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How to store coffee beans correctly

There may be nothing more delicious than the smell of freshly ground coffee. Many people resort to instant coffee as a sorry second best because their ground coffee seems to lose its taste and turn bland.

The secret to great ground coffee is all in the way the beans are stored. You should buy good quality beans and then store them correctly to maximise freshness.

How to store coffee beans

The worst enemies for coffee beans are:

  • air
  • moisture
  • light
  • heat

 All of these will ruin any coffee beans rapidly.

To keep freshness you should store in an opaque container. This needs to be airtight and kept at room temperature. While you may enjoy looking at the beans in a clear jar, be aware that this is not a good way to store them.

Choose a cool, dark spot for the beans. Keep away from storing on top of the fridge or next to the oven as these areas are far too hot for the beans. Similarly, keep off the counter if it gets the afternoon sun on it.

The packaging that your beans come in may not be the best for them so invest in an opaque jar which ideally has an airtight seal.

How much should you buy?

It is worth remembering that coffee beans start to lose their freshness as soon as they have been roasted, so buying huge batches because they were on sale may leave you with stale tasting coffee because you do not drink it fast enough.

It is better to buy smaller batches and use them  up within two weeks. If you absolutely must buy in large amounts, you may consider freezing into smaller portions.

While experts disagree on freezing coffee beans, most will recommend that you portion up into smaller containers which are truly airtight and then freeze. 

Final thoughts

Whether you choose to freeze coffee or simply refrigerate it, the most important issue is moisture. This makes it essential that any container you use is air tight and does not let in any moisture.

Ideally, though, the best way to enjoy delicious coffee is to buy beans in small portions and use them before buying any more.

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