All sorts of arguments are made about how to store and grind coffee. Some people prefer to buy coffee beans rather than ground coffee because they believe it keeps longer. Others believe that it is best to store coffee in the refrigerator or freezer rather than at room temperature, or vice versa. How does one decide?
Although it is easy to understand that time is an important factor that affects a coffee's freshness, it must be noted that, combined with time, the worst enemies of coffee are air and humidity and the exposure of coffee to extreme temperatures (hot or cold).
We recommend using these types of food containers and we strongly suggest having many of them instead of a single large one. For example, if you have 1 pound (454g) of coffee, it is better to use 2 half-litre containers (225g to 250g) instead of one large container. This protects a portion of the coffee against air and humidity while the first portion is being consumed, and so on, if you have a large quantity of coffee and multiple containers. The maximum size of a container should be able to hold approximately one-half of a pound (225g to 250g).
We recommend storing coffee at room temperature for the following reasons.
The first reason falls into a certain line of logic. Firstly, let us note that we are an independent and traditional coffee roasting house. All of our coffees are roasted according to the orders received on our website and depending on demand in one of our two boutiques. As a result, all of our coffees come to you freshly roasted.
In addition, we take steps to ensure that all of our coffees are stored in the best possible conditions to preserve its freshness, which serves to make your cup of coffee the best ever—the coffee you love to drink. Our coffees are never refrigerated or frozen. As you will soon see, this can adversely affect and ruin your coffee. As a result, we always provide you with freshly roasted coffees that you can store at room temperature just like we do.
After all, coffee isn't sold refrigerated or frozen anywhere or by anyone, so why put fresh coffee that you just bought in the refrigerator or freezer? What happens between the time you buy it and arrive home that you must put in it a cold place? Sorry, but we pay no heed! You should ask people who advise you to store coffee in cold temperatures why they prefer this method of conservation.
In fact, exposing coffee to extreme temperatures (cold/hot or vice versa) has to do with concerns about humidity, in the face of which it best to preserve coffee by storing it in an airtight container.
The simple act of putting your coffee in the refrigerator or freezer creates condensation in the coffee container due to moisture contained in the air and in the container, regardless of the amount there may be in the container or the coffee. This condensation is caused by a difference between room temperature and that of the refrigerator, and even more so by the extreme temperature of the freezer. Condensation will affect the coffee every time you use the container and thereby reduce, even cancel out, the effect that you get by using an airtight container.
Time and Quantity
By storing coffee in the conditions that we have just described, it can generally be said that freshly roasted coffee retains its quality for 3 to 4 weeks. Let us highlight that after this time, coffee does not instantly lose its aroma. It will gradually lose its quality and, with time, it will become less flavourful and less aromatic. It will also have less body. In this sense, it is not critical if you exceed this storage time, but stretching or doubling the amount of time is to be avoided.
Coffee beans or ground coffee
In fact, coffee beans that are poorly stored—meaning, exposed to air, humidity and extreme temperatures—will not retain their quality and freshness much longer than ground coffee under the same conditions. What's more, even if it is stored properly at room temperature in an airtight container, five to six week-old coffee beans will not be as fresh as ground coffee stored in the same way and which respects the recommended storage time of 3 to 4 weeks. This is common sense.
We can summarize it like this: the freshness of a coffee depends much more on the quantity purchased, the time it takes to consume it and storage conditions than whether or not it is bought as coffee beans or ground coffee. So why buy coffee beans? We can give you the following reasons.
On the one hand, grinding your own coffee beans is undoubtedly part of the ritual of preparing a cup of coffee. Add to this the aroma that is released when coffee is being ground and it becomes clear why it is such a pleasurable experience.
The fineness of the grind also varies depending on the type of coffee maker that is used, which calls for different grinds for different devices if you use more than one type of coffee maker at home. For example, a plunger coffee maker (Bodum) or a percolator will require a coarser grind than a filter coffee maker. In this case, a grinder that allows you to adjust the coarseness of the grind is necessary.
When you have this type of a coffee mill, grinding your own coffee allows you to be consistent with the grind. In fact, the grind that you find in a store varies from one location to another, especially if you don't always buy your coffee from the same place.
Lastly, there are also coffee machines with built-in grinders and machines that are sensitive to the fineness of the grind. These are all excellent reasons to buy coffee beans instead of ground coffee.