5 Tips How to Care For Your Coffee Beans

You’re paying top dollar for coffee beans. Why not learn how to make them last longer, without compromising the flavour? We talked to our Coffee Director Josh who has been in the industry for over 10 years. He first started as a barista, then became our Noosa cafe manager and now he’s ensuring our drink offer caters to drinkers with the highest expectations. Josh has prepared a list of best tips how care for your beans and we also busted some coffee myths along the way.

#1 Buy Less But More Frequently

Why?

Coffee begins to lose freshness almost immediately after roasting. The life span of roasted beans is approximately 4 – 5 weeks. If you drink coffee made with beans older than that,  you won’t get sick, but it will never taste as good as when fresh.

How to do it right?

Buy smaller batches of freshly roasted coffee, more frequently. Just enough for 1 – 2 week supply. That’s why we designed our coffee subscriptions as fortnightly shipments.

#2 Grind Just Before Brewing

Why?

Your beans’ greatest enemies are air, moisture, heat and light. This is especially important when it comes to grinding coffee.When beans are ground, they lose carbon dioxide (which aids in preserving the freshness of coffee) and the coffee becomes exposed to high levels of oxygen, starting the oxidation process. We recommend to grind your beans within 10 minutes of brewing. If you choose to get your beans ground when you purchase them, the flavour can deteriorate quickly.

How to do it right?

Make a habit of purchasing whole beans and grinding the amount you need immediately before brewing. It’s easy to grind them at home, we are loving the Porlex Hand Grinder as they are easy to use & perfect for smaller amounts. We know that not everyone has a grinder at home, so if you still prefer having your beans ground, we offer this service also on coffee purchased online – just leave a note for us with your next order.

#3 Store Them Wisely

Why?

Although coffee beans are beautiful to look at, avoid clear canisters as light will compromise the flavour. The temperature is also important. A cabinet near the oven is often too warm, and so is a spot on the kitchen counter that gets strong afternoon sun.

How to do it right?

Store them in an opaque, air-tight container at a cool, dry and dark location (room temperature is best). Ideally use a container with a one-way valve so that carbon dioxide released from the beans can escape. Your cupboard or pantry is perfect for this.

#4 Let Them Sit for 10-14 Days

Why?

During the first days after roasting, the beans are rapidly degassing (releasing a lot of CO2 gases). Once coffee beans have been roasted they become hygroscopic, as their moisture content is down around 3%. As the moisture seeps into the coffee beans, the beans begin to lose integrity and become stale much quicker, affecting the extraction of your coffee and the flavour of the shot.

How to do it right?

If you want to use beans straight away, check the date of roasting. You want to start grinding and brewing them somewhere between 10-14 days after roasting.

#5 Don’t Freeze Your Beans

Why?

Oxygen will lead to degradation of the beans over time, and allow the beans to pick up unwanted flavours from whatever else you’ve stored in the freezer. Also, moisture can turn into ice crystals as the beans freeze — and water on your burrs as the ice crystals instantly defrost is never good.

How to do it right?

For storage refer to #3. If you want to store your beans longterm (6 and more months), you can use the freezer, however you must follow some rules. Rest your beans 7-10 days after roasting. Place them into a heart proof bag and vacuum seal (investing in a vacuum sealer is a must here). When using your beans, open the bag, weigh out what you need and then reseal the bag and refreeze.

Now let’s look at some popular coffee myths

Keeping the beans in original packaging is sufficient storage for up to 6 months.

FALSE! You should always empty them into an airtight container and place in a cool, dry and dark space like the pantry or cupboard.

The fresher the better!

FALSE! You should only start to grind and brew your beans once you have let them rest for 10-14 days after the roast date.

Keep your beans in the fridge for freshness

FALSE! Coffee beans are very absorbent and will soak up the aromas of your Thai leftovers, completely tainting and destroying the flavours of your beans.