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    Should you store coffee in the freezer?

    For 40 years, I have stored coffebeans in my freezer. Recently, I have seen several web sites claim that one should *never* store coffee beans in the freezer. I think that they are wrong.

    According to http://coffeetea.about.com/library/w...002storage.htm, the best way to store coffee is in a cool location and in a tightly sealed container. This way, they should last over a year. But, this refers to green beans. Roasted whole beans will only last 1-2 weeks when stored at room temperature. If you store them at room temperature, it should be in a airtight container that does not allow light in, preferably in tightly sealable opaque ceramic containers (not glass). You should be aware that coffee beans do release gas (carbon dioxide) over time. If you can't use up all your roasted beans in 2 weeks, you *should* freeze the beans.

    Storing ground coffee is really useless. It will go stale in a few days no matter what you do. There is no point in putting coffee in the refrigerator because it will not protect the coffee. If you have it in an open container, if will fill your refrigerator with coffee smell and absorbed the other smells.

    There are some purists who says that nothing will prevent oxidation and deterioration of roasted coffee and there is no point in freezing them (Source). Several sites suggest that it is necessary to put the coffee in water tight containers in the freezer or elese water will condense on the porous beans (Source) and wetness does bad things to coffee beans (Source). Some people say all the methods are okay as long as the beans are kept dry and dark (Source). There are commercially available vacutainers for coffee beans (Source).

    The main point of the discussion is not how *you* store your beans. The point is how your storekeeper stores the beans. Based on the above,
    1. Unless you know that the beans were freshly roasted within a day or two ago, so not buy beans that are in open storage bean bins. Instead, buy beans that are in sealed airtight packages.
    2. Buy coffee weekly. A month is too long.
    3. Coffe in vacuum-sealed bags are already aged by several days because coffee continues to release carbon dioxide for several days after roasting.
    4. Finally, if you do store the beans in the freezer, make sure that you do so in a water-tight and airtight container.

    Wise.

    #2
    Maybe you could buy fresh roasted beans and store them in a hermetically sealed enclosure and purge with nitrogen daily.

    Or maybe keep them at absolute zero?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by redbandit
      Maybe you could buy fresh roasted beans and store them in a hermetically sealed enclosure and purge with nitrogen daily.

      Or maybe keep them at absolute zero?
      Yes, it is really getting sort of ridiculous, isn't it. I buy coffee from Peet's Coffee and Teas in San Francisco. You can order the coffee online. I usually buy their House Blend http://www.peets.com/shop/coffee_det...id=47&cid=1005

      I have asked them about storage and they say that it is okay to freeze their coffee, just in their bags. When I open a bag of roasted, I pour it into a hermetically sealed opaque container and keep it at room temperature. I grind the beans just before making the coffee. I have not noticed any difference in the coffee even after storage of a year or more in the freezer.

      On the other hand, I must say that I have not really developed the fine appreciation for coffee that seems to have developed in Asia, particularly Japan. In Hong Kong, one can go into the Japanese department stores and order US$10 cups of coffee. They don't use very dark roasts (because connoisseurs think that dark roast mask the subtle flavors of the coffee). I must say that I am not sure that I prefer the US$10 cup to a US$2 cup.

      Wise.

      Comment


        #4
        To go off topic slightly... I love and savor my first cup of coffee in the morning, a truly sublime moment, but I often have to interrupt the pleasure to care for my son. I find that I cannot reheat the coffee without ruining it. And if I don't pour the second cup before it cools in the brewer, again I can't reheat it without it getting oily on top and off flavor. Just have to wait till tomorrow.

        Back on topic... I store my sealed original bag in the cupboard and only pour out enough beans for a few days in the dark grinder. I think it is the air that ruins it so it has to be tight. Even the freezer won't help if any air gets in. I mix half-Joe's Vanilla Nut (very inexpensive at Costo) with half-Starbucks Breakfast Blend (best price at Target, over $2 more at Vons) for a really delicious and frugal everyday piece of heaven. I also have discovered fat free half and half...nice.
        Darthe
        "A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner"

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by darthe
          To go off topic slightly... I love and savor my first cup of coffee in the morning, a truly sublime moment, but I often have to interrupt the pleasure to care for my son. I find that I cannot reheat the coffee without ruining it. And if I don't pour the second cup before it cools in the brewer, again I can't reheat it without it getting oily on top and off flavor. Just have to wait till tomorrow.

          Back on topic... I store my sealed original bag in the cupboard and only pour out enough beans for a few days in the dark grinder. I think it is the air that ruins it so it has to be tight. Even the freezer won't help if any air gets in. I mix half-Joe's Vanilla Nut (very inexpensive at Costo) with half-Starbucks Breakfast Blend (best price at Target, over $2 more at Vons) for a really delicious and frugal everyday piece of heaven. I also have discovered fat free half and half...nice.
          Darthe
          Darthe, it seems to me that the solution to your problem is to pour your coffee into a vacuum insulated thermos so that it doesn't cool down.

          Yes, air (oxidation) is the problem. As a former chemistry major and also a part of a laboratory that use to argue for the presence of free radicals in injured spinal cords, I know that oxygen plays a major role in the breakdown of aromatic compounds. Several places sell vacuum containers for the beans. This should eliminate the air and prevent oxidation.

          Rutgers Alum, wow, I am impressed. I must say that I don't think that I can discipline myself to this extent just for my coffee.

          Wise.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by darthe
            To go off topic slightly... I love and savor my first cup of coffee in the morning, a truly sublime moment, but I often have to interrupt the pleasure to care for my son. I find that I cannot reheat the coffee without ruining it. And if I don't pour the second cup before it cools in the brewer, again I can't reheat it without it getting oily on top and off flavor. Just have to wait till tomorrow.


            Darthe
            Off topic: I purchased a ceramic sleeved glass vacuum carafe through an eBay auction recently because I thought the sleeve of the Japanese made item looked great. The pic showed a soft-cornered three-sided jar glazed a deep emerald green with complex biege leaf shapes of varying sizes, one to a side. Then, after much anticipation the carafe arrived broken.

            I was depressed and the pieces sat aroung the house for over a week before I elected to try a repair. The vacuum bottle was, of course, intact but a few tiny pieces of the ceramic sleeve had been lost in my labyrinth in the week I hung fire.

            It took six sessions with two types of epoxy for me to feel some confidence that the vessel would withstand the vicissitudes of use but the carafe stands repaired and keeps drink hot/cold for long periods. It don't look bad either, with all things considered.

            Darthe, what Wise said and you might consider the "old style" glass Thermos vacuum bottles which can be perchased very reasonably through eBay. I've used the steel and, recently, glass, and the glass is the hands down winner. It helps to preheat the vacuum container with hot/boiling water as well.
            Last edited by Juke_spin; 15 Apr 2007, 12:04 PM.
            "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
            J.B.S.Haldane

            Comment


              #7
              Juke, you are great. I think that you were probably born in the wrong time and place. You would have been very happy in in the mountains of Yunnan about 300 years ago. They had great tea, great craftsmanship, and great scenary then.

              Wise.


              Originally posted by Juke_spin
              Off topic: I purchased a ceramic sleeved glass vacuum carafe through an eBay auction recently because I thought the sleeve of the Japanese made item looked great. The pic showed a soft-cornered three-sided jar glazed a deep emerald green with complex biege leaf shapes of varying sizes, one to a side. Then, after much anticipation the carafe arrived broken.

              I was depressed and the pieces sat aroung the house for over a week before I elected to try a repair. The vacuum bottle was, of course, intact but a few tiny pieces of the ceramic sleeve had been lost in my labyrinth in the week I hung fire.

              It took six sessions with two types of epoxy for me to feel some confidence that the vessel would withstand the vicissitudes of use but the carafe stands repaired and keeps drink hot/cold for long periods. It don't look bad either, with all things considered.

              Darthe, what Wise said and you might consider the "old style" glass Thermos vacuum bottles which can be perchased very reasonably through eBay. I've used the steel and, recently, glass, and the glass is the hands down winner. It helps to preheat the vacuum container with hot/boiling water as well.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Wise Young
                Yes, it is really getting sort of ridiculous, isn't it.
                Sorry Wise, just had to take a jab at ya

                Ah, Peet's....My advisor at school did his post-doc at UC Berkeley so he knew about Peet's. He turned everyone on in the department to Peet's so they used to do a big order for everyone and they would ship it all the way to Raleigh, NC. People would flock to the office when the shipment came in. This was in '89/90 before everyone had internet storefronts.

                About roasting, I remember reading somewhere that the darker the roast, the less active caffeine content there is, but don't quote me. I think that roasting beans is the same as with roasting malt for beer, or aging wine in oak barrels vs a young wine in stainless steel. Everyone has their own personal tastes, what's good to them. Sometimes, the "experts" go a little overboard.

                I used to live directly behind a coffehouse called Cup-A-Joe when I was at school at NC State. They roasted their own beans every Sunday on site. It was like a cafe you would see in Berkeley or San Fran, really eclectic without the Starbucks coffee snobbery. That trendy overpriced crapp pisses me off.....
                Last edited by redbandit; 15 Apr 2007, 3:00 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks Juke, I remember those old glass thermos bottles. I had one that fit inside my Roy Rogers lunchbox in grade school, about a hundred years ago. I'm going to try to find that type again, thanks. I do have a caraf style Krups coffee maker that is stainless steel but it doesn't keep it hot at all.

                  Hey, most people on E-bay will refund for things that arrive broken. It is their responsibility to pack them correctly. But I can understand your wanting the Japanese design. I love hand made pottery cups that I used to buy once a year when the Potters Guild would set up at the entry to the Ojai Music Festival. I lived there for 22 years and loved the smell of the Ojai Roasting company which was on the same block as the music festival. That little town had at least 4 small independant coffee shop that each had unique atmosphere and great tasting coffees. Pottery often has such a lovely Japanese look and feel. I wish I could still get to the sale there but it is about 3 hours from here and I can't leave Chris that long. Fond memories.
                  "A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    i use a french press , they come in 4 cup 2 cup 8 cup. i find the 4 cup is the size of a good sized coffee mug.
                    this way you dont have the coffee go bad, if you want another cup just make another.
                    the 2 cup press is the size of a normal coffee cup
                    cauda equina

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