Should you freeze coffee so it stays fresher longer? In our educated but humble opinion – NO! Some roasters DO store their green beans under deep freeze, at least zero degrees or below, under constant controlled temperatures. But beans should NOT be frozen once roasted and here is why:
- Coffee is like a sponge and absorbs other flavors, so if its kept in a freezer or fridge it can easily absorb other flavors and smells from other products. Yum, Salmon flavored coffee.
- Typical home freezers don’t stay frozen, they are frost free, meaning the freezer warms up on a cycle to above freezing to ensure no frost or ice builds up inside. This causes the food to rise in temp, and even thaw, which causes freezer burn and other issues. As intended, you get a freezer that never ices up, but you also end up with food that goes a little up and down in temp constantly, which is bad for coffee.
- Freezers and fridges cool and stay frost and condensation free by removing moisture from the air, and thus can remove moisture from its contents, which causes food to dry if not packaged properly. This is why modern fridges have bins with humidity sliders on them…they control the humidity levels more inside the bin which effects shelf life of items like veggies vs fruits (higher humidity is preferred for veggies, lower for fruits…veggies should technically be stored at a higher temperature than something like meats)
- Deep freezers like chest freezers usually keep contents at a steady temp, often near 10 or 0 or even lower. While some people say its ok to store coffee in these types of freezers, it still can improperly freeze and crack the beans and affect flavors.
So how do you store coffee then?
- For best coffee results, fresh coffee beans should be kept in a coffee bag with an air valve or a canister like the AirScape kitchen canister away from air, light and heat as much as possible at controlled room temp, out of sunlight and away from the oven. The AirScape specifically, forces air out of the canister and away from the beans, preserving them much longer.
- In a perfect world, you should buy only a week’s worth of freshly roasted coffee at a time and store the rest as described above.
- If you absolutely must purchase large quantities of coffee and store it, vacuum seal small quantities and freeze in a chest freezer that maintains a constant temperature away from any high-odor food like fish. There are some studies and blind taste tests that have suggested that up to 2 months in the freezer still yields acceptable tasting coffee. Once it has been frozen and thawed do not re-freeze but instead store in an airtight canister like the AirScape.
The bottom line when it comes to coffee beans is that fresh is best!