If you want to enjoy a delicious and aromatic cup of coffee, always use fresh and high-quality beans.
However, that’s not always the case.
There is nothing better than the smell of freshly ground coffee in your home. And while we all agree that freshly grinding the whole coffee beans for each cup is the optimal way to drink coffee – the reality is that we don’t all have the equipment at home to do that. So if you buy your coffee pre-ground, here are some tips that will keep your coffee smelling and tasting its very best.
Roasted whole bean coffee stales quickly. Follow these three simple coffee storage tips for keeping your pre-ground coffee fresh.
The three everyday enemies of pre-ground coffee are:
Oxygen, Temperature and Moisture.
Most pre-ground coffee is packaged in specially developed sealed bricks or one-way valve bags to keep the freshness locked in by keeping the oxygen out. But once you open the bag, oxygen is absorbed by the coffee, beginning the staling process.
1. Use an air tight container.
In order to maximize the freshness of your pre-ground beans you should immediately store the unused ground beans in an air-tight, preferably light-proof container. A plastic container or jar is acceptable, though you should be mindful that the container may not be good for other purposes afterward, as plastic retains residual traces of coffee aromas and oils.
2. Store your pre-ground coffee in a dark, dry place.
Dampness and bright lights deteriorate your pre-ground coffee. So store your air-tight container of ground coffee in a dry pantry or cupboard, one that preferably maintains a standard room temperature.
Do not store your coffee in the fridge or freezer.
This extreme of temperature does not, as some would have you believe, halt the staling process. In fact coffee stored in the fridge or freezer will continue to stale and may also absorb some of the smells of other foodstuffs placed nearby, such as meats and cheeses.
Heat is also a factor in the staling process.
Do not leave your ground coffee near heating ducts or ovens. If you live in a warmer climate choose a temperature regulated part of your house to store your coffee.
Likewise avoid cupboards above your stove or kettle where moisture in the form of steam accumulates. This dampness can create “lumps” in your pre-ground coffee which will ultimately hamper the brewing process.
3. Buy only as much as you need.
Pre-ground coffee is best consumed within seven days of opening the bag. So the final tip is simple. Purchase your coffee on a regular basis. Large bags of coffee may be appealing for their cost-saving value, but if you are buying more coffee than you will consume in one week you are no longer doing your taste buds any flavor-favors.