It's best not to freeze or refrigerate the coffee beans you're going to use in the coming weeks, as this can expose them to moisture and other food odors. Instead, store the coffee beans in an opaque, airtight container and store them in a dark, cool place away from the stove or other heat sources. According to the National Coffee Association, you can freeze whole coffee beans for up to a month. It's best to freeze coffee beans in airtight bags whenever possible.
It's just as important to let the coffee beans thaw once you take them out of the freezer and consume them within two weeks. The best way to keep ground coffee or whole beans fresh is to store the coffee on a pantry shelf in an opaque, airtight container. It should be away from light, heat and humidity, says Scott McMartin, who has tasted more than half a million cups of coffee as a member of the Starbucks Green Coffee Quality group. If you don't have a container, close the top of the bag with a rubber band and then place the bag in a sealed plastic bag.
The cellular structure changes, causing the loss of the oils that give coffee its aroma and flavor, McMartin says. So why do so many coffee connoisseurs keep their supplies in the freezer? They are probably stocked and stored their coffee there for a longer time. In this sense, freezing coffee is acceptable if you're willing to accept the balance between shelf life and quality. But wait, if it's good enough for coffee shops, why isn't it good enough for my home kitchen? “A good coffee shop empties all the grinder hoppers every night, cleans the hoppers, and stores the coffee in sealed containers,” MacDougall says.
The issue is controversial within the coffee community, and many still believe that storing coffee in the fridge or freezer can bring benefits. When you remove the frozen beans, put them on a shelf to defrost, grind them and prepare them in two weeks, so that the coffee is really good until the last drop. I hate to be the one to tell you, but this means that the coffee grinder you have with the built-in storage isn't really ideal for storing your beans. After roasting, the coffee needs time to degass; otherwise, you'll end up with a bad coffee that tastes too bitter.
For your coffee to have the best chance of preservation, you should try to reduce the flow of oxygen to the stored coffee as much as possible. For die-hard coffee fans, the main argument against freezing coffee comes from the moisture found there. Like Madcap and Parlor, Coffee Collective from Copenhagen packages its beans in aluminum bags with one-way valves. Experts agree that coffee should be consumed as quickly as possible after roasting, especially once the seal on the original package has been broken.
But there's another piece of advice that came up in every conversation I had with coffee professionals. Coffee beans can be beautiful, but avoid clear jars, as they allow light to compromise the flavor of the coffee.