Summer is here again, which means our “RE:” Summer Series on scientific answers to your coffee questions is back! In this first edition, we wanted to cover a topic that’s always relevant, yet especially important during the summer months, when temperature and humidity levels are at their peak…
OUR TOP COFFEE STORAGE TIPS (to keep freshness and keep Brewing Greatness!)
[ Hint: each tip addresses one of the three main factors responsible for the loss of aromatics and flavor changes in coffee - Temperature, Oxygen, and Moisture - which you can remember with the acronym “TOM”]
1- Keep your beans cool! Temperature is one of the main factors affecting your coffee’s shelf-life, so keeping your beans at temperatures below 75°F is a must during the summer months! If you’re traveling and taking your freshly roasted beans with you (which we love to do!), place them in your carry-on, and avoid leaving them in the trunk of your car (which gets really hot!). Generally speaking, chemical reaction rates tend to double for every 10° rise in temperature, which means that beans that would last fresh for a month in a cool place may only stay fresh for a week or two in our summer temperatures!
2. Keep your beans inside an air-tight container. Exposing your beans to the air not only “steals” away its amazing aromatics… the oxygen in the air also reacts with the naturally occurring oils in your coffee, and begin a series of oxidation reactions that result in undesirable breakdown products like peroxides, aldehydes, ketones, and free fatty acids (i.e. rancid taste).
3. Keep your beans in a dry environment. This is perhaps our most insightful tip, particularly if you live in a place where summers are both hot and humid - like Florida! Most never think of moisture as having a large impact on shelf-life - yet its effects are profound! Oxidation reactions in extremely low-moisture foods like coffee are mostly diffusion-limited, which means even tiny increases in moisture content can increase diffusion - and oxidation rates - dramatically. One of the reasons we do NOT recommend placing your beans in the fridge, is that humidity inside your fridge tends to be relatively high (plus, it also de-gasses your beans faster, and they may absorb extraneous odors from the other foods in your fridge).
So, remember to avoid ‘TOM’ and keep your beans in a cool, dark, dry, air-tight container so you can enjoy them at their best!
Always grateful to get to roast for you… let’s keep Brewing Greatness!
Jolian & Lisbeth
PS. July 1st is the last day to sign-up for our trip to Guatemala in 2020! If this is something you really want to do… please consider joining us! Sign up at eo.travel/ethosroasters