How to store coffee

We all know it – Australian summers can be unbearably hot. So where should you keep your coffee to protect it from the heat?

We all know it – Australian summers can be unbearably hot. This week the forecast is predicting a high of 34 degrees and a low of 24. Twenty four!

So where should you keep your coffee to protect it from the heat? It’s one of the questions we are asked most frequently and the answer should be simple, but it’s a point of contention.

When discussing this we need to establish a few points:

  • The four things that cause coffee to break down are heat, light, air and water
  • As coffee breaks down it releases aromatic gases, carbon dioxide and oil
  • Flavour in your coffee is created by those aromatics and in espresso is carried in oil.

Given all this, in order to brew a coffee that is full of flavour we need to slow down the process as much as possible.

Preserving all those aromatics right up until the point we bring it out into the light, grind it (breaking the bean open and exposing the smaller pieces to air) and then brew by applying hot water to it. This is true whether you’re preparing a plunger or extracting espresso.

So you should store your coffee in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

I live in Brisbane and humidity can peak at 65%. If you know of any cool, dry places away from sunlight going around, let me know and I’ll meet you there. I’ll even bring coffee.

The objection raised to keeping coffee in the fridge is that as soon as you bring it out into the air, the temperature changes, causing condensation to form – adding moisture to the beans, which is definitely not ideal. The only problem is that 65% humidity has a similar effect.

So that’s why we suggest that this summer you keep your freshly roasted coffee:

  1. in a sealed container – to keep all the moisture and air out
  2. with a one-way valve like the ones on our bags and tins – so the carbon dioxide created in the roasting process can escape but the aromatics stay locked in
  3. in the fridge – keeps it cool and mostly dark

Try to only take out what you need and reseal it as quickly as possible so the coffee isn’t changing temperature too often.

It’s the best solution we have to our beautiful, but not coffee-friendly, summers.

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