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The Only Way You Should Store Coffee, According to Folgers

Two months ago I splurged and bought an espresso machine. I did some research – I have a scale, a pestle, a grinder…the work. And because I've upped my coffee game, I've invested in finding coffee beans that I love.

I have a few bags of beans that I rotate through and enjoy, but I realized I don't know how to store them: should I store them in my pantry, transfer them to a special container, or put in the freezer?

I enlisted the help of fan-favorite brand Folgers, and also spoke with the green coffee buyer for one of my all-time favorite coffee brands, Samuel Klein of Partners, for his expert advice on all things coffee storage.

What is the best way to store coffee?

According to Folgers, there are five key storage tips:

  1. Use an airtight container
  2. Store in a cool, dark place
  3. Store at room temperature
  4. Check expiration dates
  5. For whole grains, grind as needed

Klein agrees and advocates buying coffee more frequently for optimal freshness. “The enemies of roasted coffee are oxygen, sunlight, heat, humidity, weather and strange smells. If you avoid these things, your coffee should stay fresh,” he says.

Additionally, he explains that it's not always necessary to use a separate airtight container to store coffee: “Often the best way to store coffee is exactly how you received it from a roaster : a sealed bag with a non-return valve for shutoff. gassing. »

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Store whole beans or ground coffee

“By grinding coffee, you're essentially grinding it into thousands and thousands of tiny particles, which will have a much larger surface area directly exposed to the oxygen,” Klein explains. As a result, “ground coffee oxidizes and goes stale much more quickly.”

Folgers suggests, for optimal freshness, a shelf life of two weeks for ground coffee and four to six weeks for beans. Your preference for grind over beans will dictate the form of coffee you choose; but, in either case, the best way to maintain robust flavor is to buy less coffee more frequently.

Should you refrigerate or freeze coffee?

“Typically room temperature is ideal,” says Klein, “temperature fluctuations (like taking coffee out of the freezer) can introduce moisture into the coffee, which can make it taste stale. Additionally, an opened bag of coffee will absorb odors from other items in the freezer.

If you're committed to the idea of ​​freezing, Klein advises dividing the coffee into individual portions in vacuum-sealed bags or “into the smallest, cleanest containers possible.” Stick prepackaged packages in the coldest part of the freezer. When using, brew with frozen beans/grounds – do not thaw before brewing.

When is your coffee no longer good to drink?

You should always check the expiration date of your coffee. According to Folgers, while coffee won't necessarily go bad after that date, it may lose taste or quality.

The coffee won't necessarily show signs of spoilage until you taste the brew, although smelling your beans or grinds can be telling. “If a coffee has been roasted very dark and the surface is shiny with oil, those lipids can go rancid relatively quickly and that flavor can migrate to your coffee brewing equipment!” Klein said.

He adds that “there's relatively little hassle in brewing coffee well past the roast date – it's entirely a matter of flavor.”

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