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Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken
You should not store coffee in the freezer
March 30, 2011Posted by on
Oh pish-tush! For medium to long-term storage (more than a couple of weeks) this in fact the best place to store coffee. Coffee goes stale mainly because the oils in the coffee (I am talking roasted coffee, whole beans or ground) react with oxygen in the air and go rancid, giving the coffee a stale taste. One way to prevent this is to seal the coffee away from air—this is why coffee in cans and some bags is vacuum packed. The second way is with cold, which slows down chemical reactions. Cold, freezer, duh!
The reason I have heard for not storing coffee in the freezer is that it can absorb odors from the other food. Well, I dunno about you, but I wrap things tightly before they go in the freezer. Even if my leftover garlic and limburger tart comes unsealed, the coffee will be in a jar or zip-loc bag.
There is one situation when freezer storage may not be a good idea, and that when the weather is very humid and your kitchen is not air conditioned. Because moisture condenses on cold surfaces, there’s the risk of the coffee becoming moist when you take it out of the freezer to use. This would likely affect the coffee.
I would like to highlight the fact that storing coffee in the freezer is only useful to long term storage. If you take it out and put it back in, the moisture from the humidity (as mentioned) will degrade the agricultural product. It stores better in a “cool, dry place”. The enemies of the coffee bean are air and moisture. If you have a grinder, whole beans store better.
I hope this helps everyone.
Thanks for your input!
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