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Coffee Storage - How to do it Properly


#133 - 13 - 0 - Coffee Storage - How to do it Properly
[ 2008-03-07 00:00:00 ] - lizc

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Considering the cost of coffee granules these days, you can't bring them home from the supermaket and just transfer them from the packet to a jar and leave them on the kitchen worktop. With gourmet coffee granules attracting the sort of money that they do, it is all important that you learn to store them the correct way, but what is the right way to store coffee?

Some people say that you can put coffee granules in the 'fridge or freezer to extend life. Others suggest that you put the coffee granules in packets or jars and seal them as tightly as possible. Others have differing storage advice for whole beans and ground coffee granules. What is the best storage method then and does it differ for different types of coffee?

Green Coffee Beans

In general, green coffee beans last the longest because they are young and they are very simple to store. All you need to do is to put them in a jar, making sure that it is tightly sealed and keep them in a cool, dark, moisture free cupboard. Stored properly, these beans can keep for more than a year.

However, very few people use green coffee beans because they are difficult and time consuming to prepare for drinking. They need to be roasted and ground before you can even think about having a drink and for those in a hurry, this just isn't suitable.

Roasted Whole Coffee Beans

The shelf life of a roasted whole bean is much longer than that of ready ground coffee. Roasted whole beans can keep for up to a month, if stored properly in an airtight container in a cool dry place, preferably in the dark. Containers made of glass or ceramic are preferable to plastic as plastic can contaminate the flavour of the coffee beans.

If you don't use your whole beans very often and will therefore need to store them for up to three months, it's best to keep them in your freezer, grinding from frozen just what you need for a couple of days at a time. In this way, they will keep for up to three months. Alternatively, for a slightly shorter storage period, you can keep them in the 'fridge.

Every two to three days, open the canister to release the gas that is produced by the roasted beans. One alternative to eliminate the problem of gas is to use valve bags, which allow the carbon dioxide to escape. One disadvantage though is that these bags can be very expensive and quite rare.

Ready Ground Coffee

If you don't possess a coffee grinder or just can't be bothered to grind your own coffee, then of course there are many varieties of ready ground coffee on the market, for all types of coffee makers. Ready ground coffee doesn't keep for quite as long as whole beans, so follow the same rules of storage but drink it up more quickly.
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