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?


DT said...

We always buy our coffee beans by 5 lb batches from "Larry's Beans" online (fair trade Nicaraguan origin is a fave). We then use ziplocs to parcel the beans out and fill our standing grinder out of the bags. We use a french press so we go through a coarse grind -- tastes fine to us.

Also we brew at a lower temp -- 195 degrees set on our hot water dispenser ... seems to make a difference, frozen beans or not.

RS said...

It always tastes a bit stale to me. I prefer to store my weekly coffee supply in the cupboard and only buy coffee once a week. We use also use a French press, but use boiling hot water. We generally buy Cuvee, although when somebody stocks CC or Black Cat, we'll buy that too.

Anonymous said...

so my question is chould you frezze the coffee that's already for consumtion? Too keep it longer

wine bag said...

Not a good idea, taste will be compromise.