Tips on Keeping Your Colombian Coffee Blends Fresh
You haven’t even opened your eyes yet, and you already imagine a cup of warm, aromatic drink warming your body and soul. If you are one of those people who can’t start the day without a hug in a mug, you probably always have enough supplies in the house to survive even a nuclear war. That’s good because you will never run out of the ‘fuel’ that drives you and gives you strength and energy for a new day.
But, there is also the less good side of making a stock of your favorite hot beverage. Coffee that is not appropriately stored loses its aroma, nutritional value, and even health benefits. Arabica, which mainly belongs to Colombian blends, is especially sensitive to poor storage.
So how to improve your storage methods? It’s a frequently asked question by all people out there who want to preserve this aromatic gold. Whether it’s about raw beans or ground blends, you can keep them fresh and flavor-rich for a while if you adhere to some handy guidelines.
Buy Quality Beans or Blends
A requirement for proper storage of Colombian coffee is the purchase of quality beans or blends. You must know what’s in a bag you just got from a store, coffee shop, or roaster. So feel free to ask about bean types, origins, roasting methods, etc. This information should be transparent. Otherwise, the coffee you buy is probably not of good quality.
Never buy beans or blends to measure from open barrels. It is clear that they were overly exposed to air, heat, light, and various microbes. Look for information on the roasting date. That way, you will know how much time you have left to get the most of the coffee you buy. If you can’t find this information, just move on.
Grind as Needed
Roasted beans contain a bunch of oils that can be released when ground. That’s what gives your favorite drink its taste when it is soaked in hot water. But these aromatic oils also pose a risk to blends that last too long as they can make them acidic, bitter, and unusable.
Also, aromatic oils from ground beans can stick to the container where it’s stored in. It’s quite difficult to clean these greasy spots. That is why it is always best to grind Colombian coffee just before cooking. For the same reason, buying commercial grinds is not the best choice unless you plan to consume them within a day or two.
Buying a grinder is an excellent investment, and here’s how to find the best appliance for your kitchen:
Minimal Air Exposure
Air exposure speeds up the deterioration of food. That also applies to coffee, especially if it’s ground. While roasted beans can stay relatively fresh for a while, blends spoil quickly if not stored in airtight containers.
It’s not possible to completely avoid air exposure, but it can be minimized. The airtight sealer on the container will prevent moisture from penetrating inside and its contact with the coffee. Also, avoid mixing flavors by having a separate container just for this ingredient.
When buying roasted whole beans, you need to pay extra attention to them. A few days after roasting, the coffee slowly releases a certain amount of carbon dioxide. Provided that you plan to keep the beans in an airtight box (as you should), it’s advisable to open the container at least once a day for a few seconds. That will release carbon dioxide and keep your Colombian coffee fresh.
Avoid Paper and Plastic Bags
The storage of coffee needs to be done in a manner that the aroma is not compromised. That’s why you should keep away your beans or freshly ground blends away from things that can change their flavors. Paper and plastic bags are common packages of commercial blends, but you should avoid these. Coffee will actually spoil the fastest if you keep it in these original packaging.
Plastic bags usually contain specific acids that can speed up the rotting process. For that reason, plastic containers are not a good choice either. A glass, ceramic, or metal container will keep your coffee safe from the elements and out of reach of children and animals.
Away from Heat and Light
Keeping whole beans and blends out of direct light and heat is very important. Beans needs light while it grows in the fields and high temperatures only during roasting. See this link for tips on roasting coffee at home.
At home, you should keep this ingredient away from the influence of these two factors. It means moving your whole beans or blends away from direct heat and light sources such as ovens, radiators, heaters, etc.
It is equally important to prevent the effect of moisture on coffee. Avoid places with temperature fluctuations that can create condensation in the containers. That can happen if you keep beans and blends in the fridge or in boxes that don’t seal well.
Freezing or Not
The whole beans should be kept at room temperature or about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They tolerate cold worse than heat, but it is best to avoid both extremes and store them at stable temperatures. But don’t keep coffee in a fridge, especially if it’s grounded. These blends can absorb moisture and flavors from other foods.
While a refrigerator is not the best solution, a freezer can do. But you can keep coffee in it only under certain conditions. It must be freshly baked and not ground. If you can, store whole beans in a vacuum package so that the influence of external factors is minimal. Coffee stored in this way can last for several months. But as soon as you open the bag, re-freezing makes no sense.
To keep the maximum taste and a caffeine buzz of your favorite hot drink, make sure you adhere to some simple guidelines. Freshness is the crucial thing if you want a perfect hug in a mug. A stale and flavorless coffee can’t give you the optimum kick in the morning.