A Conversation About Storage And Freshness with Scott James

If you love brewing your own coffee every morning, then you will need to have some coffee beans at home. We always look at brew methods, but never at storage.

Storing freshly roasted coffee beans is not difficult, and dependent on container, can last longer than you would expect…


We are going to talk about the four general enemies of your beans: air, heat, light, and moisture. It is essential to minimise the amount of contact our coffee has with these four elements before brewing to preserve its freshness.


If you are unsure of where to begin, we have some questions answered to get you going from the founder of Coaltown Coffee, Scott.

Read our blog to learn more about how to keep your coffee so fresh and so clean.

Do you have a coffee in the morning before you leave for work?


Every morning without fail. Neither me or my partner Lauren can start the day without a Flat White. It’s become a ritual.


Life Expectancy - What dates should we look out for when purchasing coffee from retail shelves?


Technically, coffee has no use by date, it does not go off per se…, but it stales remarkably quickly. It’s best to look for the freshest coffee on the shelf when purchasing. Any roaster worth their salt will provide a roast date on the bag. In our Espresso Bar, our whole bean bags of coffees are on the shelves no more than 2 weeks after the coffee has been roasted.


How long can we enjoy our beans from the date of roasting? When do they taste the best?


It's best to leave the coffee to de-gas (leave the CO2 release) for about 10 days after roast date if brewing for espresso. Otherwise the coffee can taste a little acidic and not fully developed, however if brewing for filter, 3 days post roast date is plenty.


Why is it so important to keep moisture away?


Moisture kills flavour in coffee, so most definitely keep away from the fridge!


How much coffee should we buy at once? Is it worth doing a quick calculation of how much we drink?


Buy as much as you need and no more! I've been stuck with a cupboard full of delicious coffees before now, and cannot get through it quick enough. There is no worse feeling than hearing that clock tick.


Can I freeze my coffee?


Freezing coffee in an air tight bag will actually extend the life of coffee indefinitely. If you roast your coffee then freeze immediately afterwards, it will taste exactly as it should the day after roasting,. MADNESS….


Grind before we brew? What if it’s ground already?


Freshly ground coffee is unparalleled. The minute you grind your coffee it starts to oxidise and accelerate the ageing process.Treat it the same way as bread, as soon as you slice, it will go stale. If you’re camping or traveling and must pre-grind, try to drink the pre-ground coffee within a couple of days.


Why do whole beans last longer than ground coffee?


It’s all down to surface area, the smaller the grind, the more surface area there is to de-gas from.


What is the best storage solution? How do you keep your coffee at home?


Whole bean or ground coffee should be kept in a sealed, dark glass or ceramic jar to protect its quality, just like olive oil which can degrade when exposed to sunlight. Heat and moisture should also be avoided. Otherwise, keep it sealed up in its protective bag.

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