So you have found your favorite roast, but what can you do to ensure a delicious cup of coffee every morning? In general, it is best to avoid air, moisture, heat, and light to preserve your blend at home. Here are some helpful tips to store whole and ground coffee beans for maximum freshness and flavor.
Choose a storage location that is cool, dry, and dark like a pantry or cabinet away from any heat sources. While you may have heard the refrigerator or freezer is a good place, the humidity can easily infiltrate packaging and yield a bland or stale brew. Coffee can be stored on countertops in an opaque, airtight container away from warm spots created by cooking equipment and sunlight.
Coffee starts to lose its freshness once the vacuum-sealed packaging is opened, so it is best to transfer it into an appropriate container as soon as possible. Clear glass or plastic containers should be kept in a dark place, but for the best results, use an opaque ceramic, glass, or metal container with an air-tight gasket seal. When buying larger quantities of coffee, keep a separate smaller container for convenient daily use to reduce air exposure in the larger bulk container.
Now we have come to the Great Debate: whole or ground beans? Ground beans are great for convenience as it saves precious time in the morning, but grinding increases the surface area of coffee beans which means it can go stale faster. That said, you can still brew a great cup from properly stored ground beans using the tips above. If you are ready for a little extra commitment, there are plenty of affordable quality at-home grinders on the market for you to grind whole beans in small batches for the freshest, most flavorful cup.