Proper coffee bean storage can keep coffee for 2 years?
And for those folks that are roasting your own beans, if it is possible, roast what is required, because no matter what coffee bean storage that I am going to recommend, it would definitely incur some cost.
The best way to ensure that your roasted beans stay fresh for at least 2 years is to draw away the oxygen, fill it with nitrogen and keep it pressurized. This is the method employed by some coffee company, like Illy, to maintain the shelf life of their roasted beans for 2 years.
Well, you are right, this method is not cheap. There are some roasters that offer this service but I doubt you would take on this option unless you really do not want to roast for 2 years and really need to keep the stock for 2 years.
But, are there any cheaper options? Sure, you can freeze your coffee beans, this is one of the oldest coffee bean storage method, it works but it too comes with some drawbacks.
Freezing the beans can halt the chemical process that is leading to the loss of flavor from the coffee beans, but thawing the beans properly to get back the original bean state is not easy.
By the way, you can only freeze your beans once, after thawing, you would have to use it or discard it away. The chemical structure of the beans have change totally so freezing it again would not help in preserving any flavor .
While your beans are thawing, condensation take place and waters would form on the beans, too much water, and a chemical reaction would start to take place, eroding the flavor away from your coffee beans.
The average time for the thawing is crucial, too little time, and it would be too hard to grind, spoiling your grinder in the grinder. If the time is too long, the beans would be soaked in the condensation water, leading to a loss of flavor.
So, from here you can see that storing coffee beans for the long term is not an easy thing, but for most of us, we would probably be looking at storing it for approximately 2 weeks to a month.
After you got a good air tight container, it is good to cover the whole container with dark or black water. This would minimize the oxidation and exposure to sunlight. For your information, sun, air and heat are enemies to preservation of coffee flavor, so if possible, avoid them.
Once you have your beans inside the air tight container and you have cover it with a black material, store it in some cool place away from any heat source. While this type of coffee bean storage can keep your beans fresh only for the next few weeks, I believe it is enough for most of us, I doubt the majority of us really need to keep beans for 2 years...
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