Storing Your Coffee
As you buy better quality coffee, the question storing it (as well as brewing it!) becomes much more pressing. Most people treat their coffee like they would a non-perishable. While it’s true that it takes quite a long time for coffee to spoil, it most certainly does perish as it ages. The shelf-life of coffee is shockingly short. Following these four simple rules will result in a better tasting cup of coffee.
Drink coffee quickly! It’s best when it’s fresh. We’re not just trying to make you addicted to Driftwood Coffee, we are, but it’s truly the best way to enjoy good coffee. We make a significant effort to try and deliver to you the freshest possible coffee, so enjoy it while it’s fresh! Purchase coffee like you would purchase bread: You only buy enough for the week, after that, it goes stale and starts to mold. Coffee starts to go stale pretty quickly. It’s not as drastic as what moisture does to bread, but there is a significant drop in flavor quality as the weeks go on. Our coffee is best within two to four weeks of roasting. Stale coffee has lost its snap, brightness, and crispness, and it tends to fall flat and flavorless. So find a way to enjoy coffee quickly!
Storing your coffee whole bean will help maximize flavor! You should grind your coffee beans on-demand, not more than 15
minutes before brewing. The reason this is the case is the simple surface to air contact ratio. More of the bean is exposed to the air after grinding. Moisture in the air will then contact the ground coffee, and it will become stale very quickly. Consider the bread example again, if you leave out a single slice of bread, it gets stale within an hour. But if that single slice of bread is between other slices of bread, and those slices are between the heels and in an air-tight bag with a tin-tie seal, then your bread will last a week or more. If you leave ground coffee out where it will be exposed to the air and the moisture, it will go stale within the hour.
Store your beans in your climate-controlled house in an air-tight ceramic container; this is the most ideal. You can keep your coffee in the bag that it came in, but you need to make sure it’s air-tight. A glass container may look real fancy, and it might serve great as a featured photo on a blog post, but it allows harmful light that will cause your coffee to go stale. Furthermore, storing your coffee in a plastic container may affect the flavor of the coffee beans over time, something about leeches or leeching or whatever. The important things to keep in mind for coffee storage are dry, dark, and cool.
By all means, please, don’t freeze your coffee, and don’t put it in the fridge. First, it’s way too dry in the freezer, and it’s way to humid in the fridge. And before you try to outsmart me here by putting your coffee in an air-tight container, think about moisture levels as temperature rises and falls. Condensation will kill the flavor of your coffee. There’s also something in the chemistry of the bean that gets broken down when frozen. Don’t ask me what, I’m not a chemist; I’m a coffee roaster. I don’t even own a microscope and wouldn’t know how to use it. Call it fats, oils, micro-sub-atomic particles of this or that nature. I don’t know. But try it out if you don’t believe me. Do your own scientific experiment, and report your findings in the comment section below.
Specialty coffee requires special treatment; treat it with care, and you’ll be rewarded with a cup that’s truly worth your attention!