"3c"Handling and Storage of Roasted Coffee Beans « Back

Since the primary reason for roasting coffee at home is to experience the aroma of truly fresh coffee, you need to handle and store freshly roasted coffee beans with care. Green coffee beans keep very well but after roasting begin a slow decline and lose their freshness and flavor rapidly.

Coffee beans reach their peak flavor a few hours to a day after roasting. Two days after roasting, a good part of the aroma starts to deteriorate due to affect of oxygen in air (staling). After one week, taste is compromised, and in two weeks, aroma has virtually vanished and taste has lost its distinctive characteristics.

Here are some steps to preserve and maximize fragrance of home-roasted coffee:
  • Roast small quantities of coffee more often.
  • Allow freshly roasted beans to rest for a day, uncovered. Then transfer them to a suitable, air-tight container and store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Caution: Do not fill a tight-sealing canister or jar more than halfway with just-roasted coffee beans that have not been rested for a day or so. Freshly roasted beans generate gases that will exert considerable pressure on walls and lid of filled, tightly sealed container.
  • Allow roasted coffee beans to ‘rest’ for a few hours to a day before grinding. This will assure peak flavor and aroma.
  • Resist the urge to refrigerate roasted beans. Don’t store coffee in refrigerator; it is damp inside and dampness compromises flavor and aroma.
  • Grind coffee immediately before brewing. The purpose of grinding coffee is to break open coffee bean and make flavor oils available to hot water and then to our palates. Unfortunately, breaking open bean also exposes flavor oils to oxygen or “staling.” Grinding should be done only moments before brewing to maximize flavor and aroma.
  • Freeze coffee only when you have an oversupply of roasted coffee beans you can’t consume within a week. Put beans in ‘zip lock’ freezer bag and squeeze as much air out as possible before sealing. If you own a vacuum sealing machine, this is an excellent way to preserve excess roasted beans in bags provided or in plastic storage containers supplied by manufacturer.
  • Drink coffee immediately after brewing. It does little good to roast, grind and brew a superb fresh cup of coffee, only to let it stand in the pot on a hot plate where aroma and flavor evaporate away in the air. If you can’t drink the freshly brewed coffee, transfer it to a pre-heated, insulated carafe, which will preserve the taste and aroma for later consumption.
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