Love the coffee taste in the morning but crave that daily fresh taste like you get when you visit Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? One common belief is that storing your ground or whole bean coffee in the freezer will help the coffee to maintain that ultra fresh coffee taste and scent you experience when you first open that bag of new coffee. If you do this with your coffee you may not see the results you expect. Some people will store extra coffee in the freezer so that the current coffee they drink will taste the same as the extra frozen coffee. If storing your coffee in the freezer is something you have been doing for years, you may be surprised to learn a few things as to why this is not a good idea.
One of the main problems with storing ground or whole bean coffee in the freezer is the avoidable risk of freezer burn. Coffee can get freezer burn because of the moisture and the air in the freezer. Note: Opening the freezer often will speed up the freezer burn process. You do not want your coffee to have freezer burn. The daily freeze and thaw cycle will introduce air and moisture to the ground or whole bean coffee which leads to a loss of fresh flavor and coffee aroma.
Also, freezer burned coffee will often have an altered taste, leaving your prized possession with a stale or dead flavor. Make the freezer burn and loss of quality worse by not using an air tight container. Storing the coffee in the bag will make it easier for the coffee to absorb odors and flavors from other frozen foods in your freezer. Frozen spaghetti sauce and fresh coffee scents do not pair well.
Another big issue with storing ground or whole bean coffee in the freezer is the risks of condensation. When your coffee is taken from the freezer to thaw and use, the process can, and usually will create condensation on the surface of the coffee beans or stored grounds. This condensation, even if not clearly visible, can again lead to a loss of coffee flavor and smell. If the freezer burn doesn’t get your fresh coffee, the condensation will help to destroy your gourmet coffee beans. Even worse for ground coffee, which doesn’t taste very fresh after a few weeks outside of the freezer.
A flavor profile of coffee is something a seasoned coffee drinker looks for in a fine cup of coffee. Storing your coffee in the freezer can and will alter the original flavor profile of the beans. The two things mentioned above, the freezer burn and the condensation will ruin a good coffee. The scents or aromas of other foods stored in the freezer will mingle with the delicate flavor profiles of coffee. Even if the coffee is sealed in a vacuum sealed bag the coffee will suffer.
The storing and thawing process will introduce too many flavor and scent conflicts into the gourmet coffee beans.
So, if you are convinced that storing coffee in the freezer is a bad idea, what should you do instead? The best storage method for coffee is in an sealed container at room temperature, in a closed cabinet, away from harmful sunlight and room temperature moisture.
Storing coffee this way will help your coffee beans and grounds stay fresher for a longer period of time.
To keep your coffee fresh, do not buy in bulk unless you plan on drinking the coffee in bulk. As you know, once the coffee beans or grounds have been opened, the scent and perfect coffee aroma tends to wane over a week or so. Vacuum re-sealed coffee can last longer, but the coffee will still not have the same fresh taste as when you first open a bag of coffee.
Also, grinding the coffee beans just before you are ready to brew the coffee will help maintain the original flavor profile of the beans. From the grinder to the auto-drip is the way to go. Or grinder to French Press for an even better original taste and scent.
If you are not convinced that storing coffee in the freezer is a bad idea you can do a simple taste test at home. Take a freshly opened bag of coffee and store enough to make 2 or 3 cups of coffee in the freezer, and store the rest of the coffee in an air tight container, which make for a great coffee lover’s gift, away from sunlight. After 2 weeks, brew some of the freezer coffee and brew some of the room temperature stored coffee and compare the tastes. You’ll quickly realize that the freezer coffee tastes quite bland compared to the better storing method.
About Mr. WeGotCoffee
We Got Coffee is where I share all of my coffee obsessions, meal prep guides and recipes for things that pair well with coffee. I also throw in lots of humor and caffeinated wisdom. Read More...