While we sit and wait for our favourite cafes to reopen, many of us are now brewing more coffee at home than previously imagined. And even though brewing and consuming copious amounts of coffee is a daily norm for many, some out there are new to the party.
So what is the best way to store your favourite FiXX at home? Here are a few tips...
Firstly, if your coffee is currently in the fridge, then stop reading and go take it out. It's no place for coffee. Coffee is incredibly porous and will absorb the aromas around it. So if your coffee isn’t in an airtight container, and is beside an onion, well you're gonna have some onion flavoured coffee pretty soon. It's so good at deodorising smells, in fact, I recently used some leftover stale coffee to remove the smell of fresh paint after a recent DIY job. Something to keep in mind while we're housebound and tackling tasks from the "to-do" list. Just remember to throw the coffee out after the paint smell is gone. Besides that, repeatedly taking coffee in and out of a cold fridge will fluctuate the amount of moisture around the coffee and will quicken the staling process.
The debate over whether or not you can freeze coffee has been ongoing since the invention of, well, the freezer. As is the case with refrigeration, coffee will absorb the surrounding moisture and orders, because it is hygroscopic (geek word score alert!). And while it is also true that extended periods in a frozen state will affect the natural oils and flavour, there are ways to mitigate the adverse effects. In fact, it is possible to freeze with confidence. But only if you follow these guidelines.
To begin with, the most important thing you need is an airtight container. Not just any Tupperware from the kitchen, but a proper airtight container. If any of that freezer air reaches your coffee, it's in trouble. As with the onion in your fridge, you could end up with chicken Korma coffee if your container lets in air. If you can also vacuum-seal the bag it is in, better again.
The next thing to do is divide into small batches, so you only defrost what you need when you need it. From here you will need to let it thaw fully at room temperature. If you open the bag/container too early, it will allow a rush of air in, bringing with it unwanted moisture.
Finally, don't refreeze the coffee. Not because it is unsafe to do so, it's just that it will soon make your coffee taste like pants*. It is also worth remembering that this is only really beneficial with fresh coffee. If the coffee is already stale, well, all you're doing is freezing stale coffee.
The best way to maintain freshness is by storing your coffee in a dark, airtight container in a cool area of the house. Your coffee will keep it's freshness and flavour for longer if you can limit its exposure to oxygen, light and heat, so avoid direct sunlight. That last part should be easily achieved in Ireland. It is also advisable to steer clear of moisture (slightly harder to accomplish in Ireland!). This means keeping your coffee away from your brewer and stove. Or any other source of steam in your house.
We at FiXX love the Coffee Gator coffee bean canister (available at fixxcoffee.com). Not only is it perfectly airtight, but it also has a one-way valve. This allows naturally occurring Co2 to escape away and stops flavour zapping oxygen from entering. The lid of the BPA-free canister has a handy date wheel. So you can set the roast date, expiry date or the date you bought your coffee, and track its freshness. A really nice touch, in our opinion. So using the Coffee Gator coffee bean canister will eliminate oxygen and light. If you can store it somewhere cool, you're onto a winner.
One final point. As coffee grounds are tiny particles compared to whole beans, ground coffee will decay much faster when exposed to oxygen, light and heat. So where possible, store your coffee as whole beans, grinding when needed. Following these simple tips will help prolong the essence of your favourite FiXX and ensure maximum deliciousness.
Thanks for reading.
*The taste of pants may differ from person to person.