Posted on April 15 2020
We can all agree that fresh coffee is the best thing there is since sliced bread! But have you ever experienced that when you make your coffee at home, your coffee starts to taste worse as the days go by? This might be because of 2 main reasons:
1. You are not buying fresh coffee.
2. You are not storing your coffee the right way to ensure maximum freshness.
Rules for buying fresh coffee:
Now we know you might think "but I buy my coffee from a roaster, of course it must be fresh". Yes, in theory, that is how it should be. There are some golden rules that you can use as guidelines to ensure your roaster is not brewing up cups of lies:
- Only buy coffee if you can see a clear roasting date on the packaging.
- Try not to buy coffee that has been standing longer than 2 weeks after the roasting date.
- Only buy enough coffee for a couple of weeks (2-3 weeks) at a time.
- Rather opt for buying whole beans and grind them yourself at home.
Storing coffee at home:
You get home and you just purchased your favourite whole bean (after following the above mentioned golden rules of course) and now you need to ensure that your coffee stays as fresh as it can for as long as it can. To be honest, once the staling process begins, there is not much you can do to stop it from continuing. If you are buying fresh coffee and using it quickly, this should not have a major effect on your quality of coffee per cup, but there are some guidelines on ways to store your coffee to keep it fresher for longer.
- Keep your coffee in an airtight container. If your coffee bag can be resealed, make sure to reseal it every time. Place the coffee in a plastic/glass/tin container with a lid that prevents air from coming into contact with the coffee.
- Keep your coffee in a dark place. Light can increase staling of coffee so, in this instance, sunlight is NOT your friend. If you are keeping your coffee in a clear container (such as glass or clear plastic) make sure to keep it away from direct sunlight or sunlit areas.
- For heaven's sake, do not keep the coffee in the refrigerator. This is a common practice, but it does not increase the lifespan of your coffee PLUS you get cross-contamination of different aromas mixing with your coffee. How does a nice feta cheese, double espresso sound?
- Keep it dry. Make sure you keep the coffee away from hot, humid areas as this also speeds up the staling process.
Storing coffee for longer periods:
If after all of this, you need to store your coffee for a longer period, because... you were maybe afraid Covid-19 will rid the earth from all coffee plantations and you stocked up for the next 20 years? Who are we to judge? Don't feel ashamed, we have some nifty tips for you to keep your stock fresh:
- Pack the coffee in an air-tight container.
- Place the coffee in a freezer.
- When you want to use the coffee, make sure to naturally defrost the beans thoroughly first (no this is not where you start experimenting with different ways to make iced-coffee).
- Make sure to only defrost the amount you need and keep the rest frozen.
Great! Now that you know how to buy fresh coffee and doing everything to keep it fresh for as long as you can. Let's get brewing!