Barista & Co Top Tips

4 Tips to Help You Store Ground Coffee to Stop It Going Off

Brewing the perfect cup starts with storing ground coffee the right way. Dive into these four tips to ensure your daily ritual is always accompanied by the rich and vibrant flavours your coffee deserves.

4 Tips to Help You Store Ground Coffee to Stop It Going Off

In the realm of coffee connoisseurship, where every sip is a symphony of nuanced flavours, the enemy lurks not in the beans themselves but in the subtle dance between time and the elements.

Coffee, a sensory delight revered for its complexity, can, unfortunately, succumb to the insidious forces that compromise its essence—transforming a rich, aromatic brew into a mere shadow of its former self.

Does coffee go off?

Coffee can go off, or stale, due to a combination of factors that affect its flavour, aroma, and overall quality. The main contributors to the deterioration of coffee include:

  • Exposure to Air: Oxygen is one of the main culprits in the staling process. When coffee beans or ground coffee are exposed to air, oxidation occurs. This process can lead to the breakdown of certain compounds in coffee, resulting in a loss of freshness and flavour.
  • Moisture: Coffee is hygroscopic, meaning it readily absorbs moisture from its surroundings. Exposure to humidity can lead to the absorption of unwanted flavours and aromas, as well as the development of mould. It's crucial to store coffee in a dry environment to maintain its quality.
  • Light: Exposure to light, especially sunlight, can cause the breakdown of certain compounds in coffee, leading to flavour degradation. It's best to store coffee in opaque, airtight containers to protect it from light.
  • Temperature Fluctuations: Extreme temperature changes, such as going from a warm environment to a cold one, can cause condensation inside coffee packaging. This moisture can accelerate the staling process and compromise the flavour of the coffee.
  • Time: Over time, even under optimal storage conditions, coffee will naturally lose its freshness. The volatile compounds that contribute to the coffee's aroma and flavour will gradually dissipate.

  • How to keep coffee fresh

    To keep coffee fresh for as long as possible, it's recommended to follow these storage tips:

    1. Store in an Airtight Container

    Store coffee in an airtight container to minimise exposure to air. Keep coffee in a cool, dark place to prevent heat and light from affecting its quality.

    Top tip: If you're storing your coffee in the bag it came in, squeeze the air out every time you seal it

    2. Store Coffee Away from Smelly Food

    Store coffee away from strong odours to prevent absorption of unwanted smells.

    If we've learnt anything from the AirUp trend of 2023, it's that your sense of smell has a massive impact on the perceived taste of your food or drink

    3. Don't put Your Coffee in the Fridge

    Avoid storing coffee in the refrigerator, as it can be exposed to moisture and other odours.

    But what about freezing coffee? Scroll down to find out whether coffee can go in the freezer

    4. Grind Your Coffee by Cup

    If possible, grind coffee fresh at home. Whole bean coffee lasts longer and tastes better than preground.

    The Core All Grind Plus allows you to grind coffee by time, by cup and directly into your portafilter. Store a small amount of coffee beans in the UV-protected, airtight hopper and only grind what you need, when you need it.

    5. Don't Buy More Coffee than You Need

    When buying coffee, it's best to purchase it in small quantities and consume it within a reasonable timeframe to ensure you enjoy it at its peak freshness.

    Whole bean coffee will stay fresh for longer. This is because coffee beans have a protective shell that lock in the freshness!

    Once you've ground your coffee, use it as quickly as you can. Ground coffee is more susceptible to oxidisation and will go stale after 10 - 14 days.

      Can you freeze coffee?

      Yes, you can freeze coffee, but there are some considerations to keep in mind to maintain its quality:

    1. Use Airtight Containers: When freezing coffee, use airtight containers to prevent the absorption of moisture and odours from the freezer.

    2. Divide into Portions: If you have a large amount of coffee, consider dividing it into smaller portions before freezing. This way, you can thaw only what you need without repeatedly exposing the entire batch to air.

    3. Avoid Freezer Odours: Coffee can absorb odours from the freezer, affecting its flavour. Ensure that the containers you use are odour-free, and consider placing the coffee in the back of the freezer away from strong-smelling items.

    4. Avoid Temperature Fluctuations: Fluctuations in temperature can cause condensation, which can degrade the quality of the coffee. Try to maintain a consistent freezing temperature.

    5. Use a Freezer Bag: Another option is to use a vacuum-sealed freezer bag to remove as much air as possible before freezing. This can help preserve the coffee's freshness.

    6. Whole Beans vs. Ground Coffee: Whole coffee beans generally retain their flavour better than pre-ground coffee. If possible, freeze whole beans and grind them as needed to preserve the freshness of the coffee.

    7. Thawing: When you're ready to use the coffee, allow it to thaw in the sealed container to prevent condensation. Avoid refreezing coffee once it has thawed.

    8. While freezing coffee can help preserve its freshness for an extended period, keep in mind that the flavour profile may still change over time. It's generally recommended to consume frozen coffee within a few weeks to a few months for the best quality. Additionally, freezing is more suitable for storing coffee for future use in recipes or as an ingredient rather than for brewing as a standalone beverage.

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