Question Coffee Storage?

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What are you coffee aficionados using to store your coffee beans in the coach? Use the bag it came in or some other type of storage jars/tins?
 
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Lifted off a local SF coffee company.

Glass, ceramic or non-reactive metal containers with airtight gaskets are ideal for storing coffee. Coffee can be stored fresh in clear, glass canisters or clear plasticware only if the canisters are kept in a cool, dark place. For countertop storage, opaque, airtight containers are best.
 
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We use one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0046JB136/?tag=rvf01-20

The black ones keep the beans dark as well as in an air-tight environment. The actual one we have has a dark, but transparent lower section rather than clear. I think it works just as well. I don't see that particular version shown in the Amazon link, but it may be available elsewhere. I think we got ours at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

TJ
 
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We use a clear, airtight container but I like the idea of a dark transparent lower section one. Always stored in a dark cool place. We like to be able to know how much is in the container at a glance.
 
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Neal,

I've been pulling shots of espresso, making lattes for probably close to 15 or 20 years now. I...uh, the whole family and all my friends...have become coffee snobs and can't be satisfied with our local micro-roaster, and the espresso made on my pro-sumer machines. So, I've run the gamut on every style and method of bean storage...and here's the 100% truth from the experts.

It's not real hard to understand, but some will scoff and say it's silly...UNTIL I use the analogy that a coffee bean is no different than a wine grape. The most relevant quality is that the bean OXIDIZE (aka spoil) just like any fruit when exposed to AIR.

A myth is that you can freeze beans...FALSE...just plain FALSE. You'll ruin the bean...period.

Beans "off the roast", meaning immediately after roasting, NEED TO VENT/OFF-GAS. Yes, it's a cool trick to suck the air out of a fresh bag of beans and you can literally TASTE the C02 coming off. So, sealing up freshly roasted beans is NOT wise. I prefer to let them off-gas in their vented bag.

So there's a bit of the science to help back up my recommendation, which may surprise you. Ready? Here goes:

I use the actual bag that the beans come in from my roaster. It's an 11-ounce bag with a one-way valve vent. We buy 2 bags every 10-14 days, so the turnover is pretty quick. I pour half of the bag into our grinder at a time. The remaining beans are left in the bag, with as much of the air folded out of the bag and resealed with it's ziploc seal.

Commercial canisters are fine, but ones that have a plunger that comes down onto the beans, thus removing air are my favorite. Otherwise, they'll do NO more good than a flexible bag.

By the way, a Food-Sealer works FANTASTIC!!!! I've been able to seal beans that I can't use while we travel. Yeah yeah...I've yet to figure out how to lug my 70 pound, 15amp La Marzocco with me...but boy do I want to!!

Summary:
Beans need to vent if within a few days "off-roast".
Vacuum sealing is not necessary, but removing as much air as possible is preferable.
Keep in cool, not cold, place.
Dark is better, not in the sun/light.

"Think Fruit" (y)
 
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Steve:

Much of what you say about coffee beans is true, but I must differ with you on the similarity of a coffee bean and a grape. I come to this point of view, having grown up in a winemaking family. My dad managed the winemaking operations at a couple of major, top-tier California wineries over a 40-year career. Over the years, I was exposed to all the intricacies of grapes and how they need to be handled in order to make fine wine. Allowing them to "vent off gas" in their whole state wasn't one of them, however. Nor was storing them in a cool, dark place.

Grapes are a very delicate fruit and need to be handled in a manner that preserves their innate quality. They need to be crushed and pressed within hours of being picked in order to produce quality wine. Holding them any longer than absolutely necessary is a cardinal sin. Once crushed, the juice is less fragile, but still needs to be handled properly.

Grapes and coffee beans both need to be treated properly...but very differently...in order to produce a fine quality finished product. We are on the same page there. I don't have quite the same level of experience with coffee beans, but have been working with them for at least 50 years, attempting to produce the best cup of coffee possible. Certainly, storing the beans properly will preserve their viability. That said, they don't linger long in our household and storage in a cool, relatively dark environment is sufficient to preserve their quality over that short term.

TJ
 
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Steve:

Much of what you say about coffee beans is true, but I must differ with you on the similarity of a coffee bean and a grape. I come to this point of view, having grown up in a winemaking family. My dad headed up the winemaking operation at a couple of major, top-tier California wineries over a 40-year career. Over the years, I was exposed to all the intricacies of grapes and how they need to be handled in order to make fine wine. Allowing them to "vent off gas" in their whole state wasn't one of them, however. Nor was storing them in a cool, dark place.

Grapes are a very delicate fruit and need to be handled in a manner that preserves their innate quality. They need to be crushed and pressed within hours of being picked in order to produce quality wine. Holding them any longer than absolutely necessary is a cardinal sin. Once crushed, the juice is less fragile, but still needs to be handled properly.

Grapes and coffee beans both need to be treated properly...but very differently...in order to produce a fine quality finished product. We are on the same page there. I don't have quite the same level of experience with coffee beans, but have been working with them for at least 50 years, attempting to produce the best cup of coffee possible. Certainly, storing the beans properly will preserve their viability. That said, they don't linger long in our household and storage in a cool, relatively dark environment is sufficient to preserve their quality over that short term.

TJ


Oh Jim,

My point was not to say THEY ARE THE SAME! Indeed, they are two different birds.

The point I was making is that one needs to understand that there ARE similarities...parallels, if you will... in terms of variety, nuances in tastes, the intricate process of growing, harvesting, ripening, roasting etc. etc.

I was simple making an analogy to help illuminate that there is a lot more to coffee, than grabbing a can-opener and opening up a can of Yuban.

Coffee Beans, like grapes (fruit), have the same tendencies to spoil. In fact, you won't argue that a bottle of wine exposed to air will oxidize even faster than an open bag of beans.

Here's something else that I didn't mention...another myth and common practice: NEVER GRIND MORE COFFEE THAN YOU CAN USE IMMEDIATELY! By grinding, you've opening up the surfaces of the bean thousands of times greater and will result in stale coffee in less than an hour.

All this said...a WHOLE lotta people say I'm full of caffeine and have drinkin' the Kool-Aid. That's fine. I'm ok with that...and so is everyone who tastes my liquid delights. ;-)
 
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NEVER GRIND MORE COFFEE THAN YOU CAN USE IMMEDIATELY!
We are definitely on the same page here! And, on the oxidation of wine on exposure to air.

My point was that the coffee bean is not delicate, in the physical sense; a grape is. Thus, the difference in handling required. Surely, both can spoil if handled (or stored) improperly.

And, the mere mention of "Yuban" (or, Folgers or Maxwell House) sends shivers up and down my spine. Yikes! Yeah...you can call me a "coffee snob too."

TJ
 
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