Fresh brewed coffee is always a welcome treat, anytime of the day. There are several factors that contribute to freshness of coffee. Unfortunately, there are also natural factors that make coffee bad, stale or just disgusting to drink.
There are several ways to keep coffee fresh.
- Roast your own beans. You can buy green coffee beans from coffee producers and roasters. You can connect online or in groups or forums. Buy green beans from them. Roast beans at home using a roasting machine or your stovetop popcorn maker. Roast beans good for a week’s use. This will ensure that your roast are fresh and new.
- Grind beans on demand. Just get some roasted beans and grind them on a daily basis or when you need them. If you want more convenience, grind beans good for a day’s use. This way, the roasted beans are less exposed to moisture, heat, air and light – the four main enemies of ground coffee.
- Buy less roasted beans. If you think that roasting beans is not your thin, buy less roasted beans instead of buying in pounds. Buy roasted beans that are good for a week’s coffee consumption. If you have more members in the family, buy roasted beans twice a week. If you buy it from the coffee shop, you can ask the barista to grind it for you. Then you can take it home and enjoy fresh coffee every time.
- Consume brewed coffee within 60 minutes. This is the ideal time frame to consume coffee. After that, the coffee starts to become stale. But, you can still enjoy fresh coffee if you put it in an insulated travel mug. It will keep your coffee hot for up to 6 or 8 hours, depending on the type of mug you have.
These are some handy information on how to keep coffee fresh. But it comes with some disadvantages.
- You need a roasting machine. If you want to roast beans at home, you might need to invest in a roasting machine for better yield. It means you have to shell out some money.
- You need a burr grinder. Another item to buy to complete your home brewing arsenal. There are affordable grinders as low as $40. It can be an option for you.
- You need to go to the supermarket or coffee shop to buy beans. It may be an additional task in your already busy day. Plus, supermarket coffee beans are not always fresh as it seems. If you want to do this, better go to a coffee shop and buy beans from your trusted barista.
Still, you really need to think of a way to keep your coffee fresh. Coffee has natural enemies, remember? Let us take a review of these natural element that reduce your coffee’s pleasant taste and aroma.
The Natural Enemies of Coffee
Coffee’s natural enemies include: moisture, temperature, light and pests.
- Moisture – Too much moisture can cause mold and mildew build up. This will destroy all your ground coffee. While you can let it air dry, the molds could affect the taste of your coffee beans and the stale-like smell can retain even after you roast it. You can place your ground coffee in a vacuum-seal pack, zip lock or airtight containers to avoid exposure to sudden temperature change and humidity.
- Temperature – Ideally, ground coffee can be kept at room temperature, which generally falls between 20 and 25ºC (68 to 77ºF).
- Light levels – Once your ground coffee are air-dried, it’s time to pack them and store away from direct sunlight. Too much light can cause premature aging and it can lose aroma and flavor faster than expected.
- Pests – Because we are dealing with an organic matter here, ground coffee can attract bugs, mites and other pests. But if you ensure airtight packaging, these pests will die in 48 hours because there is no air inside the container.
Notice that all four elements can be prevented by using one thing: an airtight canister.
Airtight Canister Buying Tips
Here are some tips to remember when buying airtight containers:
The presence of air inside a pack of ground coffee will cause moisture. In turn, this will speed up the decay of the organic compounds present in coffee. If this happens, mold and mildew will grow in the coffee. Well, the molds will take time to grow. However, it will start altering the taste of coffee. Decaying matter inside emits carbon dioxide. This adds to the stale coffee taste and smell that we never want to happen. Ensure that your container is really airtight, vacuum-sealed.
Keep in mind your available storage space at home and your buying needs. Once you have an airtight container, you can buy ground coffee good for at least 20 days. Think about how many people will be drinking coffee on a daily basis. If there will be only 2 or 3 people, you can opt to buy a medium-sized container that can fit up to 1lb of ground coffee. If regular coffee drinkers at home are about 4 or more, consider buying a larger one if you have more space in your pantry. Or still buy a medium one but be ready to make a trip to the supermarket when the grounds run out.
You can opt to use glass containers but maker sure it’s opaque or dark. Do not expose coffee to direct sunlight because it will affect the taste and aroma of coffee. UV light tends to alter the natural taste and flavor present in coffee.
Five Best Airtight Coffee Containers
Here are the five best airtight coffee containers you can choose from:
It’s Lovffee Coffee Storage Canister
The Lovffee Coffee storage container is a nice red jar that features a patented venting system. This system enables carbon dioxide to be released from the jar and prevent oxygen from entering. It is also made from stainless steel to avoid direct sunlight. All parts are dishwasher safe.
Coffeevac 1lb – The Ultimate Vacuum Sealed Coffee Container
The Coffeevac Coffee container is simple, straightforward and super functional. It has pressure release valve that automatically detects carbon dioxide and releases it out of the jar. It is large enough to hold one pound of coffee but very easy to store in the pantry. It has a slender body that can easily fit in your storage area.
Friis Coffee Vault
The Friis Coffee Vault can also hold up to one pound of coffee. It also features a freshness valbe that keeps carbon dioxide out of the jar. The body exterior is made from stainless steel and the lid is from BPA-free plastic. The ergonomic design is perfect for kitchen storage.
Coffee Gator Coffee Canister
The Coffee Gator Coffee Canister has a built-in date wheel so you can keep track until when your coffee is fresh. It also reminds you when to buy a fresh batch of coffee grounds. The canister has an efficient gasket and secure latching system to ensure freshness of the coffee. The stainless steel body blocks out the UV light that can easily affect the coffee taste and flavor.
Coffee Vault Stainless Steel Coffee
The Coffee Vault is true to its name of keeping coffee fresh, like money inside a vault machine. It uses high-grade stainless steel that is built to last. You can have this container for a lifetime. It also features an opaque, stainless steel body to prevent sunlight exposure of coffee. It comes with a stainless steel scoop for convenience. It can hold up to one pound of coffee beans or 210 oz of ground coffee.