Ground coffee loses its freshness faster than whole beans because it has more surface area that’s exposed to oxygen. You may have heard that keeping ground coffee or whole beans in the freezer is the best way to preserve the flavor. However, that can actually do more harm than good. According to the National Coffee Association, the best way to store your coffee in an airtight container. Coffee grounds are often sold in tins that aren’t built for long-term storage, so it’s best to transfer the coffee into a canister with an air-tight lid.
What about whole beans? They, too, lose their freshness over time. In fact, the process starts almost as soon as the beans are done roasting, so they could benefit from proper storage as well. If you have a bag of beans, the best way to go would be to secure it and store it in a resealable plastic bag.
To protect the coffee from light make sure your container is opaque, and store it in a cool spot, like a cupboard that isn’t too close to the stove. Avoid leaving it on a countertop spot that gets a lot of sunlight, because it may be too warm. As we already mentioned, the freezer should be avoided too, at least for the coffee you drink every day. The fluctuating temperatures create moisture in the bag or container, which can leave your morning cup tasting like cardboard.
It’s fine to freeze whole beans for up to a month to keep them fresh for later use, provided you don’t take them out during that period. For a larger amount of coffee, first, divide it into smaller portions, then freeze then in airtight bags, as per the recommendation of Robert Nelson, president, and chief executive officer of the National Coffee Association.
When you want to use the frozen beans, let them thaw on the shelf before grinding them. Brew within two weeks to get the most out of your coffee.
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