Over the last two decades, America's love of coffee as a whole has undergone a major revolution. Gone are the days when coffee was regarded as nothing more than just roasted beans and hot water. While that's technically all coffee is, coffee lovers of today are treating this magic brew as more of an artisinal drink like a fine wine as opposed to just a standard commodity. This is actually the premise of the Third Wave coffee movement which according to Wikipedia ” aspires to the highest form of culinary appreciation of coffee.” Today, more than 59% of coffee consumed in America every day is classified as ‘gourmet,’ according to the National Coffee Association’s report on Coffee Drinking Trends. This trend has undoubtedly led people to pursue better-tasting and higher quality coffee. One of the easiest ways of improving your coffee is an often overlooked factor: storage. While there are many myths to storing coffee, it's agreed upon that properly storing your coffee will really enhance the coffee's inherent flavor. So without further ado, check out the tips below on how to keep your coffee fresh.
DON’T store coffee in the freezer
There are many mistakes people make when they store coffee and keeping it in the freezer is just one of them. The science of coffee and storing it properly has hotly been debated. However, one thing is certain. A prime enemy of coffee is moisture since the porous nature of the coffee bean causes it to readily absorb any moisture in the surrounding air. Freezers and refrigerators are filled with moisture and so keeping coffee in the freezer means the beans can absorb other flavors and aromas such as meat and fish. I love meat and fish, but I definitely don't want my coffee to smell like them. In addition, freezing your coffee is likely to break down the oils within the coffee which will ultimately dull all the distinctive flavors during the roasting process when these oils are released.
Avoid warm spots such as near a cooker or on top of a kitchen counter where direct light can affect the natural quality of your coffee. So that you don’t degrade the flavors, store coffee in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dark, dry and convenient place. If you aspire to make a perfect cup of coffee or cappuccino in the same way as your local barista does, then keeping your coffee fresh for longer is critical.
Coffee's retail packaging typically isn't designed for long-term storage so spending a few extra bucks on a high quality coffee canister will go a long way to improving the flavor of your coffee. Coffee Gator offers a high quality coffee canister made of surgical-grade steel. It comes with a one-way valve that allows trapped Co2 to leave will keeping out air and light. Like moisture, Co2 is another culprit that works against coffee freshness.
Whole beans or ground coffee?
Whole bean coffee will be fresher than ground coffee. In the same way that pre-cut vegetables at the groceries have a shorter shelf life, the same applies for coffee. Ground coffee has more of a surface area than whole coffee beans and thus more exposure to air. To get around this, we recommend you buy whole bean coffee and grind only what you need. If you're looking to get even more out of your coffee experience, consider investing in a quality grinder. Check out our article on the importance of a coffee grind for more information.
Making fresh barista-quality coffee at home isn't rocket science contrary to what some may say. You don't need to spend inordinate amounts of money to brew a artisinal coffee from the comfort of your own home. All it takes is a little patience and knowledge. As we already mentioned, coffee freshness is critical to the brewing process. By taking using these simple tips on how to keep your coffee fresh, you'll be able to greatly enhance your coffee experience with minimal effort.