To get the most out of your fresh coffee beans it’s important to understand the best ways to store them. This includes storing your beans in an airtight container which reduces exposure to the environment. By doing this, you will keep better-tasting coffee, which will remain fresher for a longer period. In this article, we will give you some options for storing your coffee beans. We will also provide some information on how long we recommend you store your beans and the signs to look out for when the beans are stale.
Reducing Contact with Sunlight and Other Elements
What is the best way to store your coffee beans? The short answer is any way that limits the exposure to moisture, sunlight, oxygen and heat. These elements can have a damaging impact on coffee beans.
Ultraviolet light can break down vital components in the bean which can change the taste and aroma. Moisture can easily get into the coffee bean, the moisture will start to break down molecules within the beans. Exposing your coffee beans to heat (above 25 degrees) can rapidly speed the ageing of the bean. Oxygen also harms the bean as oxygen causes a chemical process called oxidisation which changes the molecules in the bean. These molecules give the coffee bean the aroma and taste.
The best place to store your coffee beans is in the back of the cupboard where the temperature is stable and there is little light.
Options to Store your Coffee Beans
Coffee beans should be stored in any type of airtight container, however, if you want to keep the beans extra fresh, you can use a vacuum storage canister. This type of canister is effective as you hand pump oxygen out of the container. This slows down the rate of oxidisation and keeps the beans fresher for longer. It’s also important to remember to use the smallest container you can find as this will reduce the contact the coffee beans have with oxygen.
How Long Should You Store Coffee Beans For?
Many factors go into establishing how long you should be storing your beans for. One factor is how the coffee beans were grown, harvested and processed. Coffee beans that are unroasted (green coffee beans) often last the longest at just under a year. The reason why green coffee beans last the longest is because the beans outer layer is protecting the molecules and oils that give the bean it’s taste and smell. Once the green coffee beans have been roasted, their lifespan reduces drastically. Fresh coffee beans that have been roasted last around 4-6 weeks, although you can use them for up to 3 months after roasting. Freshly grounded coffee last for a shorter period because the size of the coffee granule is much smaller and they oxidise much quicker than the whole coffee beans.
Indication of Stale Coffee Beans?
Spotting stale coffee beans can help you save time brewing coffee beans that will produce poor tasting coffee. There are a few indications that can tell you if your coffee beans are stale. There is no way of looking for differences in the appearances of coffee beans when they’re stale, you have to trust your smell and taste buds. Normally coffee should have a strong coffee aroma with hints of cocoa, floral, spices and fruits. However, stale coffee has a very bland and minimal smell. You can also tell your coffee beans are stale due to their taste, fresh beans will have a strong taste and stale beans will often have a mild and bland taste.
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