Should I store my coffee in the fridge, freezer or in the kitchen cupboard? Is it best to drink coffee as fresh as possible? Do beans keep fresher than ground? What type of water should I use? We often get asked these really important coffee questions. Read on to get the best out of your daily coffee!
AVOID STORING COFFEE IN THE FRIDGE OR FREEZER
Oxygen, moisture, temperature and light are all key factors in preserving coffee freshness for as long as possible. There’s a risk of the coffee absorbing smells and moisture from other foods in a fridge or freezer so a cool, dry kitchen cupboard, away from direct sunlight is the best place to store your coffee. Keep the oxygen out using the resealable zipper on our bags, or an airtight container will also do the job.
COFFEE CAN BE TOO FRESH
There is a myth that coffee should be drunk as soon as its roasted or that its past its best after a couple of weeks. When you roast coffee, gases – including a lot of carbon dioxide – form inside the bean. Most of these gases are released within the first few days of roasting, which is known as coffee degassing. Drinking your coffee during this time can affect what you are tasting in your cup. This is due to inconsistencies in the brewing process caused by pockets of air disrupting the contact between the coffee grounds and the water. Elizabeth and I have done a lot of testing with all of our coffees and 5-31 days after roast date is the best time for drinking, provided it has been stored correctly.
BEANS KEEP FRESHER THAN GROUND COFFEE
Coffee degrades faster depending on the surface area, and as ground coffee has a much smaller surface area than whole bean, it will lose its freshness quicker than whole bean coffee does.
COFFEE IS SOMETIMES BETTER TOO COOL THAN TOO WARM
Warm but not boiling water is best for brewing. If the water is too hot, it will scold the coffee. 96 Degrees Celsius is optimum (to be precise), or if you don’t have a temperature controlled kettle, then leave your kettle off the boil for a couple of minutes. As coffee cools, you can often identify more flavours in your coffee, with more bright acidity and complexity in the cup. We recommend giving this a go with our Ethiopian as a filter!
NEITHER SOFT OR HARD WATER IS BEST FOR BREWING
Filter or reusable bottled water is best for coffee brewing flavour and consistency. Down here in the South East, we have hard water, which with more nutrients means that there is less chance for the coffee to dissolve. Hard water can also cause a build up of limescale inside your coffee machine. As soft water lacks lots of the minerals found in hard water, it’s actually poorer at extracting flavourful compounds.