The perfect cup of coffee
How to keep coffee fresh? How to grind coffee beans? Simple steps to make your coffee cup perfect. Why does the cup of coffee you buy from a coffee shop taste better than the cup of coffee you brew at home? We’ll let you in on a secret: It doesn’t have to be that way. The key is to access the same beans and to pay attention to the way you store them. Assuming coffee freshly roasted in the first place.
Freshness is king
You have probably been told that fresh coffee is vital to extract the perfect cup. But what is “fresh” when it comes to coffee? It’s essential to understand what makes coffee fresh, how you can prolong that freshness, and what happens when it gets old.
When the coffee berry is first picked, it contains around 55% moisture. During the next few months of processing, the moisture level drops considerably to ~9-12%—a perfect range for roasting. Green coffee beans can stay up to a year without losing moisture and nutritional content, but it will depend on storage conditions. If coffee sits too long, the moisture level can fall too low, affecting the aroma, taste, and texture. Low moisture also affects the beans’ weight and forces farmers to pack more beans, resulting in loss of profits and lousy feedback from roasting companies. As you see, it’s mutually beneficial to both parties to produce fresh coffee beans.
It’s about time
After roasting, coffee needs to “degas” for two days. During this process, carbon dioxide is released from the beans. It is best not to grind while this is happening; instead, let it go slowly. Peak freshness is achieved three days after roasting, assuming beans were roasted with a moisture level of at least 9%. Coffee beans will continue to produce quality results for up to ten days. However, after that period, the aroma becomes less intense, the flavor turns flat, and the body becomes thinner. (Interestingly, coffee reaches its “bottom line “around three weeks after roasting. In my observation, three-week-old coffee will taste about the same as six-month-old coffee.) Unfortunately, the coffee you buy from a supermarket is likely much older than ten days. At RocKaffe, we ship coffee on the same day of roasting using bags with a one-way valve designed to allow carbon dioxide to escape while still keeping oxygen out. This means the coffee beans can degas during shipping and be ideal for brewing when they reach your doorstep.
How to store coffee?
Once your freshly roasted coffee beans arrive and have had at least two days since roasted to degas, it is best to store them at room temperature in a dry, airtight container or simple zip-lock bag(just make sure coffee fully degassed before using zip lock). One of the biggest coffee storage myths suggests putting beans in the fridge or freezer to prolong freshness. This does not actually extend freshness and will result in dryer beans. Avoid fridge and freezer to store your coffee.
The final consideration is grinding. Once coffee beans are ground, they generally stay fresh for about ten minutes before you can start to taste the difference.
Put your knowledge to the test.
Now you’re ready to check out RocKaffe’s wide selection of coffee beans. Rest assured, we never pre-roast coffee. That means that we only roast after you place your order, and we roast if we are confident we can ship the same day. With this attention to detail and our high-quality packaging, we set you up for success in your quest to brew the perfect cup.
4 thoughts on “How to keep coffee fresh?”
Great article and amazing fresh coffee, thank you! Since about March 2020 when I became aware of Rockaffe’s online ordering and delivery, I’ve been thrilled with the fresh beans, incredibly reliable front door delivery and attention to roasting detail. While I’m not in the “rare air” of cafe commentary like my good friend Khurt W :-), I do love Rockaffe’s fresh roasted beans (I’ve settled into the FTO Sumatra) and clearly notice the freshness difference when brewing via French Press–the cafe froth visible on first pour into the freshly grounded beans is beautiful. While some behaviors will change when it’s completely safe to visit Rocky Hill or other local cafes, I’ll keep ordering Rockaffe’s fresh beans via home delivery for that first gorgeous and tasty fresh morning brew :-). Thank you so much for offering this wonderful service, especially during these challenging times. Cheers!! Paul
I’m curious regarding storage of unroasted coffee beans in fridge and freezer. If moisture content can be maintained, as in vacuum packing, why would that not be a good idea? I mean if one stores them vacuum packed in a plastic bag so that upon defrosting w/o opening bag before beans reach room temperature and so condensed water doesn’t form on them.
Hello Jim. Thanks for asking. When it comes to unroasted coffee beans, it’s not practical to freeze or store them in the fridge. Due to volume and effort, we would have to invest in getting little to no difference. However, if the goal is to archive “100” with unlimited resources rather than “98” with little effort, it’s possible to preserve some percentage. It will come down to how practical to put so much effort. At RocKaffe, we are going through hundreds of pounds. We prefer to preserve freshness by rotating stocks faster. I hope we were able to give our perspective and answer your question.
Great site. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you on your sweat! Lilian Julian Stenger