Storage is integral to maintaining your coffee’s freshness and flavor. It is important to keep it away from excessive air, moisture, heat, and light — in that order — in order to preserve its fresh-roast flavor as long as possible. Coffee beans are decorative and beautiful to look at but you will compromise the taste of your coffee if you store your beans in ornamental, glass canisters on your kitchen countertop. Doing so will cause them to become stale and your coffee will quickly lose its fresh flavor.
It is important not to refrigerate or freeze your daily supply of coffee because contact with moisture will cause it to deteriorate. Instead, store coffee in air-tight glass or ceramic containers and keep it in a convenient, but dark and cool, location. Remember that a cabinet near the oven is often too warm, as is a cabinet on an outside wall of your kitchen if it receives heat from a strong afternoon or summer sun.
The commercial coffee containers that you purchased your coffee in are generally not appropriate for long-term storage. Appropriate coffee storage canisters with an airtight seal are a worthwhile investment.
It is wise to purchase coffee in amounts proportionate to how quickly it will used. Coffee begins to lose its freshness almost immediately after roasting so it is far better to purchase it in smaller quantities. Purchase freshly roasted coffee frequently and buy only what you will use in the next 1 or 2 weeks. And because exposure to air is your coffee’s worst enemy, it is a good idea to divide your coffee supply into several smaller portions, keeping the larger, unused portion in an air-tight container.
STORE LARGER QUANTITIES OF COFFEE… if you’ve purchased a large quantity of coffee that you will not use immediately, small portions, wrapped in airtight bags, can be stored for up to a month in the freezer. Once you have removed them from the freezer, however, do not return them. Instead, move them to an air-tight container and store in a cool, dry place.
copyright NCA 2011