This is for all of you out there who love to experience your coffee to the fullest. We’re right there with you. Read on for some crucial tips on getting the most deliciously fresh brews!
Buy freshly roasted coffee.
Look to local roasters and specialty companies with rapid turnaround times. Always check the bag for the roasting date. (If it’s not there, it’s not good. Trust us.) While green, unroasted coffee is usable within the first 15 months (although we use ours well before that), roasted coffee is only fresh for the first 15 days. When it comes to coffee, oxygen is always the enemy – oxidation breaks down the molecules and acids responsible for flavor – leaving stale, lifeless coffee. To drink fresh, buy fresh!
Pro-Tip: Check the grinds about 30 seconds after you’ve added water – fresh beans will be releasing a high amount of internal gases and will rise to the top, forming a bubbly crust.
Only buy what you can use within 15 days.
For mostly daily coffee drinkers, this means between one and two 12oz bags. Another great thing about buying from a local roaster: fresh coffee is never far away.
Store your coffee in an airtight container, at room temperature, and in low light.
If your coffee comes in a bag that has a degassing valve and either resealable tape or a tin tie, it also fine to simply roll the bag down tight, squeezing all the air out and then tape or tie it down.
Don’t freeze your beans.
This one has incurred some debate because it is possible to get a decent cup from beans that have been frozen in an air-tight container; however, the extreme temperature fluctuation can break down some of the key flavor components within the bean.
Buy whole bean coffee.
Roasted beans are fresh for 15 days, ground beans are fresh for only 15 minutes before they begin to stale. The reason behind it is pretty simple: grinding coffee dramatically increases its surface area, increasing the amount of exposure to oxygen and exponentially speeding up the process. Of course this means, for the absolute freshest cup:
Grind immediately before brewing.
If you’re in pursuit of the freshest brew, a home grinder is a must! Besides, nothing smells better. Fresh-grind those babies for that fresh cup.
Brew single servings.
Not only will this ensure that no coffee goes to waste, it’s a chance to gain insight. With a taste-as-you-brew approach, it becomes natural to explore tweaks in water amounts and timing to continually improve the end result.
Drink right away.
Oxidation continues even after brewing. Coffee left to sit will grow increasingly bitter and flavorless – so we recommend drinking within the hour. Oxygen dissolved into the water will continue to break down coffee molecules, so even a cup kept at a stable temperature in a vacuum sealed thermos is going to nastify after a while. Drink up! Why wouldn’t you?
Is all this worth it? Yes. The unbelievable difference made with these tweaks will elevate your coffee experience to ever greater heights. When you’re paying attention to every step of your coffee, your awareness and appreciation go up, your taste becomes more refined, and you enjoy it more! Keep exploring better brews!