to put coffee in the fridge. There’s a fairly common myth that this prolongs the coffee’s freshness, when in fact the fridge might be the worst place to keep it! There’s lots of moisture and odours from other foods which is going to negatively impact the delicious flavours of the coffee. You are able to freeze coffee, although I would suggest doing this in very small batches in containers that you are sure are airtight, as freezer burn may occur.
Ultimately, the best thing to be doing is buying small amounts of freshly roasted coffee frequently, rather than large quantities over a longer period of time. If you’re able to buy beans and grind them yourself, then the coffee will last longer too. Once ground, the coffee starts to lose its flavour at a fast rate. If you’re buying pre-ground coffee, I’d suggest taking my advice of small-but-frequent buying!