One of the number one questions we've been getting from our supporters these days is, "what's the best way to store coffee?" The question has come up a lot since we launched the 5lb bulk option for all our coffees online. Though I've seen a few families polish off a 5lb bag in a week, for most of you it will take longer! That being said, we're providing our personalized tips to maintain freshness below.
First of all, we specially package every 5lb and 12oz bag of coffee we roast using something called nitrogen flushing. Sounds cool... it is! You can read all about it here. We have a neat sealing machine that pumps each bag of coffee full of food grade nitrogen gas. This dense gas displaces the oxygen from the bag and then the machine seals it shut. No oxygen means no oxidization. Oxidization is the enemy of freshness... it's what makes your chips stale, your car rust, and your coffee flat. Normally coffee starts to stale in about 14-21 days, but sealed in a nitrogen we think it's fresh for at least 100 days. I've personally had nitrogen flushed coffee that was unopened after a year and barely noticed a difference in taste. Armed with that info about our process, here's our tips:
- Our nitrogen flushed packaging only works if the bag is sealed, once you open it the clock starts ticking. Try to enjoy the coffee within 21 days of opening the bag. Always squeeze out extra air and do your best to shut the bag effectively.
- If you thought oxidization was the only enemy of coffee freshness... let me tell you about photodegradation. Sunlight can really hurt the flavor compounds in coffee, so keep your bag of beans in a dark space like a cabinet vs direct sunlight like a window sill.
- Can I freeze my coffee? I used to preach no, but have recently seen much better result with this. If you have a 12oz bag, just toss that right in the freezer and remove when you're ready to consume. My recommendation for a 5lb bag is to portion smaller amounts into ziplock freezer bags, remove as much air as possible and freeze. I personally do not thaw the coffee before use, just grind the frozen beans and brew. Frozen beans actually are more brittle and tend to grind far more consistently then room temp. If you want to thaw before use, do so in their sealed container. Try to avoid condensation.
- Ditch the storage jar... let's face it, you can't remove the air from a jar, and can expect a little photogregadation. If you must have a jar of beans on your counter for aesthetic, then do it but don't use those beans!
- Check out air escape storage containers. You can find them at any department store. They are usually a cylindrical container with a top that slides into it. The top has a valve to let you force air out, and it won't let air in. Check them out, its the simplest way to avoid oxidization from the portion of beans you tap into daily.
We'll be standing by to answer your coffee storage questions, feel free to reach out. Don't forget, the 5lb bulk option is great to save a little money, and now you know how to not sacrifice flavor!