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Coffee Storage Tips

Coffee freshness is the pinnacle of what we at Holy Cow Coffee are trying to achieve with our roasts.  Roasted coffee is full of delicate flavors and and water soluble oils that start to break down almost immediately.  We want to treat coffee like produce, in that it has a short shelf life to be considered fresh, instead of like a commodity that can sit on a shelf for weeks or even months!  So we thought we would offer up some storage tips to help prolong that freshness.

  1. Keep your coffee in whole bean form.  Mother nature has already invented the best storage medium for fresh coffee and it is the whole bean.  Whole bean coffee has less surface area than ground coffee, therefore protects the fragile coffee flavors against degradation.  So grind only what you intend to use right away for peak freshness.
  2. Keep your coffee in an opaque, airtight storage container at room temperature.  The main enemies of fresh coffee are air, light, moisture, and temperature spikes.  Containers like those used to store spices like sugar and flour are perfect.  These help to minimize most of the elements that break down coffee.  I prefer one that is opaque to allow in as little light as possible and made of either ceramic or glassThe metal or plastic containers seem to taint the coffee's flavor in my experience.
  3. Coffee can be frozen, but never re-freeze it.  If you have found that you have more fresh coffee on hand than you can use within a few weeks, it can be frozen, that is if you seal them up and freeze them ONCE.  Do not open or remove the bag from the freezer until you are ready to thaw the whole batch.  Even then, the quality will be slightly less than optimal, but opening and unsealing frozen beans every time you need them not only exposes all of the beans to unwanted temperature changes, but also damaging moisture from condensation and miscellaneous odors and flavors in the air that the coffee will absorb.
  4. Never, I repeat, NEVER store your coffee in the refrigerator.  The refrigerator is even worse than the freezer because it is not cold enough to significantly slow the deterioration of coffee, but still has all the negative temperature fluctuations, odors, and condensation.  Avoid the "Fridge" at ALL COSTS!

Following these tips will keep you drinking delicious coffee, and when you do we hope you say "Holy Cow!  That's good coffee!".