To Freeze -or- Not To Freeze | What Should I Do?


It seems like, when it comes to coffee bean storage, you will here two schools of thought pretty regularly: 1) Freeze your beans to store them.  2) Store your beans out of direct sunlight at room temp & preferably in an air tight container.

So...What school of thought is right?  Is there possibly merit in both each of these processes?  Let's find out!

For as long as I can remember I've heard that one should store their coffee beans in the freezer.  And I must admit, early on in my coffee life and prior to becoming a coffee bean roaster, I would buy bags of coffee beans and store them in the freezer above the fridge.  Especially if I came across a great deal or had a build up of coffee from the holidays given to me.  Them frozen coffee beans brewed coffee that was good and honestly, wasn't horrible or repugnant to me.  But was it the best way to store my coffee beans?  As I grew in my coffee consumption and knowledge...I started to read and hear I was storing coffee beans all wrong!!!

If I was storing coffee beans all wrong, what is the right way to store them?

Coffee knowledge for me started to grow as I read more and more information about coffee and started networking with other coffee roasters and consumers of coffee.  And one thing I started to hear more and more was that you should NEVER store coffee beans in the freezer.  That coffee should be stored in a dark place out of direct sunlight and if at all possible, in an air-tight container.  A cabinet is a recommended place for storing.  And you know what?  As I changed my coffee storing habits and stopped storing beans in the freezer prior to using, my coffee tasted great and wasn't repugnant to me. 

So...both storage ways provided good/great tasting coffee that wasn't repugnant???  Blasphemy you say!  I can already hear it!!!  Here are my points, and with anything, do some research on your own and come up with a system of storage that works for YOU! 

I prefer to store my coffee beans in a container that I can vacuum seal the air out of.  I really like the foodsaver containers for this and it's what I use.  And I keep the containers in the cabinet and out of direct sunlight.  At room temperature.  This is what I do for storing my beans and it works great for me.  And my coffee tastes great!

BUT.  And there is always a BUT!

If you do store your coffee in the freezer, here are some tips.

1)  Store your coffee in a deep freezer instead of the freezer over your fridge that gets opened frequently.  Deep freezers usually freeze to a colder temp and are more consistent.  When a freezer is constantly opened, you run the risk of potentially creating condensation on the beans which is bad.  Moisture is not good for your beans.

2)  If possible, store only vacuumed sealed bags in the freezer. 

3)  Thaw for a day prior to using the beans.

4)  Freezer smaller usage lots of beans.

5)  Utilize the first in first out logic so you are rotating the oldest beans out to be used.

I would recommend air-tight container in the cabinet.  That is not always feasible for people.  And Freezing is an option, and may be your only option.  Find out what works for you, take some practical steps to ensure freshness and safe guard your beans, and enjoy your coffee!!!

Until next time...Brew, Drink, and Enjoy!

-Bill

 


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