Preserving the Perfection
There is nothing more disappointing than buying a great roast coffee variety and then, after enjoying a robust flavor for a few days, the beans start to lose their edge. Coffee starts to lose its flavor soon after roasting when exposed to air, moisture, heat and light so to always enjoy your coffee at its freshest and most flavorful you need to store it well and purchase in sensible quantities.
The Whole Bean Experience
The difference in taste of coffee which you have bought as whole beans and ground yourself just before brewing up your cup of joe in a French Press with the taste of coffee that you have made by screwing open the jar of instant coffee and dumping a teaspoonful into boiling water is similar to the difference in taste between a bite of heavenly, ovenfresh baked bread and a mouthful of cardboard.
Having taken the plunge to start buying whole coffee beans, the flavor difference just makes every cup a more enjoyable experience. While whole coffee beans are more expensive than instant coffee powder and the brewing ritual requires a little more time and effort it all becomes such an integral and enjoyable part of your morning routine that your day would be off to a dull start without your morning cup of whole bean joe.
Storing Coffee in the Freezer
It is quite common to hear about people storing coffee in the freezer. Freezer storage is great for lots of things especially many vegetables because in many cases the act of freezing maintains the nutritional, vitamin and mineral content. For coffee though, freezing is not the best storage method.
For one thing, coffee beans are porous and they have a habit of absorbing the flavor or aroma of other strong foods in the the freezer. Your dinner guests might love macadamia nut or French vanilla flavored coffee but it is doubtful if coffee tainted with onion or seafood from the freezer is gong to go down quite as well.
Another problem with storing coffee in the freezer is that moisture will infiltrate the bean every time you remove the pack of coffee. For that reason if you are going to freeze coffee, separate larger quantities into smaller zip seal bags and remove them one at a time. Do not take a bag from the freezer until you are ready to use it and once it is out of the freezer do not return it.
Freezing also breaks down the oils in the beans. As the oils are in large part responsible for the flavor of the coffee when they get broken down the coffee will lose some of its taste.
Storing Coffee in Glass Jars
Whole bean coffee looks beautiful in those bug chunky glass jars on the counter top but if you choose to store your coffee that way the light will get to the coffee beans and the flavor will leech out, leaving you with a cup of warm brown water.
Coffee Storage Containers
One of the best tips for buying gourmet coffee and enjoying the last cup from the package as much as you enjoyed the first is to buy in quantities that you will use in about two to three weeks max. You can get some great deals on wholesale quantities of coffee (especially from Coffee Bean Direct) but if you have to store it for a long time and the coffee loses its flavor … well that is a poor economy.
To benefit from the savings on wholesale coffee, purchase with a neighbor or friend then split the quantity so you are each storing less. Then, if you are going to store your coffee in the freezer split it into smaller quantities and use airtight ziploc bags. Alternatively invest in a good set of airtight coffee storage containers – opaque glass or ceramic are best as metal and plastic have been known to impart a little flavor of their own. Keep your whole beans in one container and grind up just enough for a few coffee for a few days then keep that in a second container. This will preserve the flavor and ensure you enjoy every cup of your gourmet whole bean coffee.