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How to store your coffee beans

Whether you have gone to the trouble of obtaining great quality, freshly roasted coffee beans from us at Quest Coffee Roasters, or the ease of one of our ever so popular coffee subscriptions, then you will want to know the best way of storing your beans. Our amazing baristas are asked this question often. Let’s face it; there is a lot of conflicting information out there, so we are going to simplify it for you.

Certain conditions, like air, moisture, heat and light (in that order) will affect the freshness and flavour of your beans, so proper storage is vital to great tasting coffee.

Best way to store coffee beans

Pic credit: Pact Coffee in the UK

The best way to store your beans and the optimal storage time:

The full flavour of coffee is at its best a few days after roasting and starts to fade after a few weeks. Most of the beans found on a supermarket shelf, particularly the pre-ground variety, are quite flat and far from awesome.

This is our recommendation for storing your beans and maximising that fresh, complex flavour:

1. Keep your beans in an airtight and dark container. There are many storage devices out there, but the one we love is the Friis Storage Canister. It is simple, stainless steel, has a vault which exhausts trapped CO2 gas and does not allow air in.

2. If you can’t store in a container, then keeping your beans in a good quality re-sealable bag will help keep them fresh. Remember that not all bags are created equal though. We would only recommend the packaging used at Quest, as each bag has a valve that will allow the gas to escape and block air from entering.

3. Avoid sunlight or direct light. This will help keep the temperature stable.

4. Avoid heat and steam; especially hot ovens, brewers, steamy kettles, etc. A cool, dark place is best and we recommend the cupboard for storage.

5. We recommend brewing your beans within 4 weeks for whole beans and 2 weeks for pre-ground beans. If you were unable to brew them within that time, then we would recommend putting your beans in the freezer. See below for the fridge -v- freezer debate.

6. It is always better to store your beans as whole beans, as opposed to ground beans. For the best tasting coffee, we recommend grinding your coffee just prior to brewing, whenever possible. See our previous blog, “Why Grind As You Go…” for a more detailed explanation.

Fridge or Freezer – Are either of these options a good idea?

The fridge is a definite ‘no-no’. Don't refrigerate coffee beansThe problem with the fridge is the amount of moisture and the temperature change that occurs when your beans are taken in and out. This causes a condensation build up. In addition to that, the fridge is not cold enough to keep your beans fresh. The beans will deodorise and soak up the humidity (much like baking soda would), especially if they are ground. Imagine the negative impact that would on the final taste.

Coffee storage in freezerIf you need to store your beans for longer than the recommended time, then we suggest the freezer as your next best option. Here are a few tips to prevent your beans from becoming ‘burned’ from the freezer.

* Store the beans in a deep freezer (if you have one), merely because it would be opened less than a fridge freezer.

* Store your beans in their original packaging, inside a zip lock freezer bag or an airtight container. If you use a zip lock freezer bag, you should remove as much air as possible before sealing.

* There wouldn’t be a negative impact on the beans placed in your freezer, as it is dark and opened less regularly than your fridge.

* If you are going to store them in the freezer, ensure that you do this within 2 weeks of purchase. Whole beans can be kept in a freezer for approximately 2 months.

* Ensure that the beans are allowed to come down to room temperature, while still sealed, to avoid condensation. Never return previously thawed beans to the freezer.

The bottom line is that you wouldn’t consider storing beans in the freezer unless you were living in a remote area and ordered your beans in bulk, eg. 2-3kg at a time; or, if you were going away on holidays and needed to keep them fresh while you were away. Otherwise, the kitchen cupboard, using our storage guidelines above, would be a perfectly suitable place to store your beans.

Fresh is always best! Buy what you would drink within 10-14 days so that you always have fresh beans in the house.

Written by Therese Glowaski.

How to order a coffee subscription at Quest Coffee Roasters

Whether you have see the sign in our Burleigh Heads cafe or have glanced at the subscriptions while scrolling through our online store, you may be wondering why you would pay for a coffee subscription.

Why subscribe instead of just ordering when you need coffee?

  • You don’t have to remember to order each month;
  • Coffee is delivered on time, every time;
  • Order for yourself or as a gift for someone special;
  • You won’t run out of coffee again; and
  • Save money – NO SHIPPING!!  (You save $15 every time – AMAZING!)

What about the current loyalty card system?

Well the great news is that nothing changes with our loyalty card system! We will continue to keep track of your ordered beans and reward you with a FREE 500g bag of beans when you are eligible.

How do you set up the subscription?

We have 6 easy options – you can choose from any of the 6 options below:

Coffee Subscriptions

1kg bag of coffee delivered fortnightly or monthly for 3 months
1kg bag of coffee delivered fortnightly or monthly for 6 months
1kg bag of coffee delivered fortnightly or monthly for 12 months
500g bag of coffee delivered monthly for 3 months
500g bag of coffee delivered monthly for 6 months
500g bag of coffee delivered monthly for 12 months

You just need to decide the subscription you would like; then ordering is simple. Sometimes the hardest decision is which single origin or blend you would like.

Some people have a favourite bean, while others enjoy a little variety. For those of you who like to change it up a bit, you may be interested in the Roaster’s Choice option. This gives you the element of surprise, allowing our master roaster to select a different bean for you at each delivery.

Coffee Subscription Ordering Process Part 1Ordering is simple:

1. Select the Frequency (monthly/fortnightly) you would like your beans delivered, your bean of choice (or Roaster’s Choice) and which grind you prefer then ‘Add to basket’;

2. ‘View Basket’;

3. Make sure the order details are correct. You will see that the shipping is ‘Free’ if you are just ordering a coffee subscription only. Then ‘Proceed to Checkout’.

4. Enter your Billing Details, ensuring that you make comments in the ‘Order Notes’ for any specific delivery instructions. If the coffee subscription is a gift for somebody and you would like it shipped to a different address, be sure to tick the box and enter those details, together with any special notes that you would like us to add on your behalf. If you order Roaster’s Choice and prefer only a mild flavoured coffee, you can add this preference in here also so we can choose beans more to your liking.

If you have not created an account, this is very easy to do. Simply select the ‘Create an account?’ box and enter your desired password in the field provided. This will allow you to log in each time you order instead of re-entering your details.

5. Select your payment option of either direct deposit, cheque or PayPal and then select ‘Place Order’.

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All you have to do now is leave the rest up to us!

Here’s a review from one of our happy customers:

Coffee Subscription review

A simple, cost effective and splendid way to receive your coffee on time, every time.

The only question left to ask is…WHICH SUBSCRIPTION AND BLEND OF COFFEE WILL YOU CHOOSE?

Follow this link to order now!

Written by Therese Glowaski.

Why Grind As You Go…

WHOLE BEANS v PRE-GROUND COFFEE BEANS

We often get asked the question “Why should you grind as you go?”

Coffee, like most things, tastes best when it is fresh. Buying your coffee beans whole and only grinding as you go will always produce a consistently good flavour, as opposed to your pre-ground beans.

A good quality grinder is essential and would get used more, in most homes, than many kitchen appliances. Your coffee is best ground medium, unless you are making espresso or aeropress (see below for more info on the optimal grind size for your particular brewing method). The powdered coffee that builds up around the side of your grinder will only clog your filter, not to mention the bitter taste that comes with it. Blade grinders produce a lot of powder.

Blade v Burr Grinder

We recommend using burr grinders like our Rhinowares Hand Coffee Grinder or Tiamo Coffee Grinder.

Rhinowares Hand Coffee Grinder

Rhinowares Hand Coffee Grinder

Tiamo Coffee Grinder

Tiamo Coffee Grinder

The primary goal of making coffee is that we extract the delicious flavour components and oils that are inside the bean. When grinding the coffee beans, you help the water to efficiently extract the solubles that are responsible for the taste and aroma we have come to love.

A whole roasted coffee bean is a striking, protective package that keeps the oils where they should be; inside the bean. If the protective shell is broken, the flavour components are disrupted.

Here are 4 reasons why you should NOT buy pre-ground coffee:

1. Contamination

The oils are very delicate and this allows the coffee to be contaminated easily. Odours around ground coffee will fault the bean in a way that it will not contribute positively to your coffee tasting experience.

2. Moisture

Coffee oils are water-soluble. The moisture in the air will immediately start to dilute the oils once the ground coffee is exposed to it.

3. Oxygen

Inside the cell of the roasted coffee bean are approximately 1,000 different volatile aromas and flavours. Once they are released, they oxidate (react with the oxygen in the air). It only takes around 15 minutes for ground coffee to lose more than 50% of its aroma.

4. Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

CO2 is created during the roasting process. Some of it is lost during the cooling process, as the bean is porous. Much of the CO2 is retained in the cells of the bean. CO2 is the main method for getting the essential oils into the coffee once they are released.

The increased surface area created after grinding allows for more CO2 gas to be released. 80% of this gas is released into the air within 1 minute of grinding.

So in short, your coffee should be ground fresh just prior to brewing. This will bring you even closer to coffee utopia, a place we all love to be at the start of our busy day.

What is the best way to grind your coffee?

There are many benefits to grinding as you go. You will be able to calibrate the grind perfectly, depending on your preferred brewing method (the size of your grind should always match the brewing method you will be using). The duration of time that water and coffee needs to be in contact directly relates to the particle size of the grind.

We recommend you use these grinds for the following brewing methods:

Fine grind

Turkish / Espresso Machine

Medium-Fine grind

Pour Over Coffee Maker / Stainless Steel and Aluminium Stovetop / Aeropress

Medium grind

 Plunger (French Press) / Toddy (Cold Press)

Ground Coffee

Storing your Coffee:

We find that the best way to store your coffee is in the Friis Storage Canister, which has a valve that allows the gases to escape, while keeping the oxygen out. Ground beans will go stale within 3-4 days, whereas whole beans will stay fresh for about 3-4 weeks.

Friis Coffee Storage Canister

Friis Coffee Storage Canister

Ever wondered why instant coffee has little to no flavour?
If coffee is packaged in an airtight container that has no de-gassing valve before it is allowed to go stale, it would explode.

We hope that this information helps you when next purchasing your beans. Don’t forget to share our post with your friends so they are well informed now too.

Blog written by Therese Glowaski.