Coffee Storage Misconceptions

Are you storing your coffee in the refrigerator? Chances are you heard that keeping your ground coffee in the refrigerator was the best way to keep it fresh. This is one of the popular misconceptions about how roasted coffee should be best stored to keep it fresh.

Enemies to coffee include air, light, moisture and heat. Keep your coffee stored away from all four of these things and you will ensure it stays its freshest. So what does this mean? The best way to store roasted coffee is in an airtight container that is kept in a cool, dark and dry place. In most households this would make the cupboard or pantry a good place to keep your coffee.

While some people are storing their coffee in the refrigerator there are others that think storing it in the freezer will keep it fresh. There are a couple facts that are of interest, in regards to this.

  • Coffee is porous which allows it to absorb the flavoring syrup and oils that are added to make flavored coffee. Because of this however, it also means that coffee can absorb the flavors of the other food in the freezer. It also absorbs the moisture that is produced in the freezer. Moisture deteriorates coffee and makes it have a “freezer” taste.
  • Roasting coffee releases the oils that give coffee flavor. Freezing breaks down the oils, so by storing your coffee in the freezer you are removing flavor.
  • Storing coffee in the refrigerator has much the same negative effects on the freshness of roasted coffee. The refrigerator is one of the worst places to store coffee, but so many people are still under the misconception that this is the best place to keep their coffee tasting fresh.
  • Generally, coffee stays fresh for about two weeks. This is under the best of circumstances with storage in a cool, dry, and dark environment like the cupboard. Because of this, the best way always have fresh coffee on hand is to buy whole beans and grind them as you use them.

When you think about it, if coffee was best out of the freezer it would probably be stored in the frozen section of your local store and the coffee shop would look more like an ice cream parlor.

When coffee is ground it breaks down the beans and the oils. The beans are exposed to air and this makes the coffee become stale much faster, even under proper storage. To always have the freshest, best tasting coffee you should buy whole beans, store them in a sealed container in a dark, dry place. Grind the beans right before you make your coffee.