?Can You Freeze Coffee Beans
The freezer is another place to store your beans – with one very serious warning: Don’t open your bean container in the freezer. Remember the concerns about moisture? Cold coffee beans will attract condensation if you open them while still frozen. If you put them back in the freezer after opening, the condensation can lead to that awful freezer-burn aroma.
But with careful use, the freezer can be a good solution if you purchase bulk beans – say, a 5-lb bag of something at a special rate. Make sure you store them in individual airtight containers (or those vacuum-sealed freezer bags), each holding about a month’s worth of coffee. Write the date on the container so you know when they went in, and leave them frozen until you need more coffee.
”For a large amount of coffee, first divide it into smaller portions, then freeze the portions in airtight bags.”
Finally, when you take them out of the freezer, let them come up to room temperature before you open the bag. That will prevent condensation from forming on the beans themselves, as well as the odors that come with it and the risk of mold and mildew.
Storing Ground Coffee
This is the last resort for storing coffee, but sometimes you have no choice. Traveling to a place without good coffee? Your coffee grinder doesn’t get quite fine enough for your espresso maker, so you have your beans ground at the shop? It happens to the best of us.
Even more than with whole beans, it’s important to protect ground coffee from air, light, heat, and moisture. The best solution: buy only about a week’s worth of ground coffee, and then keep it in a dedicated coffee storage container. If you’re traveling, grind just as much coffee as you’ll need, place the grounds in a Ziploc bag, and press all the air out before sealing. Then store it in your luggage where it’ll be safe from heat, light, and moisture. This is adequate for a long weekend, but if you’re traveling much longer, buy fresh coffee on site.
PRO TIP: the stainless steel cans that Illy Caffe uses for their ground espresso are a pretty good solution, and virtually free. Nobody says you can’t refill them with freshly ground espresso from your favorite local roaster.