Freezing Coffee Beans: How do you do it the right way?
Freezing your coffee beans in small quantities can effectively prevent staleness from rapidly setting in. However, there is definitely some key steps to ensure you do it the right way.
4 Steps to Prepare and Freeze Coffee Beans
If done properly, freezing your coffee beans won’t impact their flavour and will help to extend their life.
In fact, studies show that grinding cold coffee beans helps to disperse oils and flavours better, giving you an even more delicious cup of coffee or a better shot of espresso.
1. You need Fresh Beans
Remember, only fresh degassed coffee beans can be frozen and preserved.
If your coffee beans have been sitting out for a few days, you may still be able to save them, but only if you get them in the freezer while they’re still within their “freshness” window.
Check the roast date! You should have coffee beans that have been roasted no longer than two weeks prior.
2. Divide Coffee Beans Into One Week Portion Sizes
You’ll want to separate your coffee into smaller batches.
After your coffee beans have been frozen once, they shouldn’t be frozen again.
Divide your coffee beans into portion sizes that you can grind one week of thawing.
3. Repackage Your Beans
You’ll want to keep your beans in an airtight container.
This means that you can’t use the bag that they come in.
Even bags with a zip seal aren’t going to do the trick. This is because these bags let in air and are also not thick enough to keep out the humidity of your freezer.
4. The Importance of Thawing Properly
One of the biggest reasons that coffee bean freezing is debated comes in with the thawing process.
When things thaw, condensation is created.
However, there’s a pretty easy way to avoid this.
Completely thaw out your coffee beans before opening the container that you’re storing them in.
Where there’s no condensation, there will be no water damage.
You should let your dry frozen coffee beans thaw in your fridge for a few hours, and then in a safe, clean, dark place for another hour or two before you open them.
The 4 Most Important External Factors to Eliminate
When you’re planning to freeze your coffee beans, there are 5 things that you will need to eliminate: Oxygen, water, light, and bacteria.
Otherwise, freezing them won’t help much. The good news is that freezers are cold and dark, so that’s two factors taken care of already.
Here’s why it’s so important to get rid of all of these factors for freezing to be most effective.
Oxygen Hurts Beans
Oxygen can cause the precious oils in your coffee beans to disperse and break down. This will lead to less caffeine and worse flavors.
Water Causes Staleness
Humidity causes staleness in coffee beans. Humid conditions can also lead to mold and bacterial growth.
This is a definite no-go when you’re trying to make your coffee beans last longer.
UV Light Damages Beans (Usually Not An Issue Inside A Freezer)
UV rays emit energy. This energy breaks down all organic matter. Sunlight, or any light really, should be avoided. Light damage is known asphotodegradation.
Choose a storage container that’s totally opaque if you can. Otherwise, every time you open your freezer, your coffee beans will be exposed to light.
If you can’t find opaque containers, you can cover them with a cloth in your freezer.
Before Freezing: About Coffee Beans
Before you go putting all of your coffee beans into a cryogenic state, there are some important factors that you’ll need to consider.
To effectively store and protect your coffee beans, you’ll first need to understand some few basic coffee bean concepts.
Channelling – the worst nightmare of every barista. Channelling happens every time you brew coffee but it’s always better the more you are able to avoid it. When you have uneven particle distribution, some areas of the coffee bed will be more dense than other. That will result in channelling.