Coffee Storage Tips

How To Spot Freshly-Roasted Beans

It is easy to spot truly fresh beans; just look for a glossy appearance due to their oils still escaping from the beans. Contrary to most other products, seeing oil residue on your hands or in the bag is a good thing.

There are a couple of exceptions to the glossy bean rule:

  1. Lighter roasts will have a less glossy appearance due to not being roasted as long but should still have a dull shininess to them.
  2. Beans that have undergone the Swiss Water Decaffeination process will have very little shininess.

Another indicator of fresh roasting is in the packaging. Freshly roasted beans emit gases, if the bag in which whole beans are stored is heat sealed and does not have a valve it means that the beans have stopped off-gassing. If you receive a heat sealed bag of Serious Coffee beans you’ll always see a valve, they’re that fresh. Look at your package of coffee, is it heat sealed requiring you to cut it open? Does it have a valve? If not, how long has it been since it was roasted and left to sit on the shelf?

How To Keep Your Beans At Their Peak

  1. Keep them in an airtight, dark container.
  2. Avoid sunlight.
  3. Avoid heat.
  4. Avoid steam (so consider where you are storing your beans and keep them away from brewers, stoves, etc.).
  5. Avoid moisture (storing near your sink could accidentally allow water to reach beans).
  6. Within 72 hours after being roasted coffee beans have reached their maximum or peak of freshness, so use them as quickly as possible.
  7. If you can’t brew them within the optimum time put your beans in the freezer.

Storage Tips

The fridge is not the place to store coffee in any form, ground or whole bean even if in an airtight container. It isn’t cold enough to keep your coffee fresh, and because coffee works as a deodorizer, it will absorb all the aromas in your fridge. This will definitely have a negative impact on the final taste of your cup of coffee.

Ground Beans

It is always best not to store ground coffee.

  1. Whenever possible, grind your coffee just before you brew it.

  2. Ensure that the type of grind you use is suitable for your brewing system. If beans are too fine or too coarse you will not generate maximize flavour.

  3. Ensure your grinder is regularly cleaned. Fresh beans produce different levels of oil and because of the oil coffee grinds will begin to compact around the burrs in your grinder. This means that the grinds need to be removed to lengthen the life of the grinder and to ensure you aren’t blending old coffee with freshly ground beans.

  4. If you need to have your coffee pre-ground, whenever possible store it at room temperature in a vacuum-sealed container that is made of materials that won’t impart unwanted flavours to your coffee (ceramic is ideal).

  5. Ground coffee is dramatically affected by humidity which adversely affects the flavour, so don’t store ground beans for more than one week. However, coffee connoisseurs will say to not store ground coffee for more than an hour!

Whole Beans

Ideally, in order to ensure the freshest cup of coffee possible, do not store more than one week’s worth of beans at a time. This isn’t always practical, so if you know you will have beans for longer than that, you can store them in your freezer.

Here are a few things you need to do to keep your beans from becoming freezer-burned.

  1. Storing your beans in a deep freezer is better than the fridge’s freezer because it doesn’t get opened as often.

  2. Never store your coffee in paper but rather try to store it in its original packaging (usually foil or plastic.) At Serious Coffee cafés, we bag our coffee in paper bags that have a liner and only when you order it. The idea behind this choice of bag and to not prepackage our beans is that we are committed to freshness and hope that the coffee is consumed within a week so that it doesn’t have to be frozen.

  3. Put each bag in its own resealable freezer-quality bag, resealable container, jar or some other airtight container to avoid freezer-burn. Remove as much air as possible and don’t worry about the light; your freezer is dark and the few times it’s opened won’t negatively impact them. Remember, Serious Coffee’s beans are so fresh that the original 2270 gram (5 lbs) packaging has a relief valve to allow the off-gases to escape, so be aware that your resealable bag could burst due to the gases having no where to go. We recommend that you keep our beans in our packaging as the valve will only allow the gases to escape while blocking air from entering the bag.

  4. In order to ensure that your beans are fresh, do not store them in the freezer longer than two weeks from the purchase date. If necessary, whole beans can be kept in a deep freezer for up to two months; however, this is not something we recommend.

  5. Take out only as much coffee as you need and never return beans that have thawed to the freezer.

Most importantly...

Buy the best quality and freshest beans possible to ensure that you have a café-like experience at home. By purchasing the freshest beans you will have delectable scents, rich crema, and bright flavours waiting for you to enjoy…Seriously!


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