3 Simple To Follow Steps To Freeze Coffee Beans


I don’t know about you but I always buy too much coffee that I can reasonably drink. I always end up throwing away some coffee which is a waste so I decided to look at ways of storing my coffee, in particular storing it in the freezer.

Starbucks coffee expert Major Cohen says you should never freeze coffee beans as any water trapped inside can split the bean. Moisture condenses on the beans or grounds and can damage the flavor. Others say you can freeze coffee beans for up to 14 days, as long as you remove all the air from the packaging before storing it in the freezer.

Should you store your coffee in the freezer? Maybe, let’s get into this in a little bit more detail. This article will talk about when it’s good to use the freezer to store coffee and not.

Why Should You Put Coffee In The Freezer?

To start with, let’s talk about why you might want to store your coffee in the freezer. 

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Very cold temperatures are great at slowing certain kinds of reactions involved in foodstuff going stale. 

Freezer temperatures slow down oxidation and prevent the loss of volatile aromatic compounds, and they just generally slow the staling process. 

The problem is that most domestic freezers don’t go cold enough to stop that process completely. 

Research done by a famed coffee scientist, engineer, roaster builder, Mike Civet, said you need to store coffee at minus 40. 

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That is the magical temperature where it doesn’t matter what units you’re talking about. 

Anyway, most domestic freezers store food at about minus 20 degrees Celsius. That’s good enough to help slow the process quite dramatically.

Freezers, however, have a problem. They are incredibly dry places, and those kinds of temperatures, moisture can’t stay in the air. 

The moisture comes out of the air and forms ice crystals. If you’ve ever owned a freezer, you’ll have seen that happen, and you’ll know that freezers need deicing.

Does Putting Coffee In The Freezer Keep It Fresher?

All of that ice, all of that build-up, has come from the air. So, how does that affect coffee? 

In an ideal world, we could put coffee in our freezer, and it would slow down the staling, which would be great.

What we want to do, however, is limit the interaction between the coffee beans that are now minus 20 degrees Celsius and any air. 

What you don’t want to do, is this. You don’t want to go and buy a big Kilo bag of coffee and put the whole bag in the freezer. 

In the morning, get the bag out, get your coffee out, and then put the bag back in the freezer. All you’re going to do is introduce lots of fresh humid air into the beans.

You’re going to get crystallization of ice on that coffee, and that isn’t good in every single way possible. So here’s your best practice.

What Is The Best Way To Store Coffee To Keep It Fresh?

If you’ve bought a kilo of coffee, if you’ve bought a couple of pounds, if you’ve bought more coffee than you need in the next week or two, then what you want to do is parcel it out into one to two-week quantities and freeze those.

You want to get rid of as much air in whatever you’re freezing it in as possible.

What Is The Best Container To Store Coffee?

Some people go as far as vacuum packing it, that’s a little extreme, and I’m a little uncomfortable with the amount of wastage that comes from that.

Certain foodstuff requires vacuum packaging, and I’m ok with that, but I think vacuum packaging coffee is just wasteful, and I am all against waste. 

Vacuum packaging is probably the best possible way to freeze coffee beans

But, I wouldn’t go so far as to vacuum individual seal portions unless you had an incredibly expensive coffee and you were running a very,very, very cold freezer.

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So, you’ve bought that kilo, you want to parcel it out to say 250 gram, 300 gram, 350 gram, whatever you prefer into those kinds of parcels. 

You can use a freezer-approved Mason jar if you want to do that.

You could use freezer bags if you want to. Those things are reusable, and that is good, or you can buy three or four individual normal-sized retail bags and put all but one in the freezer.

Is It ok To Grind Frozen Coffee Beans?

I prefer to let the beans defrost overnight, but you can grind the beans from frozen as the grinder does put some heat back in. 

It comes down to preferences and how you feel about the flavor once you have brewed your coffee.

You can take out a portion of frozen beans the night before you need it and let it defrost, but do not open it. 

You don’t want to open it when the beans are that cold because you will get some condensation forming on them, and broadly speaking, that’s not particularly good for coffee.

You don’t want to do that if you’ve just bought a regular-sized retail bag, it’s just not worth you freezing that, it’s not. 

Just use it over the next couple of weeks, and you’ll be completely fine.

You’re not going to do much to change the state of that coffee. If the coffee is stale out of date, to begin with, there’s no point in freezing it. 

Nothing good will happen there. Nothing bad will happen, but nothing good will happen, So why bother? 

In summary, if you’ve got more fresh roasted coffee than you need in the next couple of weeks, take the excess and portion it into one to two-week portions, and seal them airtight.

Remove as much air as you can and freeze them. And then the night before you need a portion, take it out of the freezer, let it defrost sealed on the counter. The next morning grind, drink, enjoy. 

It’s pretty simple. If you need coffee, if you can’t afford coffee and you need coffee, you might’ve been laid off, you might’ve been made redundant. I don’t know what’s happening.

If you can afford coffee, please go and buy coffee, support local businesses, do the right thing.

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