Every time I get asked this question I imagine an 85 year old grandma reaching into the freezer for a bag of rock hard stale coffee that she’s been using for the last 3 months. I have nothing against grandmas but definitely something against 3 month old stale frozen coffee. It’s 2016, grandma. The nuclear holocaust may happen soon but you don’t have to drink frozen motor oil while you’re waiting for it to happen (I love you, grandma!).
Rule: Don’t freeze
Why not? In short, coffee absorbs moisture from the air around it. The moisture contains odors and tastes from foods in the freezer which adversely affect the taste of the coffee.
The brewing process is also negatively affected. Water pulls out the oils and chemicals in coffee as it brews. Using frozen grounds prevent the water from getting the best extraction, resulting in under extracted and weaker coffee.
I’m not going to throw grandma completely under the bus. There is one legitimate situation when freezing your coffee may be a good choice: If you don’t plan on brewing the coffee within the next month. If this is the case, make sure to use some freezer storage bags and seal the coffee. Before brewing, thaw the coffee to room temperature and never freeze it again.
The best way is simple
Keep one to two weeks of coffee on hand and store it in an opaque, airtight container at room temperature. As long as you are going through that coffee within the next couple of weeks, the quality of your cup should remain the same as when you bought it.
Your cup is as good as what you put in it
Making the most out of your coffee requires storing it correctly, but there are several prerequisites which are indispensable for producing a quality cup of coffee.
1. Make sure you’re buying freshly roasted coffee. Coffee is an organic product: It starts decaying as soon as it comes out of the roaster, and the longer you wait the more stale it gets.
2. Make sure your grind matches your brew. A French press and a pourover require different grinds. Good beans + bad grind = mediocre coffee
3. Make sure you are using good water. A cup of coffee is made up of approximately 98% water. If your water stinks your coffee will also stink. Don’t use distilled water. Coffee needs the minerals in water to bring out its true flavors.
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