When I look at how my family and friends enjoy their coffee, it’s amazing the variety of storage methods there are. I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there, but heck, maybe it’s just my own personal opinions that are wrong? Well, take it or leave it, here’s my two cents. Coffee should be stored in an airtight container, somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight. Those bags with the one-way air valves that some coffee comes in is fine (they help let the carbon dioxide, a byproduct of roasting, escape). There is nothing to be gained by storing the coffee in your refrigerator (the cold moist air in refrigerators are bad for coffee freshness and taste; also, coffee will absorb the flavors and aromas floating around in the refrigerator air). NEVER, store it in the freezer (water molecules will freeze in and around the coffee beans, deteriorating the taste and quality when it melts). My dad is in the habit of doing this; one time he pulled out some Kona coffee that had been in the freezer for months. It had lost everything, it was now just mediocre coffee. The goal of storing coffee should never be to make it last as long as possible! If you care about the flavor of the coffee, just buy it fresh and use it up fast. This means avoiding the five pound bags of coffee at Costco – why bother with those? Yeah, they’re sealed up in a plastic bag when you buy it, but as soon as you open the bag, oxygen gets to work ruining your tasty beans. No, pay a little extra instead and buy only what you’re going to use in the next week or two. Even better, roast it yourself! I roast coffee twice a week, so I’m always enjoying the freshest, best tasting coffee possible. I’ll write more about coffee roasting at a later date, but for now, I encourage you all to buy coffee fresh, buy it often, and enjoy every last drop!

Oh, and one more thing – for the best flavor, never buy pre-ground coffee! It exposes more of the coffee to oxygen, one of the principle flavor-killers. The four things that will ruin your coffee, and thus must be minimized, are:

  • Water
  • Light
  • Oxygen
  • Heat