Should I Freeze My Coffee Beans?
Some people feel that the only way to ensure a great cup of coffee is to buy and grind your own beans before brewing. These die-hard coffee lovers believe that the more you automate the process, the greater the chance of losing the flavor you truly love. Making coffee out of your own coffee beans is a great way to immerse yourself in the coffee process, and to have some control over the flavor of the coffee you drink. But it presents a problem.
Namely, how and where should you store your extra coffee beans in the kitchen? You could just put them in a tin in the pantry, and many people do. But you may be wondering about freezing when it comes to coffee beans. Should you put your coffee beans in the freezer? Is it safe? Is it the right approach to the storage issue? Here’s what you need to know about freezing coffee beans.
To Freeze or Not to Freeze
One thing many people are tempted to do is to put those coffee beans in the freezer, figuring that like most perishable things, freezing will help them last longer. Well, putting your coffee beans in the freezer may make it possible to drink them for a longer time, but you’re probably not going to like them.
Coffee beans have a delicate moisture balance that gives them their taste, and freezers disrupt that balance, resulting in a coffee that may taste flat and unappetizing. So the short answer is: don’t freeze your coffee beans. However...
Freezing Your Coffee Grounds
Once you have ground the beans, it’s a different story! This may seem counter-intuitive. It’s the same coffee, so you have the same problem, right? Well, not exactly.
Now, your main concern is losing the delicate aromatics that you release when grinding the beans. You want to brew your cup as soon as possible after grinding so those aromatics don’t slip away. If you can’t brew the coffee immediately, then freezing the grounds can actually protect the flavor you have released from the beans.
Treat Coffee Like Bread
Your best approach as someone who buys coffee beans and appreciates good coffee is to treat it just as you would bread. You wouldn’t put a fresh-baked loaf of bread in the freezer. You’d try to buy just as much as you need so you could have it right away, the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Then, you might store leftover slices in the refrigerator, or in a vacuum-sealed bag, to keep them tasting fresher longer.
Take the same approach with your coffee beans. You don’t need to buy in bulk; one or two eight-ounce bags at a time should be sufficient. When you get your coffee beans, grind them up and enjoy your fresh coffee right away, and put any leftover coffee grinds that you’re not planning to drink in the immediate future in vacuum-packed freezer bags for later use.
You may want to keep a Keurig Coffee Maker and a few K-cups on hand just in case you run out of the fresh stuff to hold you over between orders!