We are frequently asked about proper coffee storage, so here is Dave’s advice on keeping coffee fresh.
In a nutshell: first, begin with fresh roasted coffee; and second, protect the coffee from heat and oxygen as much as possible to preserve its natural oils and flavor.
Fresh roasted beans are, of course, the first and most critical step. Stay away from a product that has been sitting on a shelf for months! At Vista Clara, we roast to order, then pack whole beans (or ground coffee upon request) in a sealed bag with a one-way degassing valve. The coffee will gas off for at least 48 hours after roasting, so this one-way valve allows coffee gas and any excess oxygen in the bag to escape, while keeping the outside air from getting into the bag.
Since coffee beans have a lot of natural oil, heat is the enemy. Keeping coffee in a cool, dark place helps maintain those fresh qualities. Therefore, our opinion is that refrigerating or freezing does indeed help keep the coffee fresh if you’re storing for long periods of time (we’d say more than a month). Coffee doesn’t freeze solid, so you can use it immediately after pulling from the fridge or freezer. Once opened, it’s best not to return the bag to the fridge.
This is our recommendation for most brewing methods. However, where espresso is concerned, the elements of a good extraction, and in this case the grind of the coffee, is so critical that storing a bag in very cold temperatures could affect the humidity of the coffee, and may result in a poorer quality espresso shot.
Simply put, it’s always best to get fresh coffee when possible and store for short periods of time in a cool, dark place. For long periods of time, put the unopened bag in the freezer until ready to use.
Do you have more technical coffee questions for Dave? Send us an email! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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