Can you freeze coffee beans?
If you have a newly found love of coffee, you might not know the best ways to keep your favourite beans or ground coffee as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Instant coffee is freeze dried, meaning it has a significantly longer shelf life and it suits being kept in a jar. Roasted coffee though, whether it is in its whole form or as ground coffee beans, is a perishable product.
Also, you might have noticed that the taste of your coffee slightly changes over time after you have opened a sealed bag. This can vary from bean to bean depending on how fresh the coffee is. Let’s take a look at some of the different ways coffee beans can be stored so you know the right way to keep your coffee as fresh and flavourful as possible.
The shelf life of coffee beans
The shelf life for fresh roasted coffee beans, or ground coffee, as soon as you have broken the seal on the bag is around a month. Keep in mind as well, like with other fresh products, you need to protect the coffee from light, heat, oxygen, and moisture. The biggest risk to your coffee is oxygen, as soon as the bag is open, air will start to creep in and alter the aroma of your ground or whole beans.
Heat is a nemesis to your coffee because it speeds up the chemical reactions that will result in your coffee perishing much more quickly. Light also affects the perishing timeline of your coffee as it breaks down the fragile flavour compounds in your coffee beans. If moisture is exposed to your coffee, it will lead to it forming mould which is a flavour profile that is best avoided.
Storage solutions for your coffee
Fresh re-sealable bags
At Pumphreys, we provide our coffee, beans, or ground, in bags that can easily be re-sealed. This prevents carbon dioxide from escaping and oxygen from accessing your coffee. Simply keep the bag in a cool and dry place to extend the lifespan of your beans. One question we often get asked is ‘should I keep my coffee in the fridge?’ the short answer to this is no.
A great option for storing your coffee so it stays fresh is an airtight container. By using a stainless steel container that has a mechanism for sealing your coffee in will ensure maximum freshness for your beans.
Similar to our sealable bags, a container can keep the carbon dioxide in and the oxygen out. Just be mindful that should always keep the jar somewhere cool and dry. If you keep the jar on a shelf above the hob, moisture could still affect your ground or whole beans.
Freezing coffee beans
Can you freeze coffee beans? Technically yes, but there are some important factors to consider first.
- Double check that your beans are well sealed. If your bag or container is even slightly open and exposed to the frozen elements in your freezer your coffee will quickly become very moist.
- If you are bulk buying your beans and want to keep them fresh, separate them into smaller 250g bags. This means you can easily take them out as and when you need them to make a delicious cup of coffee.
- Coffee is a perishable product. So, it is important to defrost the beans and bring them up to room temperature before you try to use them.
Should you store ground coffee in the same ways as beans?
It is typically recommended that you grind fresh coffee beans. However, not everyone owns a grinder or don’t want the extra hassle that is associated with grinding the beans. In general, the same rules apply to keep ground coffee fresh, look out for the four key threats light, heat, oxygen, and moisture.
Our main piece of advice would be to invest in a good quality, airtight container and store them somewhere dark, cool, and dry, away from sunlight. If you are buying in bulk, you may want to consider freezing and just taking the amount of coffee you need when you need it.
If you want to buy coffee beans that are high quality and maintain their freshness, look no further than Pumphreys. Try our coffee subscription service to enjoy exciting new flavours around the world every month.