In this article I will discuss what’s the best way to store coffee beans. Coffee remains extra tasty and fresh if you store it properly.
When you make coffee, you prefer a cup with a strong body, and nice flavor. Yet you may often notice that the first cup from a new pack is often a lot better than the last. Even if you mix old and new coffee, the taste can be disappointing. How is this actually happening? That probably has to do with the way you store your coffee. Coffee, when exposed to external factors such as oxygen and moisture, can lose its taste very quickly.
If you let this happen, the longer the coffee has been exposed to these factors, the more weak coffee you will get with an increasingly muffled taste.
That is why it is important to store your coffee beans or grounds well. To avoid drinking low quality coffee with loss in taste.
In this article you will learn what are the main factors that influence the taste of coffee beans and why.
You will also see with which storage methods you can keep your coffee for a long time. So that you can enjoy delicious coffee with a intense aroma, and good taste from the first to the last cup.
Get the very best out of your beans, and avoid loss of flavor.
Whole coffee beans last longer than ground coffee
An important factor to consider if you want to keep the good taste of your coffee is that whole coffee beans maintain much longer than pre-ground coffee.
Freshly ground coffee can give a much stronger result. If you use coffee grounds, it is even more important to store it well and to protect it from air and moisture. Because ground coffee is easier to go bad. After a day of not being properly airtight, you will notice a considerable difference in the aroma of the grounds. For whole beans to notice the same thing you will have to wait for many days.
When it comes to durability, coffee is a fairly unique item anyway. Whereas most foods expire and go bad after a certain period of time, and go bad. At this point consumption is no longer good for your health.
This doesn’t happen with coffee. Coffee doesn’t really have a certain date that expires. It’s a kind of sliding scale, where the quality gradually deteriorates over time.
It is not about unsuitability for consumption, but rather the quality of the taste that can deteriorate in a few days from the moment of opening. To capture the great taste of your coffee it’s important to prevent this decay. So, we must first know in detail what causes this taste decay and why.
What factors affect the taste of coffee?
There are a lot of external factors that can affect the quality of your coffee beans. Let’s see what factors influence the taste of coffee.. Two things actually make a lot of sense: moisture and heat. You may understand that moisture and heat extract the taste from coffee beans. Because this is actually what happens when making coffee. By exposing ground coffee to hot water, the taste is extracted from coffee and absorbed by the water.
A logical step to halt loss of taste is therefore to prevent exposure to moisture and heat. Make sure you keep the canister in which you store the coffee in a dry and cool area. So do not place it in front of the window, where the sun can heat up the jar. You can store it in a cool drawer or cupboard. Also make sure that when you wash the canister, you need to dry it well before putting new beans in it.
Perhaps the biggest enemy of the aroma of your coffee is oxygen. Coffee beans exchange aromas with the air, and oxidation also extract the flavor from the beans.
Is your grounds of whole beans smell the same as when you opened the pack? If not, that is the powerful taste of coffee that is lost.
By the way, it applies very strongly that the aroma of ground coffee is much more sensitive to air than that of whole beans. Because there is no protected cell and much more coffee particles are therefore directly exposed to oxidation. But do not think that this will not happen with whole beans. Coffee beans can lose their aroma very quickly if they are exposed to oxygen.
Another reason that it’s important to seal airtight the storage container of coffee is that the exposure of coffee to air works in two directions.
1) Coffee releases its aroma to the air and
2) The ambient air also influences the taste of coffee.
The coffee beans release CO2 for a fairly long period after the roasting process. And this creates a kind of spaces within the beans where all kinds of elements that are in the air can nest. An unpleasant aroma in your kitchen can therefore become part of your coffee beans. This will give a bad taste to your coffee.
Use effective storage methods
It actually makes sense that in order to retain the aroma of your coffee beans, you need a hermetically sealed canister. The reason is simple – if the packaging is airtight and therefore no air can get in or out, the aroma has no possibility to escape. So it must remain in the beans!
Let’s take a look at what else you should consider when storing your coffee beans, and which storage methods are suitable for that.
When you think of hermetic sealing, you will undoubtedly think of a vacuum or airtight packaging. With coffee, the answer to this is a bit ambiguous – it’s a bit of a yes-and-no issue. In theory this sounds very good because no air can get to the beans.
But it turns out not to be that simple. After the roasting process, coffee beans will emit CO2 for a period of time.
These gases must be able to go somewhere; pressure will therefore build up in a sealed vacuum package. Which may cause the package to burst open. After the beans have released enough gas, this could be impossible. But then they are no longer fresh and have been exposed to oxygen for too long.
An invention has been devised for this: the air valve or one-way valve. This allows air to exit the canister, but not enter the can. The CO2 gases can thus escape without the coffee being exposed to oxygen. There are a number of brands that produce storage containers with such a valve. These are ideal for storing your coffee in excellent conditions for as long as possible and for retaining the flavor optimally.
Such a valve is also used in original packaging. That is one of the reasons that the beans stay so good in the original packaging and why it is therefore a good idea to leave them unopened for as long as possible. You can also keep a new pack in the fridge or even freeze it, to avoid exposure to heat. In a storage container, this is a very bad idea – as soon as you take it out of the fridge and open it, condensation will take place. As you know, moisture is very bad for coffee. Because it extracts a lot of flavor from your coffee. If you buy several packs of beans at once, it can be very smart to freeze them in the original packaging and thus prevent the loss of flavor.
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A final smart tip is to use two storage containers. Especially if you buy larger packages of coffee, or are slowly going through your stock. It makes a big difference to use one small canister if you want to put a container, and a larger canister to replenish this small stock every few days.
Every time the can opens, the coffee is exposed to air, and using two separate supplies prevents a lot of flavor loss.
Handy storage containers
Let’s quickly explain a few handy storage containers, so that you get a better idea of what kind of storage containers are really good for your coffee.
For very fresh beans, or if you roast them yourself, it is useful to look at a storage canister with an air valve or vacuum function. So that it can extract gases from the canister without letting in new air.
Beans that you buy pre-roasted are generally sufficiently degassed, and a good airtight storage box is enough. For most people, a tightly closing storage box will therefore suffice; By choosing a vacuum product, coffee beans will keep their taste even longer and your coffee will taste better.
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Coffee machines with large bean containers
Nowadays, coffee machine manufacturers are making it with a large bean hopper. This is usually mentioned as a plus in product reviews and commercials. But perhaps this is not as big a plus as how it is usually depicted. It is usually not thought that the beans in this reservoir, which is often partly open at the top, are exposed to oxygen and lose their taste very quickly.
Even light users, who may do several days with a full reservoir, experience a large loss of taste without knowing the cause.
Also, the beans are often refilled before the reservoir is completely emptied, which means that the old beans mix with the new ones. So, they do not benefit the taste of the fresh beans.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you only fill the reservoir with an amount of beans that you will use in one day or maybe two, and use up the beans before adding fresh beans. This way you get the very best out of your luxury coffee maker with built-in grinder.
There are also coffee machines where the bean container is airtight. With these machines your beans will not go bad soon.
Conclusion: how do you preserve the aroma of your beans?
To conclude: If you choose the best way to store coffee you enhance your coffee experience.
Proper storage of coffee is an extremely underexposed subject. It often happens that one pays out hundreds of dollars for the very best coffee maker. Then selects the best coffee beans – and then forgets to store the beans in a hermetically sealed storage container.
This does not help you to get the most out of your machine and coffee beans. Which is really bad since the solution is so simple! Protect your coffee beans from external influences such as air, moisture and heat by storing them properly. This way they will last longer and their flavor, aroma, and body will be better.
Making better coffee has never been easier!