Whether you buy ground coffee or grind it at home, either way you have to store it. But how?
- Do you put it in the freezer?
- Do you put it in a nice container with a coffee bean on it?
- Or do you simply leave it in the bag it came in, or in the grinder, to sit on the counter?
If you recognize yourself in one of these situations, then you might as well just throw your 12$ coffee bag away and start buying cheap coffee.
There, I just saved you hundreds of dollars a year.
I’m not kidding. Once you grind it, contact with the oxygen engages an oxidation process . Within 15 minutes, the coffee becomes stale. The difference is noticeable.
That’s why you’ll never see a serious coffee shop serving pre-ground coffee.
That’s why the best coffee machines come with an integrated grinder.
In this post, I’ll show you two ways to keep your coffee fresh (and stop wasting your money). The MacGyver’s Way (for when you are stuck) and the Recommended Way (how you should do it from now on).
The Wrong Way
In a past life, I bought prepackaged ground coffee and, once opened, I kept it in the freezer. Just like you, I thought it was the best way to keep coffee. Mistake number 1.
Then, thinking I knew better, I bought myself one of those nicely designed coffee pots you see at stores like Target. It had a seal around the cover, so I figured it was preserving coffee. Mistake number 2.
I figured it out when the pot broke and I was stuck with just leaving the ground coffee in its original bag on the counter. There was no difference in the taste of my coffee. Little did I know, the pot was not sealed at all.
That’s when I decided to get serious about my coffee’s freshness. The first way I learned was perfect for me at the time since I had no money to invest in coffee equipment. That’s the MacGyver’s Way.
1. Keeping Coffee Fresh MacGyver’s Style
You’ll be able to use this technique anywhere, even on the road.
Remember that coffees worst enemies are oxygen and moisture.
The one thing we all have at home that can prevent ground coffee to be exposed to these “contaminants” are… Ziplocs!
That’s right. Just put your coffee in a ziploc bag, zip it almost all the way. Keep a small opening. Before you seal it, make sure you press all the air out (even the one in the coffee).
But don’t be mistaken. You won’t be able to keep it for weeks this way.
Also remember that every time you open the bag, you let oxygen and moisture in. If you plan on keeping it for a few days, use smaller bags and pack individual portions.
Ultimately, this technique should be used as a last resort, not your default. Here’s how you should store coffee so it’s always fresh.
2. The Best Way To Store Coffee is…
… By keeping the bean whole!
As we mentioned above, the coffee’s worst enemies are oxygen and moisture. The bean’s envelope acts as a barrier and is actually one of the best way to preserve all the precious flavors inside the bean.
That’s how they keep it in Coffee Stores. If it’s good for them, it’s good for you.
Get yourself a good grinder (read our latest grinder review), and just grind what you need to make yourself a coffee. This will transform your morning’s experience forever.
Better yet, if you have a choice to make, invest in a good grinder before investing in a good coffee machine.
However, remember that coffee is always better consumed fresh. So avoid buying a big bag that will last you for months.
A bag will stay fresh for about a month after the beans are roasted (so make sure to look for a roasted date on the bag). Some coffee drinkers will prefer to buy a bag every week for even more freshness.
But How Should I Store My Coffee Beans?
Most professionals suggest using an air tight container.
The best one’s are the new vacuumed sealed coffee containers which prevent air from going. They do push some air out, but understand that they do not create a real vacuum.
However, the more filled it is, the less room there is for air inside, the better.
These vacuumed containers range from $10 to $30. So there is no reason why you should not have one or two units.
Actually, considering how much you spend on coffee in a year, not having one is what is costing you money.
5-Start Review From Amazon Click here for more reviews
“This canister gets you the real deal on the coffee seal. Ease of use is fantastic.
There’ a button on the lid that you press while sliding the lid down to overlap the canister top by about 2 inches.
You can hear the air rushing out and when you let go of the button your precious ground coffee is sealed in a vacuum with absolutely no light or air -fresh and yummy for you to brew when you wake up.
There are no rubber seals to fail and no pumps to break (or lose).”
– Trailbladers (LA, CA)
Click here for more reviews
There is one more thing…
Before I let you go, I have to be perfectly honest with you. I lied (sort of)!
I lied when I said that you shouldn’t put your coffee in the freezer. In fact, the debate is still out on whether or not the freezer is a valid option.
Personally, though, I’ll put my beans in the freezer when the Coffee Shops start doing the same.
To see where this debate is going, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter (just enter your email below) to get updates.
If you know someone who still store his ground coffee the wrong way, then share this post. He’ll thank you for it.
Photo by George Hodan