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coffee beans, coffee blends, freezing, fresh coffee, origin coffee, storage - | Written by Lewis Spencer

How To Store Your Coffee Beans And Keep Your Coffee Fresh

When it comes to enjoying delicious, fresh and aromatic coffee, there are a few simple but important rules to follow if you want to experience the best cup. Firstly, it's always favourable to buy your beans from a dedicated coffee supplier, rather than at the supermarket. Secondly, you'll want to store your pre-ground coffee beans appropriately, in a suitable container and in the ideal environment. You'll also want to grind your beans just before brewing, whenever possible; the benefits of freshly ground beans cannot be stressed enough, and you'll soon be able to tell the difference between a recently ground brew, and one that's been prepared using older ground beans.

It's generally agreed that the best way to enjoy fresh coffee and experience the fullest flavours is to buy whole beans and grind them yourself. By doing this you can grind a new portion of your favourite beans every time you prepare a drink, which not only ensures freshness, but means you won't be left with an excess of unused ground beans that will quickly lose their flavours and aromas. This is the key difference between buying whole beans and buying ready-ground coffee from supermarkets; whereas your freshly ground coffee can be prepared to order, ready-made coffee grinds are left for days, if not weeks, after being ground, during which time they will become bland and insipid. It's therefore important to grind your coffee yourself if you want to enjoy the freshest and most complex flavours.

Once you've bought your coffee beans you'll want to keep them fresh for as long as possible, although it's best to enjoy them within 7 to 10 days after they have been roasted. There are several methods to prolong the freshness of beans, including freezing, but the general consensus among coffee lovers is that the sooner you prepare beans after they have been roasted, the better your coffee will taste. In fact, coffee beans tend to be at their peak within 24 to 72 hours after being roasted, but given the inevitable delay it takes roasted beans to reach you at home, the 7-10 day span is a great time period in which to aim.

Our coffee from Coffee-Direct comes sealed in one-way valve, foil fresh bags, which are ideal for locking in the freshly roasted flavours of the beans during their short journey from us to you, and can maximise the amount of time you have to enjoy your favourite coffees before the beans being to lose their flavour and intensity.

The simplest, yet most effective way to store your roasted coffee beans at home is to keep them sealed in an airtight container. By keeping your beans sealed tight they will avoid exposure to the four main compromisers of freshness and flavour: air, moisture, heat and light. An airtight container ensures that the beans aren't in constant contact with air and moisture, and stops the aromas from escaping. It's best to store your beans at room temperature, unless, of course, you are freezing them. By placing the airtight container in a suitable location, out of direct sunlight and far away from warm areas of your home such as the oven area or on a windowsill, you can help to maintain freshness for a longer period of time. As coffee beans are porous they will rapidly adsorb any moisture if left out in the open, so it's best to place them away from sinks, windows and other damp areas, and, to avoid exposure to light, it's recommended that beans are kept in opaque containers, preferably ceramic.

As a method of preserving beans, freezing should ideally be done only as a last resort; for example, if you need to store them, unused, for a longer period of time and an airtight container isn't available. If you do choose to freeze your beans, there are a few rules to to go: be sure you wrap them up as thoroughly as possible; if frozen beans are not completely covered and sealed there will be a risk of exposure to moisture, and potentially to light from the constant opening and closing of the freezer door. We suggest that your beans, if unopened, can be frozen for up to 9 months before they begin to lose their freshness. You'll also want to make sure the sealed beans don't come in contact with other produce being stored in your freezer; this will not only avoid flavour contaminations, but will lessen the risk that moisture will reach the beans from other foods. As for placing your beans in the fridge instead of the freezer, the answer is simple; don't do it. The temperatures within a fridge are not low enough to preserve the beans' flavours and aromas, and there is an even greater risk of exposure to moisture and air.

You'll want to enjoy your coffee beans as soon as possible after they have been roasted, which is why it's a good idea to purchase your coffee in smaller quantities; you won't have to worry about larger portions losing their roasted flavours, and you won't have to throw away unused coffee beans that have become bland during storage. At Coffee-Direct we produce our coffees in three sizes: Sample 227g, Regular 454g and Large 908g. This allows customers to buy smaller sizes and enjoy the strong, complex flavours of their favourite coffees without having to rush through larger packs.

It's no secret that beans purchased from supermarkets are, on average, several months old already. These beans are left to sit on shelves for extended periods of time, which compromises flavours and aromas, and leaves customers with an inferior product. At Coffee-Direct we roast our beans to order, which means that when you're coffee arrives at your door, you can be sure that it has gone from being roasted, to being packaged and delivered in a short amount of time. Not only does this mean that your coffee will arrive incredibly fresh and flavourful, but it means that you can tailor your order size to your needs and avoid any wasted beans. What's more, you can set up a subscription service with Coffee-Direct once you've found your ideal size and coffee variety, so you'll never run out of your favourite beans.

Because we roast to order, we avoid excess produce, which means we're able to offer a wonderful selection of almost 100 coffee varieties, all of which will be freshly prepared for your order. Our range spans delicious origin coffees, exciting blended coffees and unique flavoured coffees, and includes a great selection of decaffeinated favourites. We also offer a collection of carefully picked coffee hampers, which would make the perfect gift for all coffee lovers.