Just the aroma of a fresh cup of coffee is enough to get coffee lovers out of bed. After all, you definitely don’t want to start your day without a caffeine boost. But did you know that the storage conditions of your coffee are just as important as the type of beans?
A lot of coffee lovers often wonder if freezing ground coffee is the right way to store it. If you are not sure, this guide is for you. Let’s find out if you can freeze coffee grounds, and if not, what the proper way to store them is.
How to Store Coffee Grounds Properly
Many people don’t know how to store coffee grounds properly to preserve their flavor. Thus, they often get used to having coffee that loses its deep original flavor.
Coffee grounds that are stored improperly become lumpy and lose their flavor. A little bit of knowledge about the storage of ground coffee or fresh beans can help you enjoy your morning and evening coffee a little more.
Factors Affecting Ground Coffee Storage
Here are a few factors you need to keep in mind while storing ground coffee:
The major factor that leads to coffee grounds getting stale and lumpy is moisture. Though there’s no universal method for storing coffee grounds, it’s recommended to keep the coffee grounds in an air-tight container.
Continued exposure to moisture can increase the humidity levels, which in turn results in the growth of mold. A good cup of coffee needs to be balanced in acidity and aromatic. Higher moisture levels don’t give you that.
The lumpiness is not necessarily a sign of spoiled coffee, but it does alter the flavor to some extent. However, it’s possible to get the moisture out of the coffee grounds by tossing them under the sun and then storing them again properly.
The degradation of agricultural products like coffee grounds is only normal over time. However, certain factors speed up the process. One such factor is light. Long periods of sunlight exposure cause photodegradation, which is the breakdown of chemical compounds in coffee beans that can make your coffee lose its aroma and flavor.
It’s often found that coffee exposed to too much light is bitter and has overpowering metallic or rancid notes. Thus, preferably, coffee grounds must be stored in a place away from direct light in an opaque airtight container.
Heat is another major factor that affects the quality of roasted coffee beans over time. It’s crucial to keep roasted coffee grounds away from heat as much as possible.
Heat exposure can make the coffee grounds lose flavor and strip away a lot of oxygen and result in a cup of bitter-tasting coffee. The ideal temperature to store coffee grounds to keep the coffee freshness intact is 68 to 77F. Hence, you must avoid warm places like places next to your oven in the kitchen or cabinets that get a lot of sunlight during the day.
4. Over-Exposure to Oxygen
Oxygen instigates the process of oxidation, which makes every perishable food product, including coffee, go bad.
Oxidation-induced degradation of coffee beans results in staleness and loss of aroma and flavor. In some cases, it can also give rise to undesirable aroma and flavor when you brew your cup of coffee. The volatile organic compounds in coffee grounds become unstable and the lipids oxidize to peroxide, producing a rancid taste.
The solution is to store coffee in vacuum-sealed containers that keep the pressure below atmospheric pressure by removing any air particles in between. Since the rate of oxidation is dependent on pressure, vacuum-sealed containers provide an inert atmosphere that prevents the oxidation of coffee beans.
If you usually go out to your local grocery store or supermarket to buy coffee, you’re already setting yourself up for the premature loss of aroma. The coffee in supermarkets could be sitting on the shelves for months, and if they are switching the dates on the label (which is, unfortunately, a common practice), your coffee will taste stale right from day one.
Instead, you can head out to your local coffee roaster to get a fresh batch of coffee. If you are not fully convinced of its freshness, you can also ask them to grind you a fresh batch of coffee beans.
Can You Freeze Coffee Grounds?
Coffee grounds do well when frozen. The dry environment of a freezer is great to store coffee grounds.
Frozen coffee beans can remain fresh for a long time if you use the right container for storage. If the container is vacuum-sealed, the coffee grounds can last for up to two years! On the other hand, if you’re storing coffee grounds in a container that is airtight but not vacuum-sealed, they can last for up to six months.
The only problem when you’re freezing coffee is that it cannot be taken out often. While freezing coffee grounds is a great long-term solution, they’re not for everyday use. This is because when you take frozen coffee beans out every day for consumption, the fluctuation in temperature will allow moisture to build up in the packet.
So, make sure that you store coffee beans in the freezer only when you are planning to leave them in there for a long time. Otherwise, it is best to skip the freezer and store them in a cool, dark place in a container that is airtight and opaque.
How to Store Coffee Grounds in a Freezer
The best way to store coffee grounds in your freezer for longer periods of time is in vacuum-sealed containers. Vacuum-sealed containers allow for minimum exposure to oxygen.
Also, when whole coffee beans are kept in vacuum-sealed containers, they release carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide acts as a blanket, protecting the coffee beans from exposure to oxygen.
Vacuum-sealed containers and bags have been proven to preserve coffee and keep it fresh for up to nine months.
Ground Coffee Vs Coffee Beans: Which One Should You Choose
If you are an ardent fan of coffee, you might be tempted to buy roasted coffee beans instead of ground coffee to ensure you get a fresh cup every day. But is that even a good idea? Let’s find out which is a better option: ground coffee or coffee beans.
Ground coffee is much easier to store than coffee beans. It will obviously take up less space and will be much more adaptive to different storage containers than coffee beans.
Sure, coffee prepared directly from freshly ground beans will taste heavenly. But let’s think practically — will you even have the time to grind those beans every morning? If you are looking to squeeze in a quick cup of coffee every morning before work, coffee beans might not be the best idea for you.
Buying ground coffee is certainly a more convenient option. But again, convenience comes at a cost. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, fresh coffee beans will take the cake any day.
4. Easy to Brew
Almost every coffee recipe will require you to use ground coffee instead of coffee beans. After all, ground coffee has a larger surface area, which helps the hot water running through it absorb more flavor than coffee beans and makes it easier to brew.
Advantages of storing vacuum-sealed coffee grounds in the freezer:
How vacuum sealing coffee grounds makes them last longer:
Can you freeze coffee grounds? The answer is both yes and no. For long-term storage, freezing is a great option, but if you’re planning to use them every day, then maybe not so much.
Now that you know the ideal conditions to store coffee grounds for regular consumption and the best way to store a big batch of coffee beans, hopefully, you never have to worry about your coffee going bad ever again.
Usually, coffee grounds stored properly can stay fresh for up to two weeks, after which you can take out a new batch. So make sure you buy coffee grounds in small batches so that they stay fresh without losing their flavor!