bearsniper Senior Member Joined: 4 Oct 2009 Posts: 14 Location: Texas Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun Oct 4, 2009, 11:33pm Subject: Best way to preserve beans
I will admit that I know very little and am just getting started. I was wondering if there are any confirmed ways to keep beens fresh, even if, heaven forbid, longer than two weeks. Also how much of a difference does two weeks really make?
germantownrob Senior Member Joined: 2 Dec 2007 Posts: 2,153 Location: Philadelphia Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,... Drip: Brazen Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Mon Oct 5, 2009, 4:19am Subject: Re: Best way to preserve beans
Two weeks from roast date the beans will be going stale or already there. To keep roasted beans longer freezing will do the trick, I like to break beans up into 1/2lb vacuum packs and put in the deep freezer but a kitchen freezer will work for well but colder and staple is going to be better.
SpeedStar Senior Member Joined: 6 Dec 2008 Posts: 227 Location: Chula Vista, Ca Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Alex Duetto II Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer Mini Drip: Aeropress, Cuisinart
Posted Mon Oct 5, 2009, 8:05am Subject: Re: Best way to preserve beans
I use the same method and have had good results. I break them into .5lb ziplock bags and then into a second ziplock. I do this after two to three days to de-gas so that when I open them they will have a day to thaw and be ready to use. Freeze once and when you remove them from the freezer let them thaw completely before opening the bag.
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,404 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Oct 5, 2009, 8:17am Subject: Re: Best way to preserve beans
Similar: I use these 0.5L canning jars, but you can use similar Mason jars, double Ziplock bags (one inside the other) or whatever . . .
My coffee arrives from whatever roaster I use within 2-3 days via USPS Priority mail (5-7 days via UPS or FedEx Ground). I generally buy two pounds at a time, and break the shipment down into the jars -- I find they hold approximately six ounces each -- and freeze them. Then, I just take one jar out of the freezer as needed -- OK, usually the night before it's actually needed -- so that by the morning, the coffee has reached room temperature and is ready to go. Make sure you leave the jar/bag/container sealed while it defrosts, so the beans will stay nice and dry, without condensation forming on the beans.
You don't want to freeze-thaw-refreeze beans; break down the beans into quantities you will use within just 2-3 days.
Some roasters offer discounts when buying in 5-lb. lots, so freezing is the only way to really make that economical in a home environment.
Most of these are rather old, and don't provide scientific proof and experimentation. This doesn't mean these types of experiments, both anecdotal and scientific, have not been done. On the contrary . . .
Jmanespresso Senior Member Joined: 18 Jan 2009 Posts: 2,109 Location: Westchester NY Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Alex Duetto II Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5 Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Fri Oct 9, 2009, 2:20am Subject: Re: Best way to preserve beans
Freezing CAN certainly destroy your beans... If it isn't done properly.
Done properly.. It works just fine. Properly equates to two things:
IMHO, the more airtight you get the beans, the less emphasis you need to put on "very cold"... Within reason... Even using a commercial vacsealer won'tallow you store your beans in the fridge. However...
Usually, it is suggested that the the freezer attached to your fridge isn't cold enough. I would imagine, if you have a decent vaccum sealer, you could use your attached freezer. But, if your using double bags, jars, or taping over the one-way valve and putting that bag in another, I think a chest/door freezer which can be brought much cold would work BEST. This is my opinion.
I don't freeze beans regularly, because I don't really need given what I go through in 2 weeks time. I buy 3-4lbs of coffee every 14 days, so shipping is reasonable, TO ME. I do, however, keep what I call, "backup beans" a couple pounds, frozen, in my chest freezer, which is roughly ~20 belowF. Roughly. These beans are for times when, for whatever reason, I have completly run out of coffee, and more coffee won't be arriving for a couple days. This hasn't happened in a while, so, if Ive got beans frozen for more then 2 months, I use em up, and on my next order, Ill order 7-8lbs instead of my usual 4, and freeze 3-4lbs. What I do is simple. Most roasters I order from use one-way valve bags. I tape over them with some sort of heavy tape, like electrical, duct, Gorilla, something like that, and take that bag and put it into a Freezer Ziploc Bag. Squeeze out as much air as I possibly can, stick them in the freezer, and cover them with Ice Pakcs(like you would use in a cooler). IVe used them as far out as 5 months, and they've been fine.. They're usually frozen between 2-5days off the roast.
Point is.. Yes, you can freeze your coffee. Make sure you put them in as cold a freezer you can, and seal them up as best as you possibly can. When taking them out, DO NOT open the bag/container/jar until they have fully defrosted. I give it overnight, 6-8hrs. I find that frozen beans stale quicker then beans straight from the roaster... For my tastes, they're usually done with ten days "off the roast". Meaning, If I froze them 3 days off the roast, left them frozen for 5 months, and take them out, they're good for another ~7 days. YMMV.
For storing your beans normally, like when you recieve your order and you intend to use them right away... Any airtight container will do. Opaque is preffered, but Airtight is what is most important. My containers are clear, and I dont have any problems with "pre-mature staling"
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Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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