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Should you store coffee beans in the freezer? There are some polarizing opinions on this matter. Some say it’s completely fine as long as it’s in an airtight container. Others say it’s completely not fine for a variety of reasons. Just like restaurants like to keep their food fresh and never frozen, so it is with coffee beans—here’s a few reasons why.
Moisture is coffee’s biggest enemy
It’s true, moisture will turn your coffee beans bad pretty quickly. They need to be stored in a cool, dry place. While the freezer is cool, it is not a dry place. Also, the freezer is a place of temperature fluctuations. This causes condensation, which adds even more moisture to the bean.
The temperature fluctuations inside the typical freezer will actually change the cell structure of the coffee bean. This change in cell structure will take away from the aroma of the bean when you prepare it in the morning. In fact, when it changes like this there won’t be much of an aroma at all, which is one of the best things about coffee in the morning.
Smell of the other food
If you store coffee in the refrigerator, even for a day or two, the coffee can take on the flavor of other food you have left in there. That’s not something you would want happening to the high quality coffee beans you just purchased.
An airtight container will do the job just fine
Airtight storage containers are perfect for keeping coffee beans fresh. Keeping coffee beans in the freezer kind of defeats the purpose when airtight containers are just as good at maintaining freshness. Keep the containers in the pantry. The temperatures don’t fluctuate in the pantry, and they’re kept away from the light, which adds freshness as well. Many of the coffee clubs we review ship their coffee in packages that are zip-sealed, keeping beans fresh.
While storing coffee beans in the freezer isn’t exactly recommended, we understand that sometimes people receive more coffee than they can drink, and it’s only right in aiming to not being wasteful. You could put your beans in the freezer for up to a month without any real changes in the aroma or taste, but after a month’s time is when it starts to get a little hazy. Use your best judgment of course.
One more thing to keep in mind is that whole beans keep fresh longer than ground beans. If you want to maximize coffee freshness, wait until you’re about to brew the coffee before you grind it up to have the best aroma and taste.
The freezer is a wonderful contraption that can keep many things fresh past their expiration date, but coffee beans aren’t something that you should put in there for more than a month. The humidity will interact with the beans—changing them before long. Purchase an airtight container, store them in the pantry, and enjoy that incredible aroma.
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