If you’ve read our recommended brewing window guide, you’ll know coffee starts aging rapidly as soon as we open the bag. Our oxygen-rich atmosphere reaches the beans, causing the decay of acidity and flavour.
While this process is unstoppable, we can use some strategies to extend the shelf life of our coffee and keep its taste the best possible. So let’s have a look.
GRIND AS YOU BREW
Ground coffee particles are much smaller than beans, so oxygen reaches the whole surface and core (and makes them age) much faster.
Switching to whole beans and grinding each dose just before you brew it is a great first strategy to extend the lifespan of your coffee. We highly recommend adding a grinder to your homebrewing setup.
Our brewing window guide mentions that our preferred period to go through all the beans is ~7 days. The faster you brew your beans, the fewer days in contact with oxygen and less opportunity for aging.
Some homebrewers buy smaller bags of beans weekly to accomplish that. This is as good as it gets.
Many others, however, get larger bags less often—for convenience, saving on shipping, or any other good reason. In this case, a great strategy with great results is to allocate larger quantities of coffee into portions that last enough for about a week. For example, if you get a 1kg bag a month and go through ~250g each week, you can divide and pack it into 4 portions to use as you go.
While all our coffee bags are resaleable, vacuum or airtight containers are generally better at keeping oxygen away thanks to a tighter seal and more robust materials.
Alternatively, for those kitchen/coffee geeks, you can use vacuum packing machines to store smaller doses—this is next-level and highly effective!
Check out our range of Airscape Canisters, they do a pretty good job keeping the air out!
COOL DARK PLACE
Other factors that can speed up coffee aging are exposure to light and heat. Easy fix: store your beans in a cool, dark, dry place away from sources of intense heat or humidity (like a kettle, espresso machine, toaster, etc.).
Do not store your beans in the fridge. Fridges aren’t cold enough to keep them fresher than at room temperature, and the coffee may absorb unwanted aromas (which probably pair with the flavour notes!).
Not so long ago, freezing coffee used to be a no-no. Now, experience shows us that the freezer can be a good storage tool if used correctly.
We’re still testing, but so far, these are our recommendations if you want to freeze your coffee to extend its lifespan:
- If you can, pack individual doses in airtight containers/bags.
- If you freeze whole bags, you can do it in our original packaging; when you want to brew a coffee, weigh each dose and put the bag back in the freezer as soon as possible (avoiding defrosting and re-freezing).
- Always grind the frozen beans straight up and brew immediately (this is to avoid moisture re-absorption).
At the Pro Shop, we keep a few doses of our Very Special coffees in the freezer.