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Fact or Fiction: Freezing Your Coffee Beans will Make them Last Longer?

Fact or Fiction: Freezing Your Coffee Beans will Make them Last Longer?

PHOTO: Alison Daley for  Wandeleur

PHOTO: Alison Daley for Wandeleur

To freeze or not to freeze, that is the question. 

You’ve definitely heard the tale: “freeze your coffee beans, they’ll last longer.” Mom said it, grandma said it, we all followed to boot. But is this actually the best way to store your beans? 

The short answer: nope, not really. According to  Professor Chahan Yeretzian, a PhD in the field of chemistry who has dedicated much of his professional career to studying the emerging science of coffee freshness, while storing coffee in a cool place will slow the aging process, as soon as you open the coffee – exposing it to warmer air – your beans result in considerable condensation, which damages the aroma, structure, and thus, the taste. Long story short, the damage that happens when you open the coffee bag negates the benefits of cold storing. 

So what’s the right way to store? You’ll want to decrease air movement, limit temperature fluctuations, and avoid exposure to light. 

Not All Bags Are Created Equal

Who else is a sucker for packaging? Turns out, there’s science behind the design. Some bags that are made of coated Kraft paper or that don’t have a firm seal will go stale more quickly. Others use a one-way valve that allows the fresh coffee to off-gas its initial CO2 without bursting the bag and can be resealed. Keep it snug in one of the good resealable bags is a solid way of staying fresh. 

Store in Style

Turns out a mason jar is more than just a beer glass…Store your beans in a jar (a wide-mouth is great for easy scooping) to keep your coffee fresher, longer. Remember that too much sunlight isn’t ideal, so store in a cabinet or space that isn’t exposed to too much sunlight. 

Get Crafty

There are a number of bean storage devices out there (this is a great option recommended by Blue Bottle). Find one that’s simple and blends well with your existing decor. Only the best in the name of coffee…

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