When it comes to brewing that daily cup o’ Joe, you’ve probably given tons of thought to the coffee maker you use, the cream and sugar you add in, and the brands you buy. But there’s one thing that could really affect that morning mug, and it might not even be on your radar: how you store your coffee beans and grinds.
Why should you think about coffee storage?
While much of our focus is often on what to do after our coffee is already made, a lot of its delicious flavor and effectiveness comes from the beans themselves. If you don’t take time to properly care for those beans in your home, you could be looking at a subpar-tasting cup — and one that doesn’t give you all of the caffeine (or the other major health benefits) that can come from coffee.
Luckily, storage isn’t too difficult as long as you know what to do.
How to Store Coffee Beans
According to the National Coffee Association, many people don’t think about the temperature, heat, light, and air exposure that can come from the usual ways we store our coffee beans. For example, by leaving your coffee beans out on your counter, in an open bag, or near a window, you could be degrading them faster than usual.
Instead of leaving those beans out, place them in an airtight container (glass, ceramic, or non-reactive metal are best!) and stow them away in a cool, dry place in your kitchen, like your pantry or in a cabinet. Make sure your storage place isn’t too close to sources of heat, like a cupboard right next to your stove top or a shelf by a window.
Additionally, while it’s tempting to buy your coffee beans in bulk (hey, we’re all busy!), they begin to seriously lose their effectiveness and their flavor after about seven to 14 days as carbon dioxide escape the beans and oxygen makes it way in. If you can swing it, try to buy your coffee beans in smaller quantities at a time so that they’re as fresh as possible!
How to Store Coffee Grinds
While it’s best not to grind your coffee beans until right before you make a cup, lots of people buy store-bought grinds to save time and money. If you want to go this route, just make sure they’re kept in an airtight container away from heat, water, and light. The taste may not be as strong as coffee beans you roast and grind from scratch every day, but it’ll be delicious nonetheless!
Even if you’re not someone who puts a ton of thought into brewing a morning pot, taking a few of these coffee storage tips into consideration will make your cup so much better!