Freshness, Storage, and Beyond

After considering the many different possibilities for coffee shipment subscription models, I want to quickly discuss the "freshness curve" of roasted coffee beans and why someone would, potentially, opt to pay more to have beans shipped once per week, instead of once per month. Further, I will point out that you should NEVER EVER freeze your coffee (I'm serious) unless you do it just right. :)

Morning joe...  ;)

It is my personal experience that coffee reaches its peak flavor potential 3 days after roasting. Any sooner than that, and all subtle-ness will be covered in a blanket of dull "roast" flavor. From approximately days 3-7, flavor is at its apex. It is here that virtually all beans are at their very best. Coffee brewed 3-7 days from its roast day is to me, a special thing, and a perfect accompaniment to a morning of gratefulness. From here, the degradation of a bean varies, depending on the origin and roast. From day 14 and onward, most coffee is just not quite what it once was, although some especially flavorful beans maintain greatness up to day 20 or so and fall off from there.

If you then are considering freezing your fresh beans from the moment that you bring them into your home, STOP IT! This might be a good idea, but you should not proceed until you know what you're doing, because moisture, in the form of condensation, will greatly degrade coffee flavor.

So, if you so choose, for whatever reason, to freeze some coffee, you should first separate the contents of the coffee into separate, single-usage, air-tight containers (mason jars are ideal). After the coffee has been portioned and sealed air-tight, you can safely place it in the freezer. When it comes time to use your frozen coffee, you should pull it from the freezer 8 hours, or the night before you make your coffee, while keeping the container air-tight. This is not necessarily to "thaw" the coffee, but much more importantly, to allow it to come to room-temperature before it's opened to the air. If the coffee is still cold when the container is opened, it will condense, and you will have degraded coffee. Geeze oh petes!

If you are looking to cease each day with gratefulness, keeping a fresh stream of coffee which was roasted within the last week is a superb strategy. If you decide to lessen the degradation of your coffee by freezing it, be sure to never let it collect condensation, as this is potentially worse than simply letting the coffee age on the shelf.


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