Correct coffee storage is imperative in preserving the freshness of your whole bean or ground coffee. To keep ground or whole bean coffee fresh, coffee exposure to the open air needs to be minimised to avoid oxidation. It’s widely known that whole bean coffee keeps fresher than ground coffee but no matter how you buy your coffee you can still help to preserve freshness and flavour for longer.
What is oxidation and how can you avoid it
Coffee flavour and smell starts to degrade as solubles start to oxidise; when oxygen molecules come into contact with different coffee compounds. You can avoid oxidation by keeping coffee compounds away from light, moisture, heat, and air.
How best to store your coffee
You may have heard or read a lot of different ideas about how to best store your beans – everyone has their favourite way of storing whole bean or ground coffee. As mentioned in a previous blog, a cool, dry kitchen place, away from direct sunlight is the best place to store your coffee to avoid light, moisture and heat. Oxygen is the other element which can be kept out using the resealable bag or a good storage container.
What to look for in a good coffee storage container
The 2 most important things to look for are:
- Better than airtight – Keep the light and air out while at the same time allowing carbon dioxide from the beans to vent out can even extend shelf life to around 2-3 months for whole bean and 1-2 months for ground.
- Keeping the beans dry – Any coffee container that does this will also protect those precious beans from the perils of light and heat too
Storage containers in full test mode at the roastery
Why we recommend the CoffeeVac coffee storage container
A vacuum sealed coffee storage solution, the CoffeeVac coffee storage container will help keep your coffee fresher for longer. Its distinctive vacuum seal design keeps the light and air out while at the same time allowing carbon dioxide from the beans to vent out.
CoffeeVac is also extremely easy to use. There is one button on the side of the container that when pressed, releases a valve and lets air in so that you can pull the top off. To put the top back on you need to press the button again and when you push the lid on it will remove some of the air inside the container creating a partial vacuum.
It’s better than airtight because some air is removed and is ideal for storing beans up to a month and will keep them really fresh for that length of time.
Which Chimney Fire coffees should I pay special attention to with regards to storage?
Coffee quality control forms a big part of our weekly schedule in our tasting room at the roastery. We routinely taste taste our coffees 1, 2, 4 and 6 weeks off the roast to monitor coffee freshness over time when stored in correct conditions. Our QC team have found that generally filter coffees do hold up a little longer as bright acidity is preserved under a lower extraction pressure. Another consideration is how often you are likely to brew a particularly type of coffee. Even as I write this, I’m reminded of a bag of 8 week old decaf in my kitchen cupboard. It will never get used as regularly as caffeinated coffee for me - a storage container certainly helps preserve it for longer.
An example summary of a recent coffee quality control session looking at coffee freshness over time
You can find more details on the CoffeeVac storage container here or get in touch for more information and we’ll be happy to help.
SEPTEMBER 2021 UPDATE: Our Relationship Manager Sam recently contributed to an excellent and comprehensive article by Porch about all things coffee. His section was all about how to keep coffee fresh, and you can read it here: https://porch.com/advice/coffee-at-home