Nothing compares to a coffee made from bean to cup. Its flavor and aroma are sure to wake your senses up. For the best caffeine fix, however, you need top-notch beans, so proper storage is a must. That said, many of you are probably wondering – can you freeze coffee beans?
Freezing is a common option to prolong the shelf life of many foods. But can you do the same thing with your coffee beans? Will it affect its quality over time? Read on and find out the answer in this guide.
Can You Freeze Coffee Beans?
Yes, you can freeze coffee beans to make them last longer. If you have bought more than what you can consume at a given time, you might want to consider freezing the rest instead to retain their freshness.
Nonetheless, while you can freeze coffee, there are some important things to remember. For instance, it should not be more than a month. Also, you should not take them out and return them to the freezer. Once you take them out, you should consume them all immediately.
If you are not yet convinced that you should freeze coffee beans, below are some of the most compelling reasons to do so.
Slow the Aging Process
Like anything else, coffee beans also age. The longer it is left unused, the higher is the possibility that it will go stale. By freezing the beans, you can effectively stop the clock, preventing the beans from aging prematurely. It minimizes the chances of having chemical reactions that can affect the overall quality of the beans.
Preserve the Peak Flavor
This is one benefit closely related to what has been mentioned above. If you freeze coffee, you can retain its peak flavor over time. Although, you need to find the optimum rest period for coffee, so you will know how long to freeze it. For instance, light roasts taste best two to three weeks after roasting. If you freeze it after such, it might be too late to preserve its flavor.
Improve Grind Consistency
When you leave coffee beans in the open, it is exposed to external elements like heat, air, and humidity. Such will negatively affect the texture of the beans. As a result, they can be inconsistent upon grinding. With freezing, however, you are preserving the beans for better grind consistency and particle distribution. As a result, it can also improve extraction, which will enhance the flavor of your coffee.
Arguments Against Freezing Coffee Beans
Despite the benefits of freezing, it also has some drawbacks. One of the most common problems is that the beans can have water content, which can freeze. It will cause the beans to crack while in the freezer. The cracks will let carbon dioxide escape, which will affect the ability of the beans to produce a rich crema.
More so, freezing can also cause a change in the cellular structure of the beans. This is especially the case if you take them on and off the freezer. The fluctuating temperatures will make the packet moist, which will result in the beans losing the oils that are responsible for robust flavor and aroma.
Scientifically speaking, coffee beans are considered dry goods. They have minimal moisture. Once you freeze them, the natural reaction is to soak in moisture, which alters their composition. In turn, it hurts the overall quality. More so, the humidity can also break down the beans, resulting in a muddy flavor.
How to Freeze Coffee Beans the Right Way
Storing coffee beans is not just as easy as putting them in the freezer as you expect to retain the peak quality. You must be familiar with the art and science of proper coffee storage for the best outcomes.
Divide the Beans
The first thing to do is to divide your coffee beans into manageable quantities. It is best to separate them into smaller batches. As mentioned earlier, once the beans are taken out of the freezer, you should not bring them back in. So pack individual quantities with only what you can consume next time.
Put in an Airtight Container of Vacuum-Sealed Bag
Before freezing the beans, make sure to transfer them to an air-tight container. Otherwise, it will be prone to contamination. You can also use a vacuum-sealed bag. This will ensure that there is no air trapped. It will prevent odor, moisture, and oxygen from getting in and degrading the beans. It will also help to label the containers or bags with the date they have been packed.
Thaw Before You Open
Once you are ready to use the beans, take them out of the freezer. Before opening the bag or container, defrost the beans. Leave the beans at room temperature until they have thawed. Do not put them in the microwave to speed up thawing. For best results, we recommend thawing them at least overnight. If you open the bag or container too early, the rapid change in the environment can lead to condensation.
After thawing and once the beans are at room temperature, it is best to grind them as soon as possible. The longer they are exposed to open air, the faster the beans may degrade.
If you are not yet ready to use them sooner, do not take them out of the freezer. If you will not grind them instantly, make sure that it is in a sealed container.
Now, what about creamer? Read our guide to find out if it’s OK to freeze coffee creamer.
Can you freeze coffee beans? Yes, you definitely can! This is an effective way to extend its shelf life while also improving grind consistency. Nonetheless, it is not as simple as putting the beans in the freezer. You should first separate them into small batches and put them in vacuum-sealed bags or air-tight containers. When ready to use, let the beans thaw before opening and grinding.