Aromatic, energising, invigorating – coffee is a pleasure you really can’t live without. However, its precious beans need to be well preserved in order to obtain a dark, dense and fragrant infusion to meet our expectations.
The enemies of coffee beans
Although coffee beans lose their properties less quickly than ground coffee, they must be carefully protected from four factors that can affect their freshness and aroma – air, moisture, heat and light.
In fact, the yields from careful harvesting, meticulous processing and masterful roasting may all be in vain if not stored properly. The irresistible, intense aroma released in roasting is indeed very volatile and begins to disperse as soon as the process ends. Contact with air modifies the organoleptic qualities of the coffee beans, since oxygen and moisture can quickly alter their constituents. After only 24 hours the aroma of freshly roasted coffee fades as do the other aromatic elements little by little. This is why it’s essential to vacuum-seal the package to maintain the ‘coffee shop’ fragrances and aromas unchanged and preserve them during the inevitable stages of transport, storage and sale.
Rules for storing coffee beans o properly
Once you have chosen and purchased your favourite blend, what’s the best way to store it at home? To start with, it’s a good idea to buy only the quantity you will need for the following two or three weeks, and not longer. Coffee is a product of the earth, so it naturally has its own life cycle and expiry date, beyond which a good result in the cup is not guaranteed.
To ensure your coffee beans don’t lose their ability to give life to an aromatic, pleasant and fulfilling beverage, the best solution is to put them in airtight containers, preferably made of opaque glass, ceramic, steel or high-quality plastic. It’s important that these materials are odourless, eliminate exposure to light and air and prevent the absorption of any other aromas in the environment. Storing coffee in the refrigerator or the freezer is not advisable. Even if the low temperatures slow down the evaporation of the volatile components, the condensation in the container and the thermal shock on removal and during preparation would be detrimental to both the taste and the aroma. Follow the advice on the packet and place the containers in a cool, dry place, away from light and sources of heat. Ideally in a kitchen cabinet or on the kitchen countertop or a shelf, as long as they aren’t in direct sunlight.
And here’s another tip… It’s better to grind your coffee beans just before use because 50% of the aroma disperses after just half an hour from grinding and wouldn’t end up in our well-deserved coffee!