Many of us wouldn’t think of starting our day without it. Some of us program our automatic coffee makers to wake us up with the smell of freshly brewed java. Others of us will gladly sit in line at the drive through of our favorite local or corporate coffee shop for our “on the way to work” double espresso cappuccino.
Truth is, we are caffeine addicts and proud of it (I know I am.) And to become a true aficionado of the lovely liquefied brown/black bean, one must know how to treat it with care. As Nietzsche once said, “Love the bean and the bean will love you.”
(Okay, Nietzsche never said that. But someone really smart should say it or use it as their epitaph!)
Anyway, beyond weird philosophies, we ask our own deep question: What’s an important part of coffee bean care that is typically overlooked?
It is our industry expertise of course: Storage.
Once you buy those favorite beans from your favorite retailer, how should you store them?
In the fridge?
At room temperature?
Close to the Equator?
In a jar?
In a canister?
In an urn?
With Green Eggs and ham?
In the dark?
Next to a Lava Lamp?
Most people store it wrong. So, what is the proper way? How do you store coffee?
First, it helps to understand that coffee is different from other staple items like flour and sugar that when properly stored, can last almost indefinitely. From the moment coffee is roasted it begins to lose its freshness. That’s why it’s not a good idea to buy coffee in bulk. By the time you get through your supply, much of the fine flavor you paid for will be gone.
Strong Recommendation: Buy the amount of beans you’ll grind in a week. That way you maximize your flavor.
Warning and Advice: Light and air seriously impact the freshness of your coffee. For the beans you want to grind, brew and drink store them in an air-tight opaque container.
Debunking the Fridge Myth: Maybe you’ve heard from a coffee bean saboteur somewhere that you should refrigerate your coffee. Well, actually storing your coffee inside the cold box is not the best idea as refrigeration may create and add moisture to your beans. That will quickly reduce the quality of the coffee. As with many foods, storing your coffee in a cool dry place is best.
Finally, if you’re a serious coffee drinker, you’ll appreciate the flavor of whole bean coffee, freshly ground just before placing it gently within a press pot. A coffee grinder is an inexpensive investment that will pay you back in rich flavors (unless you stick your fingers in there while it is…