It’s a fact. A lot of people use ground coffee. So, how should you keep ground coffee?
What is the right way to keep and store ground coffee to preserve it and maintain its flavor?
Frankly, opinions vary on this and it depends on what kind of ground coffee you are talking about. For instance, did you buy your ground coffee from the grocery store or did you go to a local shop, pick out fresh beans and grind them yourself? This may make a difference on how you choose to keep your ground coffee.
If you are buying your coffee freshly roasted then ground
First off, if you want to get the best flavor from coffee in this scenario, you want to buy fresh whole beans. Now, if you do this you have a simple option available to you. Fresh coffee beans have their best flavor for about two weeks from the day after they are roasted.
If you buy beans that you know were roasted and ground within a day or so, an easy way to keep you coffee is to buy coffee for a week or two. Then, make sure your coffee is stored away in a cool, dry, air tight environment.
If you think your coffee has been purchased, say a week past it’s roasting date, you can take half of your coffee grounds and store them in the freezer. If you do this, make sure you double zip lock bag it and press out all of the air.
Keeping the air out is key. Also, when you use that coffee, you want to treat it like any other food. Don’t prepare it right out of the freezer. Wait for it to reach room temperature.
If you are buying ground coffee from the grocery store
If you are buying ground coffee from the grocery store the odds are it is not going to fresh like the example above. That doesn’t mean your coffee won’t taste good. There are coffee snobs who will turn their nose up at this option, but there are a lot of people in the world. Each has different values. Sometimes grabbing a quick cup of high quality ground coffee hits the spot just fine.
Some people like to have a quick and easy option for their coffee, and there is some tasty ground coffee you can buy from the grocery store. Are they as great as great as 1 day after roast freshly ground coffee made in a French press? Nope. That doesn’t mean they aren’t tasty. It’s like the difference between filet mignon and pork chops. Each are good, but one stands out.
That said, let’s move on.
With ground coffee for the grocery store it will usually be vacuum packed or some other air tight packaging. This is why it can keep so well for so long. Once the seal is broken the grounds have been exposed to air and the clock is running, so to speak.
At this point, you will be fine if you have a container that you will use over a week or two. If you plan to have the coffee out any longer, you want to consider other options.
You see, let’s take the classic coffee packaging technique, the can. As you use the coffee, there is more and more space for air in the container. In this case, air is the enemy.
So, there are a couple of things you can do. If you are not going to use your coffee in a week or two, you can split your coffee up into portions that make sense for your rate of coffee drinking.
You can freeze the coffee as described above. Then, as needed you can take a portion of coffee out, let it warm to room temperature and use it.
A note on freezing
There are varying opinions on freezing coffee. Some say that the freezing is not good for the coffee oils and doesn;t do the coffee any favors. In my experience, I have not had any problem with short term freezing as a storage method. However, I try to avoid freezing coffee for any long periods of time. I have noticed in some coffees it compromised its flavor.
So, if you are one who buys coffee in bulk quantities because you are trying to save money or like to have a store of food in case of emergencies, just keep in mind the ground coffee expiration dates, don’t break the seal of the coffee until you are really ready and keep in mind how the freshness of coffee works so you can store it properly.