People buy freshly-roasted coffee from small batch artisan coffee roasters like Sugar Creek Coffee Roasters because, well, they want to enjoy all the aromas and flavors they just can’t get from that year-old stuff they buy from the local grocery or big box store.
Seeing how they want to experience those flavors, naturally, they want to keep their bag of artisan coffee fresh as long as it takes to use it. That’s why we get asked questions like “How long does coffee stay fresh?” or “Does coffee stay fresher longer whole bean or ground?” or “Does keeping coffee in the refrigerator or freezer help coffee keep longer?”
Basically, people want to know how best they can keep their coffee fresh.
To answer that, here are some tips to help you enjoy your coffee to its fullest potential.
Buy freshly roasted coffee
Coffee begins losing its freshness and flavors shortly after roasting. Most varieties start to lose their full flavor profile in a few weeks after roasting. As a general rule, coffee is best consumed between two to three days and two to three weeks after the roast date. When stored correctly, it can last longer.
Most of the brand name coffees you’ll find in the grocery stores is anywhere from six months to a year old, sometimes even older. By then, the flavor you get from those beans is merely the bones of what once was there. It’s like eating a t-bone steak without the meat. Sure, there’s flavor, but not juicy good stuff you enjoy.
That’s why it’s important to buy freshly-roasted coffee.
Buy coffee roasted to order
Buying fresh roasted coffee from your local roaster is a great step to enjoying fresher, more flavorful coffee, but buying roasted to order coffee is even better. Why? Often coffee roasting companies will roast large batches of coffee and store it on their shelves for a couple of weeks, dipping into those batches as orders arrive. This results in sometimes coffee being bagged and shipped two to three weeks past the roast date.
So while you may be getting coffee fresher than you would get from your local grocery store or big coffee store chain, you are not enjoying the full benefit of freshly roasted coffee.
That’s why it’s important to buy from a roast-to-order coffee roasting company like Sugar Creek Coffee Roasters.
When you buy your coffee from Sugar Creek Coffee Roasters, the coffee is not roasted until you order it. Once roasted, it’s immediately packaged, sealed and shipped. The great thing is, as coffee needs two to three days to cure, to release carbon dioxide and other gases produced during the roast process, it generally takes the same amount of time to ship. When the coffee arrives at your doorstep, it’ll be at its peak of flavor and ready for your enjoyment.
In fact, you may smell the wonderful aromas before you even open the box! So, buy your coffee from a roast-to-order coffee roaster.
Buy the right amount of coffee
To adapt another saying, don’t let your eyes be bigger than your coffee mug. Yes, we understand you like coffee and you want to drink lots of it. We do to! But if you order more than you’ll use in two weeks, you’ll not enjoy all that coffee has to offer. What you don’t use within that first two weeks will begin going stale.
We recommend to just order what you’ll need and when you’re done with that, order a new fresh batch. That way you get to enjoy your coffee at its freshest.
If you go through coffee fairly regularly and/or you tend to forget to order a new bag as you are finishing your last batch, no problem. Buy a coffee subscription and automatically have the coffee shipped to you ever two or three weeks, or however often you need it. That way you get your coffee fresh, without the hassle of adding it to your to-do list or dealing with the purchase process.
Get your coffee subscription with Sugar Creek Coffee Roasters here.
Buy your coffee whole bean
Unless you plan on using the coffee right away, it’s always better to buy coffee in its whole bean form. Ever notice how freshly ground coffee smells so good and then even better and stronger when you grind it? That’s because the grinding process opens up more surface area to allow the air, and later water during brewing, to more effectively take on the aroma and flavor.
Unfortunately, because of this, by exposing all of this surface area to oxygen, grinding actually reduces the life of the coffee to about three days. At that point you’ll begin to notice a drop in aroma and flavor. That’s why we recommend you to not only buy your coffee whole bean, but also to only grind what you need when you need. That way you preserve the full flavor of the coffee to the last whole bean.
Store your coffee dark, airtight and cool
Store your coffee in a dark place or in opaque containers. That keeps light from eroding the flavor. That’s one of the reasons we sell our coffee in opaque bags — to help preserve their freshness.
Make sure you keep your coffee air-sealed. The more air and oxygen that touches your coffee, the more flavor the air will steal from the beans. Our premium bags have a zipper seal and one-way valve — so when you dump out some of that goodness to brew your next cup, make sure to securely reseal the bag and press out any remaining air out to preserve that freshness.
Just like how light and air sap your coffee’s freshness, so does heat — so don’t store your coffee above the oven, refrigerator or other area prone to heat. Instead, store your coffee in a cool, room temperature place.
Speaking of refrigerators and keeping coffee cool for freshness, you might want to be careful about storing your coffee in the refrigerator or freezer. Why? Coffee tends to absorb moisture, odors and tastes, so unless you want your coffee tasting like that 3-day old tuna salad in your fridge, or if in the freezer, that nasty freezer burn taste, make sure you first put it an airtight container.
Furthermore, every time you remove your coffee from the refrigerator, condensation will likely form on the cold coffee beans or grounds, causing loss of flavor, aroma and freshness. Thus, if you do plan on storing your coffee in the refrigerator or freezer, you might consider quickly taking out what you need for a week’s usage and immediately returning the remainder to the freezer or fridge — thereby limiting exposure to condensation and air.
So to sum it up, to enjoy your coffee at its freshest, buy your coffee freshly roasted, buy it roasted to order, store it cool, dark and air tight and grind your coffee only when brew it. That’s all!
Hopefully, these tips help you get the most out of your coffee and truly enjoy your coffee to the last bean.