Coffee's Greatest Enemies How to Protect your Beans
Whether you consider yourself to be a coffee connoisseur or a novice drinker, we can agree there is nothing better than a great tasting cup of Joe. The aroma emanating from a freshly brewed cup can be rather euphoric. In addition to the enjoyment one receives from sipping and sniffing their favorite beverage, coffee enthusiasts pay a premium for their superior beans. In order to preserve the flavor and freshness of your quality roast, we must identify coffees biggest enemies.
Coffees Biggest Enemies
Oxygen is coffees number one enemy. When coffee is exposed to oxygen it begins to oxidize immediately. The greater the exposure the more quickly your coffee will begin to lose its subtle flavor nuances and become oxidized and stale. This is especially true for ground coffee. Coffee exposed to oxygen for a long period of time will become flavorless. Leaving your beans exposed to oxygen is the fastest way to loose the fresh and amazing flavor you look forward to in your cup everyday.
Moisture is one of the leading culprits in destroying the subtle flavors specialty coffee beans have to offer. A roasted coffee bean can go bad very quickly when exposed to moisture. This is why coffee beans should never be stored in the freezer or refrigerator. While it is important to keep coffee beans in a cool dark place, the fridge or freezer will create too much moisture. Like a dry sponge, coffee absorbs both moisture and odors (more on odor later). The humid environment and temperature fluctuations inside the fridge and freezer, coupled with moving your beans in and out on a daily basis create condensation inside the coffee container and on the coffee itself. The condensation that forms will be absorbed by your beans and will dramatically affect there overall quality and taste.
Odors can be absorbed by coffee, which adds them to the list of enemies. If your coffee is stored in the fridge, it can easily take on the flavor of other foods like meat, onions and garlic. That would be very unpleasant if found in your morning brew! The NCA (National Coffee Association) concurs that coffee is hygroscopic; which means it absorbs moisture and odors. Just incase you needed some legitimate proof as to why you should not put your beans in the fridge or freezer.
Heat believe it or not, is also an enemy to roasted coffee. When the beans are exposed to higher temperatures, the heat pulls out the natural oils that are inside, leaving behind stale, bland tasting coffee.
Light will render coffee flat and stale. Even a small amount of light, for example; the light in the fridge or freezer, will affect the freshness of your coffee. Always get coffee out of direct or indirect light.
Protect your Beans
In order to maintain the quality and freshness of your coffee you should always store your beans in a cool, dark, dry place. To maximize freshness you should wait to grind your beans until you are ready to use them and keep the whole beans in an airtight container. The container should be away from direct or indirect light, appliances that emit heat and against walls that are exposed to a lot of sun. A cabinet or pantry usually make the best place. Read more on how to store your coffee beans in our blog “The Secret to Storing Coffee.”