Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How to Keep Espresso Beans Fresh for as Long as Possible

Coffee beans are at their peak 24-72 hours after roasting and should generally be used within 7-10 days of purchase. However, anyone who has purchased fresh coffee beans knows that sometimes they are not consumed within that time frame. So what’s a coffee drinker to do? Knowing some basic tricks for keeping coffee beans fresh can help you preserve your coffee investment and enjoy delicious cups of coffee for months to come. Where else to learn these tricks except from your friends at Chris’ Coffee?

How to Keep Coffee Beans Fresh

    1. Store in an Air Tight Containter of Vacuum Sealed Bag

    Oxygen is what makes coffee (and any other food for that matter) go stale, making it the coffee bean’s #1 enemy. Exposure to oxygen will cause even the best bean to go bad quickly so the best way to keep espresso beans fresh is to take oxygen out of the equation. It’s important to note that the original container that beans come in is not meant for long-term storage, so you shouldn’t buy beans and just toss them in your pantry hoping that they will stay fresh as is. Instead, store beans in airtight containers or vacuum sealed bags. Our recommendation would be to vacuum seal beans, especially if you plan on freezing them. We can attest to the fact that vacuum sealing really does keep beans fresh and prevent freezer burn!

    2. Do Not Grind Beans Ahead of Time

    As with wine, store coffee beans in a cool, dark area for maximum freshness. The most common mistake people make is storing beans in a cupboard above the stove or on the counter by the stove, which can cause beans to get too hot when you’re cooking. Another common mistake is storing beans on pantry shelving in unheated/uncooled garages. You want your beans to be at regular room temperature in your house – not too hot and not too cold, just right.

    3. Store in a Cool Dark Area

    As with wine, store coffee beans in a cool, dark area for maximum freshness. The most common mistake people make is storing beans in a cupboard above the stove or on the counter by the stove, which can cause beans to get too hot when you’re cooking. Another common mistake is storing beans on pantry shelving in unheated/uncooled garages. You want your beans to be at regular room temperature in your house – not too hot and not too cold, just right.

    4. Do Not Refreeze

    Freezing coffee beans is a bit of a divisive topic in the coffee community – some think you shouldn’t freeze beans at all while others feel that freezing them for up to a month is just fine. If you do choose to freeze coffee beans, just make sure that you do not refreeze them. Once coffee beans have come out of the freezer and thawed, condensation can build up if they are refrozen. This moisture will break beans down and compromise the freshness and flavor of your coffee.

    Regardless of your opinion on freezing coffee beans, never put them in the fridge – ever! Your fridge is not cold enough to store beans properly and is also filled with many fresh odiferous foods. Fresh coffee beans, being as porous as they are, will soak up these smells (just like baking soda) and take on those flavors.

    5. Divide Bulk Quantities into Smaller Portions

    If you buy coffee beans in bulk, break up your coffee bean supply into quantities small enough to use within a week of opening. This will not only ensure that your coffee is at optimal freshness, but also make it more convenient to store on shelves alongside other items.

Now that you know how to keep coffee beans fresh and don’t have to worry about them going bad, feel free to buy your favorite blends of coffee beans in bulk!

9 comments:

  1. I usually buy my coffee from CoffeeForLess.com, but I'll have to try some of these tips the next time I buy from a store.

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  2. Now offering the AirScape Containers to help keep your coffee beans fresh longer! Available in black, stainless, small and large. https://www.chriscoffee.com/AirScape-Canister-p/coffeecang.htm

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  3. Has anyone ever tried using a wine preserver like Private Preserve to keep coffee beans fresh? I know it works great for opened bottles of wine as well as keeping olive oil from going rancid. It's recommended for preserving dried herbs, too. It is a combination of Nitrogen, CO2, and Argon gases and places a dense layer of inert gas blanket directly on top of the contents of a container to prevent oxidation. I've used it on my opened wine and the wine still tastes great even two to three weeks out.

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  4. Nitrogen is what is used in the coffee industry to keep fractional packages of coffee fresher longer. By fractional packages I mean 2 1/2 ounce pre ground for, example like used in a restaurant. Nitrogen makes up 80% of the air that we breath and is an odorless and tasteless gas, where oxygen makes up the majority of the rest of the air we breath. Nitrogen is heavier than Oxygen and is injected into the package just before sealing and it pushes the Oxygen out of the package. Bottom line removal of Oxygen will make coffee and any other perishable product last longer. As for Argon and Co2 I can not say if they are odorless or tasteless. That would be my only concern, will it alter the taste of the coffee. Wine is a liquid where coffee is a dry powder and extremely absorbent of surrounding odors. If you try it please post back here and share your findings with all of us.

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  5. Argon is completely odorless, tasteless and inert. It is the sole ingredient in the Coravin, which is a very expensive wine delivery/preservation system used in many high end restaurants and wine bars. This system allows for the extraction of wine from the bottle without removing the cork (via a dual channeled large gauge hypodermic type needle) by displacement of the wine with pressurized argon. As the wine flows out, the vacant space within the bottle is then occupied by the argon. The cork self seals upon removal of the needle. Wine experts like Robert Parker claim that even the best vintage wine remains unchanged in color and taste in the tapped bottle for longer than a year. Maybe Chris' Coffee could invent a coffee storage system using a similar approach with a self sealing vented jar?

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  6. Well there you go that is your answer to Argon gas it seems like it is worth a try. Not sure how this "Private Preserve" comes? Is it in a spray can? If so you could spray it over the coffee inside this container: https://www.chriscoffee.com/AirScape-Canister-p/coffeecang.htm then press the lid down and it should keep the coffee much fresher. I am curious about this so if you try it please post your findings.

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  7. Will do! My Silvano should be here in a few days. That will replace my dead 17 year old Gaggia machine, and I'll now have the consistency with pulling shots to compare the preserved beans with the fresh. Have a great Easter.

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  8. Have you checked out this great place to buy gourmet coffee beans online? They are called got your 6, always have fresh beans, and all proceeds go to military!

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  9. Have you checked out this great place to buy online coffee? They are called got your 6, always have fresh beans, and all proceeds go to military!

    ReplyDelete