While coffee is pretty hardy, it can’t last under certain conditions. Like food, coffee can be subject to things that make it go bad and lose flavor. One of the biggest mistakes many people make is not storing coffee beans properly.
Just like with your food supply, there are four things that can impact the quality and taste of your coffee. These things are light, air, heat and moisture. You have to keep your coffee stored in the right environment and container (like this one) or it will lose its flavor…and fast.
Here’s how to store your coffee beans properly.
Block The Light and Heat
There’s a reason that coffee comes in containers that block out the light. Once coffee beans are exposed to light, it diminishes their aroma. So if you’re someone who brings your coffee beans home and pours them into a clear container, you’re not doing what’s best for your beans.
Whatever kind of container the beans are stored in must block the light. You also have to keep the beans in an area where heat isn’t a problem. If you store your coffee in a pantry that doesn’t get ventilation, it might get warmer in there than in the rest of your home.
Some people will correctly put their beans in the right container, but then will turn around and store them in a cabinet that gets direct sunlight. Also consider if the container is too close to the stove or near a microwave.
All of these things can cause the area where your coffee is kept to become too hot for the coffee to retain its quality. Just as you wouldn’t sit fruit like bananas on the kitchen counter where the sun can cause it to spoil, you don’t want your coffee sitting in the sun, either.
Bottom line – store your coffee beans away from the light and heat.
Keep Them Dry
You also want to keep the beans away from any area where moisture can build up. Heat rises, so if you store your coffee in a cabinet above the stove, moisture may build up in the cabinet from the humidity. So this isn’t a good place to store them.
If you put your coffee beans in a container that’s not 100% airtight, this will also cause moisture to seep in and affect the quality of your coffee.
Bottom line – always store your coffee beans in airtight containers that don’t let in moisture.
Bulk Is Not Best
While you might think it’s a great money saving idea to buy coffee beans in bulk, it really isn’t.
Coffee beans were never intended to stay in storage for a long time. This is why you should only buy the coffee that you’re going to be able to drink within two weeks. That way they will retain optimum flavor and give you the best cup of coffee.
There are some who suggest buying more coffee beans than you’ll need over a few weeks because the beans can be frozen. But the minute you freeze coffee beans, they lose the potency of their flavor.
Bottom line – buy what you need for 2-3 weeks only and store as suggested above (not in the freezer).
Follow the guidelines above to store your coffee beans and you will always have a flavor filled cup when you want it. If the beans start to lose their flavor, one of the four enemies above have had an effect. Get a new batch and store them properly.