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What you need but your coffee doesn't


TLDR: Keep your coffee away from oxygen and moisture.


In today's blog, you can find some simple tips to keep your coffee fresh for a longer period of time after you open your bag.


We recommend storing your coffee in an air-tight container after the bag is opened. avoiding contact with air can slow down the oxidation of the coffee a.k.a getting stale. The best way is to buy whole-bean coffee and grind it fresh every time you brew. Why? because with ground coffee, more coffee surface is exposed to the air, therefore the coffee gets stale at a much faster pace than whole-bean. Imagine eating an apple: you can leave a whole apple outside for a few days and when you eat it, the inside is still fresh and juicy because the skin protects it from being in contact with oxygen, compared to when you slice the apple into smaller pieces and leave them on a plate. It takes less than 30 minutes for you to see the difference, doesn't it?


Ground coffee can still be "fresh" after several days if stored correctly, but you may still spot the difference between the first pot you brew from a bag and the coffee from the same bag after a week. With whole bean, the outside can get old, but the majority of the beans (the inside part) is still intact until they go into your grinder. We can go into more detail about grinding fresh coffee at another time. For today, let's concentrate on storing your coffee right.


It is important to clean your container regularly, especially if you are a fan of dark roasts. The darker the coffee, the oilier it gets over time. Take a look at your dark roast coffee now, chances are you can see some oil on the bean surface, and you may see also some on the wall of the canister (more visible if it is a glass jar). The oil doesn't deal critical damage to your cup, some people may even like the mouthfeel it offers, but after a few months without cleaning, there is a risk that some rancid stale flavors might sneak in and it doesn't make your day better. In case you don't have a canister, one small tip is that you can close the bag with a band or tape, and then/or put it in a zip lock bag. At least that's how I travel with my coffee beans.


The second main tip of the day is to stay away from moisture. Like any other dry product, coffee needs a rather cool and dry place to stay in good condition. Some suggest storing your coffee in a fridge... please don't! Coffee is very sensitive to temperature and moisture. And well, you get both of them wrong in the fridge. The low temperature might sound tempting and true to keep your food fresh, but moving your coffee in and out of the fridge changes the temperature dramatically, which affects the way the beans react to the environment. Furthermore, there is a lot of moisture inside the fridge, which can be absorbed quickly by the coffee and cause it to go bad. Plus, coffee can lose its aroma rapidly due to the environment. Let's say in a car, people usually hang a bag of coffee beans there to absorb the unwanted smell and hopefully, the coffee releases some nice aromas. This is true, but you don't want to drink that coffee, do you? There is a mixture of different things in the fridge like meat, vegetables, fruits, cheese, etc. Imagine all of that gets into your first sip of the day... I would say it is not my cup of tea, or coffee to be exact.


To sum up, the two main ideas that you want to consider when preserving your coffee are to stay away from oxygen and moisture. The sections below are more like side tips and suggestions and you are more than welcome to continue.


Freeze your beans! Yes, it is a common practice among extreme coffee lovers. But make sure the beans are in a vacuumed bag (or air-tight) first before you put them into your freezer. Moreover, store them in small portions rather than as a whole package. For instance, if you usually brew 15g for yourself and 30g for more servings, then store them in different portion sizes. It is better than putting a bag of 500g into the freezer. Note that if you freeze your coffee in bigger portions it is important to let it come back to room temperature (about one day). Remember the point above about the instant change in temperature?


Those are some tips to keep your coffee game fresher, but remember this always: Enjoy your coffee as you like it, not as anybody tells you to!