For economical reasons, you may like to purchase your coffee in bulk, but you can’t possibly drink it all within one or two weeks, which is optimal for that fresh roasted flavor, aroma, and quality. Storing your coffee in the freezer is one way to save money on bulk purchases, but at the same time, you want to maintain the quality of your coffee.
If you decide to freeze your coffee grounds or beans, portion out enough to make pots for several days or a week’s worth, and then store in an airtight plastic bag. You can store coffee for up to a month in the freezer and still maintain optimal quality, freshness, and aroma.
Once you remove coffee from the freezer, don’t return it, but place it in an airtight glass or ceramic container and then store it in a cool, dark place such as a kitchen cabinet. Avoid placing coffee near your oven or on outside walls of your home, especially those that receive full morning or afternoon sun.
When freezing either coffee grounds or coffee beans, fill the container or an airtight plastic baggie as full as you can so that as little air as possible remains in the container. Wrap the container or the baggie in several layers of plastic wrap to keep air and moisture out.
Place the containers or baggies at the back of your freezer, where they’ll freeze faster. When removing a frozen container or baggie of frozen coffee from the freezer, allow it to thaw at room temperature, and then brew away. Don’t place previously frozen coffee beans or coffee grounds back into the freezer or condensation will form on it, affecting overall quality.
When it comes to which type of coffee freezes better, whole coffee beans freeze and keep better than ground coffee. Keep in mind however, that freezing is a less than ideal method of preserving freshness, aroma, and taste in your coffee, whether it’s ground or whole beans. For best tasting coffee, freshly ground coffee from whole beans will produce the ultimate in quality.
When to Freeze Coffee
Should you freeze your coffee? While undoubtedly freshly roasted coffee beans produce the highest quality coffee, there are times when you want to buy fresh beans or ground coffee in bulk. After all, buying in bulk is convenient. Unfortunately, you may not be able to drink what you’ve purchased within one or two weeks, which is about the length of time that your coffee will stay fresh.
To avoid that stale, flat or woody tasting coffee, you may opt to freeze. You’ve probably heard the pros and cons of freezing, depending on who you talk to. Some people say absolutely not, while others say go for it. If you’ve purchased larger quantities of ground or whole bean coffee, you may need to freeze it. Coffee does have a limited shelf life, so what to do? For most palates, freezing coffee for short periods of time – meaning a month – doesn’t cause a discernible or detrimental effect on the taste, freshness, or aroma of your coffee.
If you’re going to use your fresh ground coffee or grind your whole coffee beans within a week to 10 days after purchase, you don’t need to freeze your coffee, but only if you’re able to consume that amount. If you think your supply of coffee will last longer than seven to 10 days, then yes, you can consider freezing. However, do be aware that freezing may deteriorate the quality of your coffee beans or coffee grounds, depending on how carefully you store it.
Be aware that improperly stored coffee in your freezer will absorb moisture as well as odors of the foods surrounding it. For this reason, when you do freeze your coffee beans or coffee grounds, store them in airtight plastic baggies or containers with as little air in them as possible. Then, wrap those packages or containers in several layers of plastic wrap to prevent moisture from seeping into the bags.
To preserve coffee beans for long-term storage, freeze them until you’re ready to grind and brew. When freezing your whole coffee beans, divide them into approximately one pot amounts, or about one-half cup full for each baggie. Do not refreeze coffee beans or coffee grounds, as condensation will affect the quality.