02 May 2011

Should you freeze your coffee?

There's been so much discussion on this subject over time, and I won't pretend to have the final answer here, but Scott Rao has an interesting take on the matter:
Freezing is a fantastic long-term storage method because it dramatically slows oxidation and loss of volatiles. Contrary to popular belief, the moisture in roasted coffee beans is not freezable because it is chemically bound to the cellulose matrix.

To freeze beans properly, store them in a sealed plastic bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before freezing. Remove beans from the freezer only when they are to be brewed, and never defrost and re-freeze beans. (Even better, pre-portion the beans into one-pot or one-cup doses in small bags before freezing. (Everything but Espresso, 55)

Here he addresses the concern that many have about moisture (which I would be interested in investigating). In any case, I think it's always best to use beans that are 4-14 days "old," and keep them stored in a cool, dark, airtight container--but in a pinch it looks like freezing may not be a terrible option.

What are your thoughts on freezing beans? Have you had any good/bad experiences?