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Burning Question: What's the Best Way to Store Coffee?

Burning Question: What's the Best Way to Store Coffee?


Coffee drinkers all differ in their opinions about the best way to store beans, and insist on doing everything from freezing coffee to storing it whole in glass canisters. So what is truly the best way to preserve the flavor of coffee grounds?

According to the National Coffee Association, coffee's biggest enemies are air, moisture, heat, and light — in that order. Contact with air causes coffee to lose flavor; moisture will make it deteriorate more rapidly; heat will spoil it; and sunlight will cause beans to taste stale.

Transfer coffee grounds to a container with an airtight seal, and store them in a cool, dark, dry place, where they will keep for as long as two weeks. When possible, buy valve-sealed (not vacuum-sealed) whole beans, and grind them right before brewing them.

Generally, coffee shouldn't be frozen — the extreme cold will break down the bean's oils, and the very porous grounds will easily absorb other flavors in the freezer. If you've got a surplus of coffee, however, you can freeze it in a pinch. But know that you shouldn't return it to the freezer after it's been removed — and never place it in the refrigerator.

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